Editing and making myself finish the first series
I have been editing the next science fiction book. The plan is to hire an editor to go through it as well, since the previous books made enough income to pay for that. Editing will be the first service I pay for in my self-publishing journey. If things continue to go well, I might start buying proper on-market covers as the next step (but I also really like designing my own covers, so we’ll see…it’s just that I know nothing I come up with will be as good as a professional cover designer in my genre).
The more I write, the more ideas I get for future books. I want to take the first series to completion before starting another one, even though I am not happy with the writing or story building in my first book. I have a feeling that taking the series to completion despite the first book being bad is a better long term decision: there are so many writers starting series that they never finish, and I feel that I should show my readers (I have 200 newsletter subscribers now!) that I am dependable and in it for the long haul. Otherwise, once I start the next series people may not be as willing to read it, wondering if the author will just abandon it partway through.
This does present challenges, though. The second book got much better reviews than the first, but the first remains much more popular. I don’t really want to market the first book because I don’t like it. But the books are not entirely standalone, so just marketing the next books (which I think are better) won’t really work.
I might make the first book free when the next one comes out. This should drive more readers and maybe also make them more forgiving in terms of giving the next books a shot. The first book is also the shortest, so it won’t take people long to catch up on the story.
Overall though, I look forward to starting the next series with better writing and more experience.