Change of Plans

I’ve had a bit of an epiphany a few days ago.

This is a special birthday year for me, one with a 0 at the end, and I thought to myself if I want to get a novel published before that birthday, I’d better get a move on. I looked at the planned instalments I have left to wrap up the story for the Mythical Menagerie series, the tempo at which I write, and the amount of time spent in between each instalment for marketing and recovery and realised that I won’t be able to make it.

© I Am Baker

So… I won’t be publishing any more novelette-length sequels for the series until the entire thing is complete. Once it’s done, I will compile it all into one novel (title to be confirmed, but subtitled Mythical Menagerie: The Complete First Series) and release that novel wide on all platforms.

This decision has some consequences:

  1. Readers who have already bought the first three instalments (or some of them) are going to be upset that they would now have to buy another novel that contains a large section that they have already read and paid for.
  2. I won’t be getting paid for reads from Kindle Unlimited for the rest of the series.
  3. I won’t have anything new to release for the next 6 months.

It also has some perks:

  1. I won’t have to pay for covers for the additional 4 instalments that I envision right now.
  2. I won’t have to spend money and effort advertising novelettes when most people are interested in novel-length fiction.
  3. I will have a novel ready much sooner than anticipated.
  4. I get to rebrand my cover art genre appropriately.
  5. I get to write a blurb that covers the entire storyline.

Here are my thoughts on how I should proceed:

  • Complete the rest of the series in the same way – a sequence of instalments of novelette length, which will be combined into a single series, much like a TV show.
  • Decide whether or not Part 3.5 (seen from Amari’s point of view) should become Part 4 and be included with the rest (seen from Ambrose’s point of view) or if I should keep it aside as an additional reader magnet.
  • Get a genre appropriate cover for the novel (because although I love my current covers, after much research and expert opinions, I have to concede that they do not do what they’re meant to – which is to draw urban fantasy readers in).
  • Publish the novel wide and start running Facebook and Amazon ads.
  • Offer readers who have already bought the first 3 instalments a discount on the full novel (not sure how to do this at this point, but there must be a way – perhaps just a limited-time promotion and make sure they are aware of it…).
  • Take Beginner’s Luck (Part 1) out of KU so I can make it free as a series starter and update the blurbs on Part 2 and 3 so that it’s clear that there is a full novel now available. I’m not sure if it’s possible to remove them completely… I’d lose a few reviews if I do, but it might be for the best.
  • Alternatively, rebrand all the instalments and release them all separately in KU as I have been doing to get the best of both worlds (story available in KU and wide, but as separate entities to adhere to KU requirements).

Although my deadline for all of this is June 2019, realistically the crossover will probably only happen by July, since the big birthday I mentioned will be celebrated with an overseas holiday (as is my habit – you can read about this year’s plans here, if you’re interested) and I won’t be online to deal with any marketing that needs to happen in that time. I’m okay with that – it might not be before the big birthday date, but it will be in the birthday year, and that still counts!

If you have any thoughts or advice, I’d appreciate some feedback! I’m especially interested to know how you would handle the already-bought conundrum to avoid angering readers who have spent money already.

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