What I learned from writing a novella #WriterWednesday #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #AmWriting

you are not your reader

Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque

If you’d heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times, you must have a series to make money as an indie author. I thought I had this down. I have three series, each of which consists of three books. And therein lies the problem. Three books in a series is not enough. What? Why not? Personally, I usually only read a series for three or four books before I get bored and moved on. But – to paraphrase Tammi Labrecque – I’m not my reader, but I am a rock star.

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Deciding that I am indeed a rock star (go ahead laugh, I get it), I decided to write a novella to add to one of my series. At first I was concerned about solving a mystery in a shorter length story, but a writer friend gave me an idea and I ran with it. So, I sat down and wrote Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper as book 4 in my Death by Cupcake series of cozy mysteries.

 

What did I learn?

I can bang out a novella in a month – even though I spent a week in Spain with the hubby. Okay, it was just over a month but you get my point. A novella takes less time to write and is therefore less of a commitment. I’m always a bit freaked when I start a new writing project and face that dreaded empty page. Can I actually write another entire novel again? A novella was a less daunting project to start.

libraryI can write anywhere at any time. This is probably not news to most writers. I know lots of fellow writers go to cafés or libraries to write. Not me. I am super strict with my schedule. I ‘like’ to get up early and have a chapter written before I walk the dog. Since the library doesn’t open until 10, it’s really not an option for me. But then I went to the US to visit my family and discovered I can write later too. I just have to sit my butt down and get it done. I do still need quiet and enough room to spread out, but locations and time constraints are less of an issue than I thought. I invested in a pair of wireless headphones, which makes working in crowded locations possible. Totally worth it!

What now?

Another piece of advice shoved down the throats of indie authors is that we must have a lead generator. A lead generator? What the heck is that? Basically, it’s a free book or novella or short story to give readers to get them hooked on our writing (and snag sign-ups for a newsletter). Typically, this piece is part of a series or a prequel to entice readers to start reading the series. I don’t have a lead generator. Who has time to write something (even if it’s just a short story) to give away for free? After I discovered I could write a novella in a month, my thoughts changed. I will be writing a novella (or perhaps just a short story) to give away to readers. I haven’t figured out what yet, but it’s happening.

I also decided to continue to add to my cozy mystery series. I’m hoping to continue with the Death by Cupcake series and add holiday related novellas to the series. I’m working on an idea for a Valentine’s Day book now.

My goal for 2019 was to publish four books. I’m considering raising that to five in 2020 and adding two novellas to the schedule. We’ll see…

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This blog post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. This is a monthly blog hop hosted by @raimeygallant. Make sure to stop by the other author blog posts in this month’s blog hop to fill up your author toolbox! Just click on the graphic to take you to the list.

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17 thoughts on “What I learned from writing a novella #WriterWednesday #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #AmWriting

  1. charityrau says:

    Great post! I have considered writing something shorter to use as a giveaway for email sign-ups, but wasn’t sure how effective it would be. I think I’m going to try it now. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brigitte Kirady says:

    An interesting read! I hadn’t really considered novellas as I don’t read them – but perhaps I should think more about it. I definitely plan to turn my novel into a series at some point, and I think you make some fair points about incorporating some novellas in there. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Louise Brady, Author says:

    Great tips, I love the idea of seasonal stories 🙂
    I plan to write prequel novellas, if I can keep them short enough, and a small short story for a lead generator (since the advice to have one was shoved down my throat during my MA ^^”)

    Liked by 1 person

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