My final publishing deadline is the 12th book in my popular Odelia Grey mystery series. The working title is TOO BIG TO DIE, a play off the first book's title, TOO BIG TO MISS. This book is due to the publisher in November, but my plan is to get it done and turned in before I go on vacation in mid-October.
After this book, I'll no longer have any books due to any publisher. Nada. I'll be on my own. Flying without a net. My own boss, at least when it comes to writing and publishing. And in about two years, when I retire from the day job, I'll be my own boss ... period.
I can't wait!
Recently my agent pitched another Ghost of Granny Apples book to that series's publisher and it was turned down. My dear agent knew I wouldn't be upset by the news. You see, it was part of my plan to see which way the wind blew, especially since that publisher is currently axing series left and right. By turning down the proposal for the next Granny book, my publisher released me from the right-of-first-refusal clause, freeing me to write and publish future Granny books for other publishers or as an independent author, which is my plan. Had they made me an offer for the book, I probably would have taken it since they've done such a fine job with the series. But accepting a contract was really Plan B in this case.
There is still the right-of-first-refusal clause to deal with regarding the Odelia books, but I don't think that will be a problem either. Frankly, after writing twelve books in that series, one a year for twelve years, I'll burn the series to the ground rather than sell another to a publisher. I do plan for Odelia to live on, but not under the deadlines and restrictions of a traditional publishing house.
So here I am, trying to write Odelia #12 and getting all draggy-ass about it. Is it because I know it's the end of an era? Is it because I'm just plain tired of deadlines set by others? Or am I just being a lazy baby?
Once this book is turned in, I'll have to set my own deadlines and push myself to meet them. Publisher deadlines force you to be disciplined. There are contracts and legal agreements in place. After this, I'll have to seriously discipline myself. That will be quite a chore, and I'm speaking from experience. This isn't to say I will never contract with a publisher again, but I will be more savvy about it.
I have lots of projects waiting for my attention after Odelia #12: more Winnie Wilde novellas, more in the Madison Rose series, a couple of stand alone general fiction novels (one almost done), as well as more romance books. And of course, more Granny and Odelia books, though those series will both be taking a short hiatus while I tackle new projects for a bit. I will be busy, but it will be on my schedule and on my terms.
Geez, something tells me I'm going to be my own worse nightmare as my own boss. But that's probably a good thing.