By Sascha Illyvich
How many authors reading this have unfinished manuscripts? How many of you have started a project only to stop writing in the middle of the story for one reason or another? I have. Yasmine Galenorn talks about having seven full length novels buried in her closet and with good reason. Apparently, they sucked!
As an author I refuse to leave stories unfinished if I can help them. The problem comes when I run out of the original inspiration that started the story in the first place. Take my Mistress Turned series. “I Will Serve You, Master” is the first book in the series and takes us along for a journey with Mistress Jackie as she becomes a true submissive and in the follow up book, I take our readers farther into her journey. By the third book I’m already burned out and bitter towards the story. I’d prefer to cut the last thousand words and end the story two novellas in. But my marketing mindset said originally to write one 90k book in three 30k novella length stories for two reasons. One, it brings readers in slowly and builds my audience if I’ve done my job and written a DAMN GOOD STORY. Second, it builds loyalty as those who enjoyed the first book will buy the second and third. Lastly, from a monetary standpoint it makes more sense to release books in this fashion rather than to spend three months writing a 100k novel and not earning money on part of it.
Too many writers don’t realize the value of splitting up stories for marketing purposes but that is another article. I recently re-released Mistress Kitty and Trent without updating the style or giving it any further edits other than what it received when it was at eXtasy books. I’m confident in Stef’s editing abilities even though I’ve grown as an author since then. But to have a book that’s a good story just sitting around not making money is a little silly.
What if the book is so horrible that it can’t be fixed without being rewritten? Fuck if I care! It’s my publisher’s job to figure that out. Seriously. IF they accepted the book in the first place then that tells me they have an idea how to market said book. And in the case of Mistress Kitty, that’s just fine by me.