Finished the serial, Now what?

It’s another drawn-from-life post topic for this week.

After  more than 2 years, 110+ installments, and 230 thousand words it feels anticlimactic.

Less than 24 hours after posting that last installment, I’m bothered that it’s Monday night and I’m not furiously editing something for posting right now.

Here’s how I wish I had done the last few weeks differently

1)  Timed the last post with a download for the eBook!
2)  Changed the posting dates to avoid big events like the Superbowl. (Or capitalized on the blackout with something witty like “need something to do? read this”…
3)  Posted a full preview of the next serial available after the epilogue, just like they do it with series books.
4) Solidified a firm starting date for serializing the next volume in this series.

I’m annoyed by the idea of ending without leaving a person with a tangible “something” in hand and by the hiatus.

I’m a webcomics reader. I know a pause can really be damaging to reader retention.  (Incidentally, if you want a good discussion on the impact of a hiatus – check out our discussion at the Webfiction Guide Forums.   Love the stats posts!)

But it is what it is.  Of course it is possible to do the above, but it’s less possible to execute if you are in the  “Post as we write” camp of serializers.  I was revising Saturday, editing Sunday. Lining up everything else so I can launch into my next serial (which will continue forward from this one) would be hard.

But last night as I finished here’s what I did do
1)  Ate a curry bread
2) Tackled Wattpad

  • The first thing I did after uploading was to mark my story as “Complete” under the “Manage Stories” option and tag it as “complete.”  If you read the last blog post from TE Waters , one tantalizing observation is that Wattpad actually works better for complete stories.  I’m about to test-drive this theory. So after tweaking my project/story blurb to mark it was done, I ran through all my chapters and captured the reads, votes, and comments.  
  • The second major activity has to do with trying to figure out how to submit the story for consideration as a “Feature.”  As it is now complete and generally error-free (but not devoid of some bad grammar habits I admit), it at least meets minimum consideration requirements.  After stumbling around in the Help Forums, I’ve thrown an email into the suggestion black box and hope that it’s being monitored.

3) Re-read the Smashwords style guide to make sure I understand how the Microsoft word doc needs to be formatted
4) Tried to come up with a game plan for filling the silence at the website while I wait to start the next volume.  The plan relies on dialogue with readers, though, so I could be forming this without them.

5) Completed placing all my installments into one style in a complete Word document. (I’ve cheated and been doing this all along the way.)    See step 3. This is a necessary part of plotting the eBook.

6) Began working through getting the status of this arc marked as “complete” at a bunch of sites. [Not successful so far.]

And here’s what I tossed into the “procrastinating” pile  
1) Pulling a lever on starting the prep for a paperback.   After a lot of hemming and hawing over the covers and testing out what I could do, I admit I can’t pull off a cover I like.  Likely going to go find someone else to do it for me.  I need to also spend time on the copy-editing. I discovered some embarrassing mistakes while starting step 5 above.
2) Telling my friends and family about finishing the book.  It’s pretty hard to talk books to people who still largely are from the “I must hold it to believe it” club.  Until step 1 is done above, it really won’t feel real to them.

What would make me really happy right about now
1) That purple party hat that I thought we were supposed to get when finishing lengthy serials.
2) Unicorns
3) Preparing my next serial (sooo… will be getting to it shortly)


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