I have this weird science fiction fantasy crossover series. It sells much, much better than all the rest, altogether. So it’s a good thing that it’s fun to write in.
The problem is that the world, multiverse, in this case, keeps expanding and getting more complex and now I’ve got all these things happening at about the same time, with occasionally interacting groups of characters. The last three books had my beta readers complaining of slow starts because I keep introducing new people, and when I finally cycle back to the first group, they’ve nearly forgotten what they’re doing and why.
I sat back and looked it over, and realized I was packing so many subplots in that not only was the main problem hard to sort out from the rest, it was nearly impossible to identify a main character. It seemed like every single character had a different problem.
For the first book, I ripped out some threads, and then expanded and added scenes with the main character POV. I made the other threads interact more often and made that interaction important to the main story line. I think it worked.
But the terms “chaotic” and “confusing” keep showing up in reviews. Time to try something a bit different.
So, I’m now in the process of turning two novels into seven stories of various lengths. In my rough ripping, they vary from 10K to 41K. As I write in the transitions and develop the main characters of each story, I may well wind up with three shortish novels and four novellas.
Well, they’ll be less chaotic and confusing. Whether they’ll sell as well as the full length novels do, is something I’ll find out through experience.
On the marketing, several problems and possibilities are immediately obvious. How do I price a “less complex” shorter novel? With all the added material, there will be more words, more story, and more character development in the seven than the original two novels, so I won’t feel too guilty if the total adds up to more than the two novels. But will the readers agree?
And then there’s KU. For me, this will be a win, since Amazon is paying the same for short titles as long. So far. I’ll have seven titles available, instead of two. I am, of course, making the crass assumption that anyone borrowing one, will return to get them all. Umm, maybe I shouldn’t count my chicks quite yet?
And then there’s those pesky author ratings. From what I’ve seen, from others’, getting into the top thousand seems to generate enough notice and sales to keep one up there. If I horde these seven stories, and release them all at once will that do the trick? It seems like every new book bounces me into the top 2000, so surely . . .
Bah. Humbug. I hate marketing. I shall try the seven story blitz, and report on the results, if any, when it happens.
So. Anyone else have any bright ideas?
What’s your problem? 🙂
Oh, the obligatory self promo:
A simpler story:
And the one described as chaotic: