Home > Writing > Survival Tactics to Long Term Results

Survival Tactics to Long Term Results

I just happened to browse through a handful of reviews on my books and I came away with a sour taste in my mouth. I’m reasonably certain it’s not a matter of me being defensive either, but rather a lack of understanding.

Case in point: my book, The Lost Girls, has received some crippling reviews on it lately. Not because it’s a bad book, but because it wasn’t what the readers expected. It’s the second book in my Dark Earth series, but it’s not a direct sequel to the first book. So people grab the first book and read it and like it, then go for the second without bothering to read what it’s about. Then they mark it down because it wasn’t what they thought it was going to be. With that said I also learned from these reviews – I’ve marked on The Lost Girls’ page that it is not a direct sequel – although I fear that will receive no more attention than the existing description apparently has.

I’ve got a few schools of thought on this, and most of them are not complimentary. I am also working on a direct sequel to Dark Earth, but I don’t expect to release it until the second quarter of 2012 (if I can hit that date). That’s a short term survival tactic, not part of my long term goal. For example, Dark Earth established the setting, The Lost Girls creates some characters with long term appeal and opportunities. The next book, Traitor, will spend time back on Dark Earth, as will the next book, Wolfgirl. The fourth book (Black Widow) brings it back to the Earth we know and love.

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon on the premise that he was in it for the long term. Amazon is designed to be a successful company for a long time, and so far his planning has gone according to his plans. That leads to short time plateaus and losses at times, which worries stockholders, but it remains an amazingly successful company over the long term.

I just found that out yesterday, I’m not ashamed to admit. It made me feel good though because that’s been my strategy as well. I have multiple series of books, though each has only a couple of books in them at the moment. My strategy is to write many more books in each series, so that someday people will have many options to follow settings and characters they enjoy. Dark Earth is one of those series and it’s one I’m very excited about. The first book I wrote on a whim and then later realized it had much more potential. I’m still putting all my pieces in play though, so the long term goal requires some short term tactics to allow me to survive until the logistics are figured out.

In other news, New Beginnings got a short but outstanding review. It’s available only on Amazon right now, but that means if you’re an Amazon Prime member you can borrow it for free! New Beginnings is part of my Vitalis series, another long term series. Right now it’s got two books in it with a third planned in January and a fourth in February or March. There will be many more on the way as well, since this series has so much potential I can’t even begin to write all my ideas down.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

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  1. December 18, 2011 at 11:20

    I wrote a review on Wanted!

  2. December 18, 2011 at 11:30

    Thanks April. I suppose I’m less concerned about reviews. My own shopping habits are that I read reviews if they’re available but generally I realize each review is either written by someone who puts some thought into it or who is little better than a blind monkey with a shotgun trying to write braille on a street sign.

  3. December 18, 2011 at 12:09

    Boy you got that right! A review is only as good as the person that writes it! You are good, just keep doing what you are doing.

  4. December 18, 2011 at 12:16

    Such a great point to stay in for the long term. And you can’t let the bad reviews get to you (even though it’s hard lol) – even bad publicity can help 🙂 Good luck to you.

    • December 18, 2011 at 12:18

      No such thing as bad publicity! Well, hopefully… 😉

      Thanks!

  5. December 18, 2011 at 12:16

    Would it be inappropriate to mention that my wife tells me that all the time? 😉

  6. December 18, 2011 at 12:24

    Really Jason? Ask Tiger Woods. LOL

  7. December 18, 2011 at 16:39

    Been working on a somewhat related blog post, mostly about how to keep readers happy. This bit of insight boils down to make sure the label on the bottle matches the content. From your Amazon page there’s no way to tell that this story is, at most, tangentially related to Black Earth. A line or two in the write up to make that clear would probably help.

    “Set in the larger Black Earthverse, Lost Girls introduces new characters, new settings, new plots, and rounds out the Black Earth experience.”

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