When I first started planning my ninth century novel about King Alfred and his battle against the Danes, I intended it to be just a single book.
I’d spent a long time researching the period, as well as spending time in Denmark and visiting various sites around Britain. So I had files full of information. As I continued to plan the book, I decided to widen the story by including a second protagonist. Eadwulf’s story became as long, and as important as Alfred’s
So that was the end of my plan to write a single book: I am presently writing Book Three of the trilogy.
Looking back, I now think I should have stuck with the idea of a single book. Not that I’m unhappy with the way my story is unfolding but . . .
. . . it all comes down to ‘The trials and tribulations of a first time novelist‘, which I wrote a post about when my blog had barely started.
On top of all the other problems that first-time writers encounter with self-publication and even more so, with self-promotion, I’ve come to realise that a trilogy isn’t the best thing to write first time round. A one-off would have been so much easier to present to traditional publishers as well as being easier to market and promote. Nor would I have felt under as much pressure to finish the next book in line. I’ve had several people who’ve reviewed both books saying they’re now waiting for Book 3. Oh dear…
These are the covers of the first two books of the Sons of Kings trilogy:
Where I went wrong was in not waiting until I had finished Book 3– or had at least written a good part of it – before publishing the first two books. I’ve read advice from various sources telling me that most readers aren’t happy to start reading trilogies unless they know they can work their way straight thorough all three books, so it’s best to wait until all three books are finished. I’m not sure whether that’s strictly true, but I do know that readers don’t like to wait too long for the next book to appear. I’m always eager to get my hands on the next book in a series I like, myself.
Well, it’s now almost a year since I finished writing Book 2, and I’d hoped to finish Book 3 by the end of this year. Unfortunately, I’ve spent a lot of time doing other things this year – including spending time away from home and writing a lot of longish posts on WordPress – and I’ve still some way to go before finishing the book.
It’s on this note that I have to say that from now my posts will be less frequent than they have been since earlier this year. I’m not taking a complete blogging break, just easing things off.
I also want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to all of you who downladed a free copy of Book One: Shadow of the Raven during its recent promotion on Amazon. I was really pleased with the overall number of downloads this time!