The first one is this. I wrote this particular novel before my first non-fiction book Soul Friend which was released last September and was given the choice as to which would be published first. So now it’s time to release the novel. But which direction should I head next? Should I alternate my books and aim to complete another non-fiction book this year? Or should I stick to novel writing?
But my second dilemma is the more pressing one at the moment. I feel so blessed, having six books published when I never thought I would have any. My first novel Heléna was released early in 2007 and since then, I have had one book released each year. It’s not that I am particularly prolific, however. It’s just that while I waited to find a publisher for my first novel, I decided to begin the next. So until now, I have always been in the happy place of having another novel completed by the time the previous one was released. But now the question is—do I let those first two novels go and not try to promote them anymore? Although the first one has just become hard to find in most bookstores, there are still a handful of copies of the second around. And small numbers of orders still seem to come in for them via the bookstores, plus I have people contacting me as well for copies from time to time. Also, wherever I speak, it seems people are still interested in those first two novels. I sell almost as many of those as my later ones—which leaves me a little reluctant to run out of copies myself. Yet, if I did, would I sell more of my later novels? It’s a puzzle!And of course, there is a limit to the number of books I can carry around with me wherever I speak. Often, I am unsure which book people will go for, so I need to take a good number of each. I could no doubt get back the rights of those first two novels and attempt to make them available as e-books only, but to me, that seems to answer only half the question. Also, I know if I did this, I would need to re-edit both novels severely! After all, they were my first two attempts at writing—and back then, I knew nothing about the current anathema against using omniscient point of view or the evils of ‘head hopping’! And my very long sentences are liberally sprinkled with lots of lovely ‘ly’ adverbs! Yet do I want to invest time in re-writing these books? I’m not sure.
So ... you see my dilemma. Any suggestions? I know some of you have had many more novels released over the years than I have, so would you have any wisdom to offer from your own experience?
Meanwhile, I will keep thinking and praying about it—and writing that next best-seller!Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney, Australia. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher and editor, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne is passionate about touching hearts and lives through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of five published novels and one non-fiction work, Soul Friend: the story of a shared spiritual journey. Her sixth novel, The Inheritance, will be released in September. Jo-Anne is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and three grandchildren. For more information, please visit www.jo-anneberthelsen.com or www.soulfriend.com.au.