The Journey to a Second Published Book

I’ve got two published books under my belt now! Ice was released this past Friday on Amazon. It is the second part of the Clarity series, which chronicles Ren Grant’s journey from a lonely, hunted girl on Earth to a legend in a faraway galaxy. I’m incredibly proud of the series so far, both The Watch and Ice have come out exactly how I envisioned them.

I started Ice back in November 2013 as my NaNoWriMo project. The Watch was written, edited, and generally cleaned-up all in July 2013, but I held onto it for a while hoping to have it published by a publishing house. After numerous rejection letters, I settled on publishing it myself through Amazon KDP & CreateSpace.

Anyway, I finished the bare bones of Ice in Nov ’13. It had around thirty chapters, all in quite the rough state. I set about cleaning it up a bit as I prepared The Watch for its Jan ’14 release and found myself adding more to the story than I was editing. Ice swelled to forty chapters by March ’14 and introduced two new POV characters, Keeper Oliver Booth and Keeper Abel Llewin.

I started condensing some chapters together and cleaned it up, so that I was back under forty chapters. Yet, sometime during my subsequent round of editing, I decided that Ice would be barren without two more POV characters and no less than forty-five chapters. So Tove Duyenya and Keeper Sofia Kovács joined the party and Ice hovered around a healthy 600 pages.

In comparison, The Watch has twenty chapters and less than 300 pages.

Ice was a monster. From when I consider to be the “official” end-time of adding new material in early Oct ’14, I was editing. I will admit that span of time was particularly hard for me. I was overwhelmed by the scope of what I was attempting: how much I had to keep track of, the immensity of maintaining continuity, and making sure each POV character possessed a distinct voice. I originally set the publication date for Ice in Jan ’15 (for symmetry), then pushed it back to Feb ’15, before finally settling on March 27th, 2015. This is one of the great reliefs of publishing independently, and I treasure the freedom to finish when I’m finished.

In the end, I couldn’t be prouder of Ice. It is exactly what I wanted it to be. It’s been a long process, but in a lot of ways I feel more like an author with the publication of Ice than I did with The Watch. I guess it’s because I spent so much more time with Ice, or maybe because it it so much longer and meatier, or maybe because I finally understand why my favorite authors take years to publish the next book in a series. The Watch burst out of me, breathless and complete, already composed. Ice was gentler, more gradual, and in need of finer tuning to make it complete. I’ve experienced months upon months of anxiety, fretting, and frustration. I feel more like an author now than I did a year ago because I’ve known what it is to agonize over a story and whittle it down to perfection.

On a somewhat different note, I’d like to make The Watch ebook free now that Ice is out. From what I gather, the only way to accomplish this is to publish The Watch on a different platform for free and wait for Amazon to price-match. True?