Thursday, December 9, 2010

Is This the End? - FAQ

In response to some questions/comments on my past two posts, I feel I need to say that it's not actually my decision as to whether there'll be another Elizabeth Goodweather book after the one coming out next year.  It will be the publisher's decision and they'll make that call based on sales. 


Sad but true -- it's a business.  If a series isn't continuing to sell more with each new release, the publisher will often drop the series.  And when a series hasn't done that well, it's unlikely that another publisher will want it. 

So what's an author of a dropped series to do? Often the author will come up with an idea for another series --  under a different pen name.  


Why a different name?  To entice booksellers and readers to take a chance on this 'new' author.  If Glamora Tynnsdale's (made up name)  books about a amateur sleuth who is also a professional tuba player haven't done well in the past, evidently booksellers will be reluctant to order her new series about a psychic CPA who solves murders -- unless that new series is written under a different name -- say, Tynnsdale G. LaMore.


Silly games.  But the reality of publishing is this -- it's all about the bottom line.

I still have good ideas for more Elizabeth books though . . . and conventional wisdom says that it often takes five or six books to really establish a series.


We'll see. I feel good about Under the Skin which is coming next October. But only time and sales will tell if the numbers are good enough to warrant more Elizabeth books. It will be probably be 2012 before it's clear one way or another. More waiting . . .

And, yes, I'm still waiting  to hear if my new characters find favor with Herself.  Maybe if I changed my name as well  . . . Victoria Elan . . . Victory Lane . . .

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17 comments:

Martin H. said...

Victoria Neal might work. I would steer away from Victory Lane, you don't want people walking all over you!

Marilyn said...

I am enjoying learning about the twists and turns of being a writer - this is very interesting.
And your photos portray a very cold world!

Pat in east TN said...

I always learn new, and interesting, things from you. Who'd a thought!?!?!

Brian Miller said...

victory lane...smiles...i was surprised at how many authors i read have had various pen names through out the years...

Brenda said...

Gosh, that would be hard, I always like to have my answers about such important questions "yesterday." Sounds like part of being a successful author, or at least a happy and contented one, is PATIENCE. Duly noted. :)

Star said...

That's tough really. The thing is that people take a long while to catch on. A stew tastes better when it's been in the oven for a long time, we all know that. Likewise the books and the characters in them take a while to be well known. I am on to book three now and I'm not in a hurry. I take my time, savouring every word and chapter, enjoying reading about the different culture. There's no rush. BUT, slowly and surely those characters are becoming part of my life and they're not going to go away. I want to follow them on through their lives. I want to watch Elizabeth and Philip grow older together and see what adventures the girls have.
Therefore, I might suggest that perhaps in stead of a whole new set of characters, which is a lot of work to create, perhaps you could write a book about Laurel or Rosemary, letting them become the leading lights, still turning to mum for help but becoming sleuths in their own right (write).
That would please me, anyway. I don't know about anyone else.
My own characters are always with me. I'm always looking for adventures to allow them to have. They won't go away either.
Good luck with it.
Trust yourself.
Blessings,Star

Star said...

ps love those icicles on the logs. Sooo cold looking, brrrr

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, Martin! (Groan...)

Yep, there were so many thing I didn't know ten years ago about this writing thing. And there's still a lot to learn.

Brenda -- oh, yes, one has to learn a great deal of patience. The thing is, my agent has other clients and my editor has a LOT of other authors. So it's not surprising that they don't drop everything at an email from Vicki -- sure would be nice, though!

Star -- oh yes, that was my thought -- to involve the rest of the family, perhaps have Laurel become a private investigator.

But, as I said, it's the numbers that determine whether I get offered another contract to write about the old familiar gang.

donotdisturb said...

coucou,
super ton blog, j'adore.
viens voir le mien, et dis moi ce que tu en penses ?
bisous XOxo

http://cupchopnuts.blogspot.com/

Darla said...

Gosh, you sound so calm and practical about it all, Vicki. :-)

AWESOME capture of the icicles in that first photo...

Tess Kincaid said...

I hate to think that everything is about money. Curse that bottom line. I cast a vote for Penny Lane, since the song comes to mind every time I visit your blog. :)

Tess Kincaid said...

...btw, the photos are stunning!!

Deanna said...

I had a boss once who had big plans on becoming a famous author. He had chosen the pen name to Nad Yeldiest - his real name spelled backwards. That seemed a bit far fetched to me - but then again, maybe it wasn't. Sadly, he passed away before he could pursue his dream.

Pretty pictures and interesting information as always.

Mama-Bug said...

Girl whatever name you decide to write under I'm gonna read it!!!
Love the icicles hanging from the wood. Keep warm!

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- Your two photos of ice and iced fire wood are fantastic!-- barbara

jeannette said...

Love your woodpile (makes me think of painting one:) )
Victoria sounds regal, but also dreamy or other-world like, mysterious like a Mona Lisa (I'm on a roll, can you tell?)

Tipper said...

Kinda makes me think the business of publishing books-is like a mystery novel itself : )