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013T – What Are We Going to Write Next?

Whether you're first starting out, or you've published several books, choosing which story idea to work on next can be difficult. We're creative and we've generally got a lot of ideas!

Since I started writing when traditional publishing was pretty much the only way to go (unless you wanted to fill your garage with boxes of books and try to sell them yourself), I followed the traditional advice: don't write a series until you sell book one. So I had three “book one” books on my computer when I started self-publishing. Not helpful in generating optimum sales.

This year, I did my first ever reader survey to find out what my readers most wanted to read in 2018. The results were surprising! There is an almost even split among the three series with the superhero series topping the list.

Since the results weren't overwhelmingly in favor of a single series, I still have to do some real thinking about what I'm going to write this year in order to create the most useful production schedule.

There are four main considerations when choosing what we will write next.

  1. Have you finished a book yet?
  2. Are you passionate about a particular story more than the others?
  3. Do you have a particular new interest?
  4. Do you want to write and finish a series (at least 3 or more books)?

The great thing about a series is readers might love book one so much that they buy all the rest of the books in the series at once when they finish book one. I felt this way about Rachel Aaron's Heartstrikers urban fantasy series, which begins with Nice Dragons Finish Last.

If you still can't decide which book to write next, which one will take you the least amount of time? Which one requires the least amount of research? Or if you have more time now than you will later this year, maybe you should work on the book that requires more research while you have time.

If you're like me, you want to write all your story ideas at the same time! But we can't do that. 😀 We have to choose. Good luck!

Note: My annual class, Going the Distance: Time and Project Management for Writers, is open for registration now. Class starts on Monday, January 15, 2018, and there is a live online workshop on Saturday, January 20. I'm leaving registration open through Friday, January 19, so check it out!


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