I follow a lot of authors on Facebook. One of those traditionally published authors just released her second book, a sequel to her debut young adult novel. I really enjoyed her first book and I’m very much looking forward to reading the second.
Today, she posted an answer to the question: Will there be a third book in the series?
Her response surprised me. She said that there would only be a third book if the second book did well and if her publishing company bought a third book. She went on to explain that publishing is a business and a third book depended solely on how well the second book sells.
As proud as I am to be an independent author and to exclusively own the rights to my own books, of course, I’ve always harbored a bit of envy for those authors who’ve been traditionally published. I want my books to have the same recognition, the same level of success, as books that have been released by big publishing houses. It’s a long shot to be sure, but I believe that it can be done. It has been done.
What really got me thinking, however, was the part about how a third book would only happen if the second book did well. Even if the story, the characters, demand more, if there aren’t sales to back it up, the saga ends with book two. Now, I’m fairly certain her second book will do just as well as the first and that a third one is all but guaranteed (at least I hope… I really liked her first book!), but her answer made me realize just how much freedom I have as an independent author as opposed to an author bound to the revenue and regulations of a big publishing company.
It doesn’t matter how well my books sell. I’m free to write whatever I want. Cemetery Tours 3 could not sell a single copy and I’d still be able to write and publish Cemetery Tours 4. As an independent author, yes, I’d like to make money and yes, I’d like for this to be my career and my livelihood. I want to spend the rest of my life writing books. But I’m free to write for myself. I am able to write the stories I want to write, not because of money or ratings or success, but because it’s a story that needs to be written. As of right now, the story is incomplete, and until it’s finished, I’m going to keep writing. And I realize now that I am so lucky to be able to keep writing. As an author, I’m limitless. We all are. And isn’t that the way art, passion, life itself, are supposed to be?