The third book in my Guardians trilogy was FINALLY uploaded over the weekend. And I say finally because if there WAS a potential roadblock with this book, I hit it. These were mostly work-related blocks. I don't know if it was my day job schedule, or maybe it was harder to connect the proverbial dots to make this series complete than I thought. . . .
But one thing I really, really, REALLY struggled with was letting go.
And surprisingly, it wasn't the letting go of the final book that threw me. I'm really happy with what happened in the second and third books and where the characters end up. I feel like I tied the necessary loose ends, and, while I'm kind of nervous about the reaction once reviews start to roll in, I'm okay with this story meeting the wild.
The truth? I actually had a harder time letting go of the FIRST book in the trilogy, which has been out since late 2010.
Before I released Revelation, I went back and re-read both The Guardian and Vendetta just to make sure everything flowed/made sense. The Guardian was the tenth book I wrote. Revelation is the fifteenth. And, believe it or not, a LOT happened between those books. A voice change, for instance. Fewer unnecessary words. Even fewer adverbs. Tighter plots. More action. More envelope-pushing.
To be honest, I missed my final self-imposed deadline (Memorial Day) by three weeks *just* so I could go back and tweak the first book in the series.
As Indies, we have complete control of our work, and the uploading process is so convenient that it's easy to get caught up in a single project: revise and publish, revise and publish. Someone finds typos? Fix them and republish. Someone doesn't like xyz? Change it and republish.
There's nothing wrong with making changes, but don't let it consume you. Don't revise your ms into the ground. Things will change between books ten and fifteen. Don't put off writing sixteen because eleven, twelve, and thirteen could be stronger. Could they be stronger? Sure. There's always something that can be improved. The more you write, the better you get—that's just a fact.
We're given *so* much flexibility as Indies: we can adjust our keyword search terms, change categories, change prices, change covers, change content, and, when a book or series isn't selling as well as we'd like, or the reviews aren't what we hoped, it's tempting to want to Fix Fix Fix.
Know where to draw the line. Try to find a healthy balance. Take a deep breath. It's okay to experiment, but it's also okay to let go and move on. Because, more than anything else, it's important to write that second book. Or seventh. Or sixteenth.
That is all. :)
Katie Klein is a diehard romantic with a penchant for protagonists who kick butt. Her YA contemporary romance, Cross My Heart, is an Amazon Teen Top 100 Bestseller and was a 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best YA Fiction. She is currently celebrating the release of Revelation, the final book in the Guardians series, and, while she likes to get all Bieber-like with the Never Say Never, she's pretty sure she will never write a trilogy again. You can find her on the web at www.katiekleinbooks.com, http://katiekleinwrites.blogspot.com/, or https://twitter.com/#!/katiekleinbooks.