Sunday, September 22, 2013

Update on Neima's Ark...and Why I Broke the Story into Two Parts

So I'm working my butt off on Forty Nights right now--I swear!--but with some other obligations I have at the moment, I'm afraid there's a good chance it won't be ready by the end of September.  It really is close, though, and I'm hoping for the second week of October at the latest.  But I know this sucks, and I figured I owed everyone a thorough explanation for why I chose to publish this story in two parts...

The reason is...

...are you ready?...

I did it for myself.

So maybe not the best reason, but hey...

At least I'm honest, right?

So...I started working on the Neima's Ark novel with an agent, and due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, the forward momentum of the project was stalled for a significant while.  In January 2013, I finally decided to leave my second agent and become a full-time indie author for the time being.  Even if I couldn't make as much money or be as well-known on my own, I just needed to do it for my own sanity and well-being.  I knew that as an indie author, I needed to start working on something more commercial, and that became Precious Things.  At the same time, most of what became Forty Days was done, and I showed it to a few readers and got some really enthusiastic responses.  I am not a super-fast writer, and I knew that as an indie, it's better to get more books out there, more frequently.  In addition, my first self-published novel was in verse, which some people just will not read, so I wanted to publish something in prose and hopefully expand my audience a bit.  And frankly, I was tired of waiting.  I wanted to publish!

So...I published Forty Days.  My original hope was to get Forty Nights out by June, then August, but obviously that didn't happen.  Things came up, as they always do.  In addition, Forty Nights is probably the most challenging thing I've written, thematically and in terms of plot and language. So it's taking a long time to get right.

Forty Nights challenged me, yes...but it isn't super long.  Many people will think, rightly, that these two could easily have been combined into one book and released at one time.  But Forty Days is now free, and the most I charged for it was 1.99, while the most I'll charge for Forty Nights is 2.99.  So that's still less than a paperback.  In addition, I have a little character guide at the beginning of the second volume, so I don't think it will be a problem if your memory of the first half is a little fuzzy.

And I will add that for some readers, like me, the two-volume thing might actually be an advantage.  It was certainly helpful in writing it, in that I felt like I could expand some things in the second half without worrying it was getting too long.  And as someone who is a slow reader and overwhelmed by long books, I like taking breaks and reading things in more digestible chunks, especially if there's a natural starting and ending place to each one.  I know I'm in the minority here--most reviews I read say books were too short, when I think they were too long!--but there's gotta be someone else like me out there, right?

And finally, I'll add that if I hadn't published Forty Days when I did, I probably would have given up on this story entirely.  So at least I tricked myself into finishing it!

I'll leave you with something that should make most readers happy...

No elephants were harmed, or will be harmed, in the making of Forty Nights!



  1. I know exactly what you mean about going indie for your sanity and well being. I made the same choice when my agent and I parted ways. Forty Days and Forty Nights sound awesome. I'll definitely be checking them out!

  2. My motto for 2013 has been that you have to do what's best for YOU. I truly believe that, and I'm finally living it. Only you know what's best for you & your books, even if it's not what the majority of indie authors do. You have to do things Stephanie's way because when it's all said and done, you still need to enjoy it. :) I'm excited to read Forty Days & Forty Nights!