Learn, Adapt & Move Forward!

Hello friends. It’s been a couple of busy-but-very-productive weeks, and I thought I would take a moment to share a quick progress update with you before yet another week flies by.

I went to my first writer’s/publisher’s conference last weekend and it was amazing! It was four days of learning, networking and realizing how much I still need to learn about becoming a successful author/publisher. The IBPA Publishing University was hands-down the best conference I’ve ever attended, and I have been to dozens of them over the years (mostly tech and healthcare, but conferences none the less).

The independent publishing community is an amazing group, and I met some of the most interesting people–people who motivated me, encouraged me and who offered their advice and support freely and without reservation. And the stories they had to tell! I was amazed at the multitude of diverse and interesting paths that led them to become writers and/or publishers…several of them were truly inspiring!

I titled this post “Learn, Adapt & Move Forward” because that was my biggest take-away from the conference. As far as learning: My poor brain feels like it received a master’s degree in publishing in four days! And based on that learning, I realized that I have to better adapt to the demands of the commercial book industry. I can’t just write whatver I want and hope that it will be successful. I have to not only understand my audience, but I also have to thoughtfully brand and position myself in a way that makes my work easy to categorize and find within the existing genre scheme.

That brings me to moving forward: I was told repeatedly by several experts that new authors with a series of books are far more likely to be noticed than those that put out a bunch of independent books that don’t relate to each other. Why is this? As it was explained to me, it’s because many readers prefer to find an author and a subject they like and stick with them.

This makes a lot of sense when you think about today’s big name authors, they all have a niche and their careers are built on writing a series of books that fans know and love (think JK Rowling, George RR Martin, James Rollins, Clive Cussler, James Patterson, etc). Why hunt for that lone “diamond in the rough” when you’ve already found an author with a proven track record of delivering stories you like to read?

So, based on that advice, I have decided to set The Fourth World aside for now (even though my 2nd draft is nearly finished) so I can focus on finishing and releasing books 2 and 3 in the Restoration series. I will share more details about the series in future blog posts, but for now it is enough to say that I am very excited to be back to work on Doctor Evan Feldman’s story!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Author: dcmcwhorter

Daniel C. McWhorter is the author of The Gaia Origin Series.