Tuesday, May 5, 2015

IWSG, Salem's Daughters, and Trilogy Box Sets

IWSG: It’s that time again for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group, the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. I’m co-hosting for Captain Ninja Alex this month, along with Lisa Buie-Collard, Eva Solar, and Melanie Schulz. And right after A to Z. Yay me! Somebody send me a straight jacket

This month I have a dilemma but after a bit of brainstorming the solution was obvious. I wanted to release Salem’s Daughters, previously titled Murcat Manor, this Labor Day Weekend. But my critique group and some of the agents and publishers I queried gave me feedback that put everything on hold. 

Nothing earth shattering. Just some minor tweaks here and there that are easily fixed. That being said, I’ve started querying again and have to be realistic October (the month of Halloween) would be a much better target date. 

I'll Have a More Professional Image Soon
Silver Lining: I’m combining the Breakthrough trilogy into one e-book box set. That’s kind of the thing now and many of these e-book box sets are hitting Amazon Top 100 rankings in sub genres. 

So all is not lost. I have some promos involved to reach brand new audiences. We’ll see what happens. But I’m excited that I’ll have two releases for this year. The Breakthrough Trilogy Box Set this Labor Day Weekend and Salem’s Daughters in October. 

Question: Have you had to shuffle release dates and put things on hold knowing it's better this way?


93 comments:

  1. I think October is a great month for your Salem's Daughters :) MIght have more of an impact in the "spooky" month of October!

    betty

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    1. Thanks betty for your support! Much appreciated.

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  2. It might be better to go with Halloween, but I'm sure it's frustrating when you had a release date in mind. Yes, Stephen, you must have rocks in your head! Glad you survived the A-Z!

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    1. Denise, actually the rocks are marbles and they are spilling out my ears and rolling across the floor.

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  3. I haven't been lucky enough (or been brave enough) to take the dive and be where you are, Stephen… I'm sure some day I'll relate, but gosh, it all seems so complicated and tricky!!!

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  4. Hi Stephen, thanks for co-hosting. I know it's frustrating when you're all ready to charge on into something, but if someone's telling you to hang fire and re-think some things then it's probably good advice. And yes, Halloween sounds ideal for Salem's daughters. :)

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  5. October sounds like a good time for your book. And yes, I've had to push back release dates. Sometimes I needed longer. Once I was in the midst of a move and everything had to be put on hold, especially since I didn't have internet. That was extremely frustrating. Best of luck co-hosting :)

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    1. TBM, life happens. We just need to be flexible and raise the white flag on our original plans.

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  6. I haven't had to do so, but I think it's common. Sounds like you have good reasons to wait to release yours.

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  7. I'm not at your stage in advertising and marketing, but I think Halloween sounds like the right time. Got to go with what makes the most sense!

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  8. Yup. In fact, that's what my post is about.

    Fwiw, October sounds like a great release date for Salem's Daughters. Sometimes change can be a good thing in the end.

    Thanks for co-hosting from the padded cell. ;)
    IWSG #134 until Alex culls the list again.

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  9. Actually that might be a blessing in disguise, as October would be a much better release month.
    Cool your trilogy will be a boxed set.
    Thanks for co-hosting today after last month's insanity!

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    1. Alex, insanity it is! I'm just now getting around to reading the comments.

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  10. Now, that you mention it, I've even been buying more box-sets myself lately. Halloween sounds great, and it's better to have a good book than a 'punctual' one (I think this is one of the few industries where that's actually completely true). Thanks for co-hosting and good luck!

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  11. Hi, Stephen! Thanks for co-hosting.

    Congratulations for finishing last month's A to Z Challenge and for your two releases for this year! Shuffling release dates is fine. I'm sure it's a lot better that way. Good luck!

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  12. Congrats on your boxed set. That's totally awesome. I don't see a problem with shuffling a release date if it's going to make the book better.

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  13. Hope that boxed set takes off. I know a writer who did that with a bunch of other writers and they did really well. Timing is out of my hands for my books since my publisher decides all that.

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    1. Susan, I've found since my word count is usually around 130,000 words per book most publishers will not want to pick me up because the cost of physical books becomes too much to produce. That's okay. I've had 10,000 in sales of physical books and downloads and have been in Barnes and Noble by self publishing so if I have to go that route again I will.

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  14. October would be the ideal release date. God's timing.

    Let me know when you put your set together and I'll put it in the sidebar of my blog. AND if you want to star on my blog with a post on a Friday, let me know.

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    1. Thank you Theresa! I'll make a note to take you up on that.

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  15. Why yes, I am rethinking a current project. I had sent queries out, but then got a fantastic idea for strengthening the whole shebang, so it's back to edit-mode. Or maybe I'll do anything to stay out of the query trenches? Hmm . . .

    Good luck on your launches.

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  16. It's frustrating, but you're right, October would be much better. Good luck! And the box set looks great!

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  17. It's better to wait and have a quality product. Congrats on the successes. Thanks for co-hosting!
    Play off the Page

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  18. Hi Stephen and thanks for co-hosting. It's so hard to delay a project but it's usually the right choice, isn't it? Still, we want our words out there and it's better not to regret our decision after-the-fact. Congrats on your successes!

