When I think back on how my fantasy series, the Aglaril Cycle, got to its current state, I just shake my head. It seems to be I've been caught in a time loop, constantly rewriting the same parts over and over again.
I wrote the original draft of the entire series, as one book, about five years ago. It came to about 1000 pages and I said to myself no one will print a book that big. I revised it once, trimming it to about 750 pages.
But still no one wanted it.
I decided to split the book into two parts. The first part came out at about 300 pages and I uploaded it to Lulu.com for sale. And it went nowhere so I never finished the second part. Of course, I didn't advertise much and that's my mistake. I don't think I understood the whole premise of self-publishing. Self-publishing also, self-marketing, and self-distribution. It is like have a small business where you sweat the small stuff. But I digress.
After a year in Lulu, I took the first part and divided it into two books again. The first book, Aure, the Topaz is in Smashwords and Lulu ... and by extension Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Kobo, Apple, Sony, and a few other places. This version I have sold and the second book, Vorn, the Onyx, is due out by the end of the year, ending the dreaded time loop. With book 3, I'll be exploring new ground because of all the changes in the first two novels.
This has been a long road and I've learned a lot about writing, myself, and the whole publishing end of the business. The moral to my tale is: plan ahead. I did some planning, but not enough. And I was not prepared for the whole marketing effort that is required. This time out, I've got a few ideas on how to get an audience; I'm sure it is going to be as slow (or slow) as building an audience for this blog.
And even with all I've learned I'm sure there is still more to learn. Things about the business of a small press or the market that I don't know or fully appreciate it.
That may come in time or it may not. We'll see.