The series was canceled by the publisher early this year, as previously mentioned on the blog. I’m still getting a lot of emails asking about continuing the series, why I’m not pursuing self-publishing, why I’m not trying to continue with it…etc…
Sooooo…there are a number of reasons. Time, money, the drop in sales, etc.
The drop in sales…While writing is definitely what you can call a labor of love, just laboring on something isn’t going to help me meet my obligations as a person…as a mom with kids, as a wife, a partner in a marriage, etc. We’ve got bills. Loving to write and putting out words doesn’t meet those obligations. Spending time on a series that isn’t paying out very well is taking away time from the books that are helping me to meet my obligations. I realize boiling it down to the numbers isn’t anything readers want to hear, but it is something I have to consider. Something that really sucks is how many thousands of pirated copies of the Hunters books I’ve had to fight to get off the net…maybe if even 10% more of those who had pirated had just bought the damn books instead, I might consider investing the time in trying to pursue it, but I’ve seen the numbers on my end and I just don’t know it’s the wisest biz decision.
Money… Yes, that word again, but not for the same reasons. Self-publishing is expensive. Contrary to what some people make it out to be, you don’t just slap a book together and throw it up on Kindle/Nook. I invested close to $1000 upfront for formatting, editing, covers, distribution and promo on Blade Song and the sequel cost more, because the editorial work on Blade Song (typos, etc) wasn’t as good as it could have been, so I invested in a better line editor for book 2. This series is going very well, though, and it’s worth it, on my end, because I’ve seen that investment pay off. I will be honest…if I hadn’t seen a return on that investment, and a profit, I wouldn’t have gone forward with book two. I can’t spend money and time on something that isn’t going to work out, business wise. And it all comes back to that, in the end. I love writing. I want to do this for the rest of my life. Which means, I have to make wise business decisions…if I’m spending time and money on things that aren’t working out for me, (that means…making a profit)…then I can’t keep writing, I have to go back to nursing and there are no more books. Considering the drop in sales with the Hunter series, I question whether it would be a wise decision to pursue self-publishing it, especially with the upfront cost. Plus…I can’t afford it at this point.
Time… This is a doozy. There are 24 hours in a day and nothing we do or say will change that fact. I can only write for so many hours in a day and a certain amount of that time has to be focused on contracted projects. Those projects come with deadlines and I have to keep my deadlines. I love my editors and I want them to be happy with me and I also have readers who kind of want those other projects done, too. Basically, I do have other commitments and I can only do so much. At some point, something has to give. I can’t chase after every option that might be out there to try and keep that series alive, especially when it’s been in a slump. It just never caught the interest it needed to stay alive for the long haul.
At some point, everything has to end. Hunter’s Rise was a solid book and Toronto was one character I definitely wanted to get to. I had that chance.
Does this mean I’ll absolutely never write another Hunter book? I don’t believe in saying never. But it would take a pretty impressive thing to get me to consider it, and I’d have to have more time on the table first. Who knows…maybe paranormal will swing back around again and the sales will spike. If there’s enough reader interest in it, I can look at it later down the road, but at this point? I just can’t.