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  19. Absolutely--much better to wait and have the best possible book.

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  20. Better to be ready than to be tardy. Okay, that doesn't make sense, but waiting is good if the end product is better. Thanks for co-hosting again, Stephen. You're the best!

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  21. Yes, and I agree, it's better to have all the pieces in place than to put out something you know is below your standard. Good luck, and thanks for co-hosting today! Lisa, co-host #IWSG, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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  22. Hi Stephen,
    Oh yes, lots of holds in my life. The box set sounds like a great idea. Good luck ith everything.
    Nancy

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  23. October would actually be the perfect time to release Salem's Daughters! :D

    I don't self-publish so I haven't had to put back a release date, but I have had to put back my own goal of when to submit a manuscript to my editor/publisher.

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  24. I've changed some self-imposed deadlines and release dates recently. I didn't want to, but I think it works out better this way. Good luck with all of your upcoming projects!

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  25. Wish I had that problem... If you are going to self publish, then getting it out before Halloween is very important. If you are going to traditionally publish, getting it to them the sooner the better and it may not make it to the shelves by this Halloween. Good luck with your querying.

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    1. Thanks Sharon. I may just start my own publishing company just for my books.

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  26. Brilliant, great change of name, and an excellent time to have the book published, Stephen.

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  27. I have to admit, I think the month of October is the perfect time for the release of a series called Salem's Daughters! If it's out then, count me in as a Halloween reader!

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  28. I understand the desire to get your book out, but I agree that October is a great month for it, so it sounds like the decision is for the best. Good luck and thanks for co-hosting.

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  29. I'm in the middle of one as we speak. I needed technical advice and the person who could provide wasn't available until just this week. That delayed me over a month. Now that we've chatted, it was well worth it. I'm excited to get back to my writing and tie up all the pieces.

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    1. Good for you Jacqui! Good luck going forward.

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  30. Here's to October success! You can have my straight jacket as soon as I take it off.

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  31. I've had to reschedule and reschedule, but it sounds it's for the best. Still, very exciting so good luck with querying.

    shahwharton.com

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  32. I haven't had to do this yet, but I've decided against setting firm release dates until I put a book up for pre-order, just in case anything gets delayed! Good luck with the release! :)

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  33. You're way further into the rabbit hole than I am, so I have no personal story to share here. However, I have noticed the prominence of box sets on Amazon, so that is very likely a good move for you. Most people would rather pay less for an entire series if they think it's something they'll enjoy. Who doesn't want a deal???

    You mentioned character logs on my blog. I confess I don't know what those are...

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    1. Robin, I'll post one on an upcoming blog and let you know. Maybe i'll do it tomorrow.

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  34. I can't believe you're co-hosting right after the A-Z Challenge! Big,major thanks to you :)

    Yeah, I tend to try and rush things, but it's always better to wait and put a polished, BETTER book out there later. Good luck!

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  35. Great post! As an obsessive planner, I tend to have a grand plan for when I want to release a novel. And then life happens. I do like the increased control over the timeline that self-publishing provides, but there are still sometimes kinks. Sounds like you will appreciate making sure you put the best product out there even if it's a bit delayed.

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    1. Jennifer, we have to remain flexible, And yes, I do want to put out the best product so i humbly accept the delay.

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  36. Wish to hell I had! Note to my publisher: NEVER release a book over the summer long weekend. NEVER do a paid blog tour in August. grin - all things I've learned the hard way.

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  37. Congratulations Stephen! And thanks for co-hosting. October’s a great month for your Salem’s Daughter. It ties in with Halloween which you can also use for promotional and marketing ideas. I had a release date around the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays to tap into the shopping mood. But then I realized it would be better to release it earlier instead. And I found a nice little website, http://www.holidayinsights.com/, to help me. Congrats again and good luck!

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  38. I think October would be the perfect month for the release of a title like Salem's Daughter. My straight jacket from A-Z is stuck, so it'll be a while til I can get it completely off. :) Thanks for helping co-host with me this month. I love it! Best of luck with your works. Eva, IWSG co-host

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  39. October seems a good month to release for Witches anyways.

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  40. Congratulations on both of your future releases. Things usually work out for the best. I've had stories postponed for various reasons. I just get busy with something else and wait. :) Good luck with yours.

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  41. Life and other things often mess up my plans. :) Being flexible helps. My advice (not that you asked for it LOL) don't release a book until you're ready. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

    Best wishes.
    IWSG #108

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  42. I'm not far enough along to worry about release dates yet, but it's always a smart idea to have your best work on display.

    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month!

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  43. Now the cat makes sense ;) Glad it's not a major overhaul. Good luck with the revisions. And, thanks for co-hosting!

    Elsie

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  44. Your goal sounds quite doable. Break a pen on the boxed set and the new story! I debated changing the release date for my next, for many personal reasons, turns out keeping the deadline helped me out. Now that it's met, my days are harder.

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    1. Mary, I can totally see your books as a Box Set, even if it's for a limited time only.

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  45. I end up putting things on hold all the time because I'm ill prepared. But things typically work out in the end. Best of luck with your release plans!

