Way back in March 2017, I was faced with a choice. I’d just finished the first Demon Spring book and it was off to my beta readers. I had to decide if I was going to go forward with that or return to the Lexie Carrigan Chronicles. Having gone back and forth with the Madion Trilogy (Island, break for Lexie 1, Chasm, break for Lexie 2, Union), I found it difficult to shift gears mentally between a sunshiney YA and a much heavier war story. Faced with a similar quandary with Demon Spring, I opted to put down Lexie until the trilogy was complete.
So how’d that work out for me?
Things I Liked
Like the Madion Trilogy, Demon Spring isn’t a world that was familiar to me. Lexie and Razia have all been sitting around in my mind since I was a teenager. When I write plots in those worlds, I don’t have to wonder about the intricacies. They’re as real to me as this world. But with Demon Spring, I was pulling world outta my butt as I went. It’s no surprise that world changed.
With The Island, I was able to fudge my worldbuilding a little. After all, Theo and Galian were stuck on an island. I could put off a bit of worldbuilding until Chasm. With Demon Spring, I needed to have the world fully fleshed out in the first book. Ergo, writing everything together allowed me to go back and forth between books and “update” the world as I learned more about it.
It also gave me time and space to really think about plots. Sometimes, I get rushed and think, “Meh, it’s fine for now. Don’t overdo it.” Inevitably, it’s those scenes that haunt me two years later and wondering “What if I’d done more?” With Demon Spring, I could take the time to fill in those scenes and make it richer.
To wit, in both Redemption and Revival, I sent a version to my betas, got comments back, then added entire new scenes to fix what I saw as a pacing issue. I also changed names multiple times.
From a sales perspective, the big reason why I decided to release in 90 day increments is Amazon’s preorder window. When the first comes out, the second will be preorderable, thus allowing me to capture that sale immediately. The second comes out, the third will be ready to click that button. I’ll let you know in August how that worked out for me.
Things I Didn’t Like
I didn’t like not making money. Putting a pause on publication meant I didn’t release anything new for about ten months (MWT box set doesn’t count). Coupled with pulling back on conventions and growing an audience base in the urban fantasy sphere, and my sales across the board TANKED. It was pretty grim there for a few months.
Speaking of money, did you know that getting three books ready for publication is expensive? I ended up budgeting and spending about $4,000 total on everything Demon Spring, including the Insider Special, editing, PSA video, book swag, prizes, and more. I also invested in an artist to draw me some demonic portraits.
But it’s all worth it.
PS: Buy the book.
Would I Do It Again?
Full disclosure, I wrote this blog post at the beginning of September. I actually wrote all the blog posts in September 2017. For the entire year–until August 2018. I’d also completed the first draft of the final book and was in revisions. The other two books were at the editor. By December, I was locked and loaded for the entire year almost.
While I didn’t like taking the six month pause, it did give me time to get my ducks in a row. I’m now on a more traditional publication stage, where books are ready well in advance of publication date. I’m currently in the middle of finishing the final two Lexie books, and eyeing my next steps for 2019. I have plenty of time to get it all done and do the appropriate building up of review copies and whatnot.
The real test will come in August, when I look back at my sales and see what kind of follow-on sales I get.
Demon hunter Jack Grenard’s life changed three years ago when his wife was brutally murdered by the very demons he’d been hunting. At the urging of his partner Cam Macarro, he’s starting a new life in Atlanta, hoping he’ll find the man he used to be. But on a routine hunt, they come across a new type of demon–one that saves instead of kills.
Meanwhile, demons across Atlanta are preparing for the quadrennial uprising of their Underworld brethren. Worse yet, there’s a rumor the so-called king of the demons, Bael, will appear for the first time in over a century. Jack and Cam must uncover the truth about the mystery woman before all hell–literally–breaks loose.
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