See you over there… please update your bookmarks.
For a business owner, one of the hardest goals to achieve is to duplicate your income. For brick and mortar stores, like fast food restaurants or furniture stores, the only way to double your income is to duplicate your location somewhere else.
The great thing about being a writer is every book you write is akin to another franchised storefront. Some of them will generate more income than others, just like some fast food joints are more profitable than others.
Yet, writing is a bit different. It’s even better. It’s not only like you’re opening another store, but, because of the collective nature of your work (people often read authors as much as they read stories), it’s as if you’re opening more stores in your own mall.
When people visit your site with a list of books, or Amazon (or other ebook retailer) and see your author page, writing a number of novels is like opening up more shops in the same mall. While the customers are checking out one your “stores,” if they’re interested, they’ll stroll over and check out the one next to it. And, if you write a novel series, its like creating a series of restaurants located one after the other in your mall, all designed, as a whole, to give you a complete and satisfying meal.
Thanks to the advent of ebook readers and reading apps for phones, there has never been a better time to be a writer in human history. And, because of the availability and freedom associated with the current business model, there has never been a better time to generate “franchisable” income from your work.
Now I just have to finish writing that first novel so I can open up the first of many stores in my mall.
Author Pete Bauer gives a tour of Safety Harbor, the small town that he used as inspiration for the setting of the novels.
I finished the first draft of Lost & Found this week and the writing process for this novel allowed me to finally find the correct voice and tone for all of the Gabby Wells novels. It was weird to me that it took two novels (that have since been trashed) and three novellas to find the voice for the overall storyline. But, that’s just what happened.
When I was about half way through Lost & Found, when I was making Gabby’s life miserable to biblical proportions, it started to feel right. When I was actually tapping the words on the keyboard, all of the elements started to coalesce and I felt a creative momentum building. When I was done with the draft, it made me realize two really important things:
The first was that I had to now match the tone with the other novellas. It actually won’t be that hard in Skyway. But The Homecoming Incident was much lighter and would need to grow darker and more gritty. I have some ideas which will help and they tie into the second thing I realized.
The second thing was that my brother Paul was right and all of these novellas should actually be turned into novels. That means adding an additional 10-20k words to each one. With the new tone and approach, it makes sense that the scope needs to widen and it would need to get darker. I also want to do a better job of layering in the spiritual elements Gabby deals with too. Not in a preachy way (I hate that) but in the overall world of the story. It’ll make more sense if/when you read the books.
This continual shifting in approach does bring with it a level of frustration, however. I feel like the novels are like a bathtub with the plug pulled and no matter how much I write, the words still spin down the drain. It’s like I’ll never get finished. But, I have to move forward because these decisions are the right thing to do. I just want to be able to check off “done” on one of these manuscripts so I can move onto the editing/book cover phase and get them to market.
And I’m sure, at some point, years from now when all of the novels are completed, people will comment on how it all seemed so planned out from the beginning and I’ll just laugh and send them to my blog entries which show the continuous alterations we’ve made since starting this process years ago.
I just have to keep plugging along. I have some time over the holiday weekend and I haven’t decided whether to start on the third novella or rewrite The Homecoming Incident first in order to be able to check something off my list. My heart tells me I should start on the third novella Tears & Miracles, but my impatient brain is telling me to rewrite the first one. I’ll let you know what I came up with.
The completion of the Gabby Wells storyline will take me some time. A couple of years. Not including the time it took to convert screenplays into novels that have since been tossed, just getting the novellas written, edited and published will probably take a year in total.
We’ll release the novellas, one at at time, every three months. That will give me a year to write as many of the Gabby Wells novels as I can, and we plan to release those every three to six months, depending on how fast I can write them. If I could have all of those novels written by the time the first novella is released, that would be great. That’s a lot of words in a short period of time, but that’s the goal.
But, I do plan a writing life after Gabby Wells.
Up until my adventures in novel writing, I expressed my creative storytelling through screenplays. I did that for over 20 years and many of those stories I plan to turn into novels.
The first non-Gabby story I will probably write is based on a screenplay I wrote called Redemption. It’s a horror story and my wife’s favorite thing I’ve ever written. I plan on that being the first in another series of books that involves a nun and modern takes on horror themes.
Plus, there are non-series stories I’d like to tell too. I have another screenplay called Martyrs that I would love to turn into a novel. It involves a young girl stuck at her father’s office as it is overrun by terrorists. And a novella from a screenplay called Forgiven, about a young woman driving across the country who happens stop at a gas station while it’s in the process of getting held up.
And there’s more. A lot more. Many, many stories.
I just hope I have time to write them all.