I’m currently working on a space fantasy called STARCHILD. It will be a trilogy of novellas.
So why did I start a new series rather than finish an existing one?
It’s a business decision: The goal is to earn enough money to switch to being a full-time author. Which will mean I can publish books for you faster.
The first consideration is the limitations of a sequel. A sequel can only sell a percentage of what its predecessor sold. So if I write LOCKE: AZURE WINDS, it won’t sell more copies than I’ve already sold of LOCK: DARK EMPYREAN. And while I’ve sold a couple thousand copies, it’s not enough. The same goes for ECKSDOT and its sequel METAMORPHOSIS. Of course, if I finish a series, that will make people more likely to buy the first volume, right? True. Which leads to my next consideration: how long will it take to finish each series?
SONG OF LOCKE is 135k words long. If I write miraculously fast, I might finish the next book in 1 year. So it’s a minimum of 2 years to complete the series (but, let’s be realistic—it’s probably more like 4). ECKSDOT has 4 volumes in the series, so we’re talking 3 (or 6) years to complete the series. But with STARCHILD I’m taking a different strategy. Each episode will be a novella about 50k long, or 150k total. Basically I can write all three of those in the same amount of time it would take to write one sequel. So I asked myself, which would sell better: a middle novel in an unfinished series, or a trilogy of novellas in which the first one is free?
In sum, writing STARCHILD is (hopefully) a 1-year project. It will give me a quick route to a marketable, finished series, which I imagine will help sales. That income will in turn give me more writing time, which means the sequels you’re dying to read will come out sooner. This schedule just means those sequels will have to wait one extra year. The good news is that I will finish—I promise. Patience, young padawan. And even with this delay, I expect to finish before George Martin finishes GAME OF THRONES. And probably before Sanderson finishes THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE too.
Besides, you’re going to love STARCHILD.
So, what do you think of this plan?
(P.S. Oh, and by the way, after I finish STARCHILD, I’ll have readers vote on whether I should finish SONG OF LOCKE or ECKSDOT next. That should be fun to see.)