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  46. Honestly, October sounds like the perfect time to release Salem's Daughters. BTW: Love the new title (and not just because I live in Salem, either!). Edgier and more menacing.

    I only wish I had control of my release date, but it's too late to worry about it now, so I'll be enthusiastic instead. :)

    VR Barkowski

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  47. You are way ahead of me on the game on this one. Sounds like you made a wise decision and that your novels will be better for it.

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  48. I've had the shuffle a time or two, some ahead, some back. Have to do what we have to do. But October sounds like the perfect month indeed

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  49. I love the new title Stephen!! And books have to shuffle all the time for one reason or another...

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    1. I do too. I'll keep the name of the bed and breakfast as Murcat Manor though. But yeah, Salem's Daughters is much better.

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  50. A boxed set is a wonderful idea, Stephen.

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  51. I've seen boxed sets are all the rage right now. Last year, I had to outright halt stuff. This year, I've only had to shuffle one thing and that was to push back a date so I could set up pre-order for my 3rd novella. I mostly just wanted the link early.

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  52. I saw your comment at 'YOUR Daily Dose-Robin' regarding g character logs and would like more info in this topic.

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    1. I might put that up for tomorrow's post. If I do I'll let you know.

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  53. Hi Stephen,
    I haven't had my first release experience yet, but I can say that I know how it feels to find out your book is not yet ready to put out there. The middle of 2013, I thought my first book was ready until I submitted to a writer's critique group ran by a senior editor who does some free lance acquisition work for some publishers. Well, to put a long story short, they found holes in my novel that I really didn't see because I was much too close to it. Because I didn't expect it, I was shocked and angry and thought so what? But after I calmed down and looked at the comments that were very well written but still showed an element of caring, I went back to my book and knew, Patricia, you have a lot of work to do. So the year 2014 was my year for honing my writing skills, reading how to books by people like James Wood, Ralph Keyes, Sol Stein and a couple of others, and reading novels they mentioned as examples of how an element in a scene or a chapter is written. Now, I'm about to rejoin this same group and I hope the work I've done will pay off as I began to query the agents I've chosen to query.

    Shalom,
    Patricia

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    1. Thanks Patricia for the in depth comment! And best wishes to you and your projects moving forward.

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  54. I agree about October! Wishing you tons of good luck :)

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  55. If writers can't be flexible, the stress will overwhelm. A friend of mine had to postpone multiple times to get her project right, but it was worth it.

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  56. October is the purrr-fect month for your release I believe. With a trad publisher you have no control over releases, but with my indie I sketch out a timeline and can be flexible on the release day. I never want to release something unless it is really really ready. Thanks for co hosting!

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  57. It's always great to have early feedback when you're still in time to fix things and make the book stronger. Better hear it now than in a 1-star review! ;-) Best of luck !!

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  58. October sounds like a perfect release for Salem's Daughters!

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  59. Salem's Daughters sounds like an interesting read and Halloween would fit right in title theme. Wishing you much success with it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog and being a co host this month. Best of Luck, Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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    1. Thanks Juneta for stopping by and saying hello!

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  60. I've totally been there. You make plans and realize that like it or not, they often have to be changed. Sometimes thought, like in your case of the October release, it actually works out better. Thanks for co-hosting and thanks for sharing.

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  61. October sounds like it would be a great spooooky month for a book release titled Salem's Daughters! I've started querying again too...not fun, but it must be done! Good luck with everything! :)

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  62. Sounds like that's a good move even if wasn't your first choice. Best of luck. I'm making rounds to let everyone know there's a contest a foot.

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  63. Halloween is the perfect time!! You know, I truly believe sometimes things don't work out the way we want for a reason. Sometimes to keep us from harm, sometimes to give us something better! This is one of those times!
    Stopping in from Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. Well said Barbara. I feel comfortable about the decision.

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  64. Hi Stephen - I agree with everyone - Halloween time seems more sensible and theme related - good luck with all the tweaks etc ... and also for putting your Breakthrough Trilogy into e-book format .. congratulations .. cheers Hilary

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  65. I'm working on a novel that I hope will be finished in the fall so I can publish in October. Yes - that's a great month to publish horror. Good luck with pubbing your box set, and have a lovely weekend! :)

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    you have a lovely blog,
    i followed you DEAR, please kindly follow back.
    http://melodyjacob1.blogspot.com/ #MELODYJACOBS
    thank you.

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  67. October sounds like the perfect release date for your book! I haven't had to put back a release date (yet!), but I constantly have to push back my own personal writing deadlines because I keep getting distracted - whoops! Good luck with your box set, and thanks so much for stopping by my blog :).

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  68. I'm shuffling dates all the time. October for your release does make sense, though. And best wishes for your box set.

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  69. Halloween and Salem's Daughter are a perfect match. Best of luck with the boxed set.

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  70. The Halloween timing sounds much more suitable. It's hard when you're really set on something to stand back and think logically. Happy tweaking :-)

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  71. The boxed trilogy idea sounds really smart!
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    (I know I'm late, but as they say - better late than never...)
    Writer In Transit

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