In retrospect I made an error. I published Love Death & The After Part 1: Darkness as a test case. Novels are a large investment in time. I was already ready to send two other novels I’d finished to an editor and was searching for an editor at the time I drafted LD&TA, the entire novel. I wanted to see if that novel had any promise before I invested in the rewrite. So I broke up the novel into four pieces, splitting then across logical big plot moments; creating cliffhangers for each part. I figured splitting a single novel into parts was a safe and a smart thing to do. Hugh Howey did it four or five times so have dozens of other indie pub writers. In additional I had this secret agenda: to bring back the inexpensive genre stories from the 70’s when I was a kid; low risk for a reader to try an unfamiliar author, less expensive to edit and faster to market for the author. We all have to eat.
In the process, I also found a decent editor who enjoyed my work and wanted to work with me. I was thrilled but had limited funds, so rather than submit the other two novels, I submitted part one of LD&TA. It was definitely a stronger narrative and I began to rewrite the other three parts based on the polish in part one. I had not planned on personal stuff -deaths, near deaths, complications – completely interfering with the work, in fact delaying part 2 for months, in the middle of editing. In the meantime I received favorable emails and texts about Part 1 but only one review made it to Amazon. Then a second from someone upset by the cliffhanger.
Apparently readers are split over… ya know, splits within novels. Even a few Howey readers were annoyed with Beacon 23’s inter-novel parts, although three commenters out of several hundred puts the cliffhanger-haters in the minority. If it bothered you, I realize my concept and execution was terribly flawed. Sometimes life happens. LD&TA will still come in parts by 2-4 will follow in sequence more rapidly. The final full novel will arrive in eBook and print as well after part 4.
A manager-editor-author cabal decision is to leave the parts available for readers who may want to test the waters with very little risk; a buck is just a buck after all. And it’s a good story – sales have been slow but steady. I keep getting surprise happy emails from readers I have never met. So there is good stuff in there. Good enough to justify a second novel based in that universe.
But from now on, however, count on full novels from me, unless another publisher decides to make that a thing on some other title. Full novels take longer but I need your happy reviews on Amazon and other outlets. I’m doing that for you.
Let me know in the comments if you’re a cliffhanger fan, like novels in pieces sometimes, or can’t stand them. I like to know things. And keep an eye out for Part 2.