By the end of 2023 I’ll have written one book shy of forty books. That’s the kind of thing to make one think. Add the covid crisis, a world in the midst of change and turmoil, and a few life milestones, and I’m thinking a lot.
Somewhere in those thoughts is looking at those forty-minus-one books and asking “what’s next?”
I could write more of course, and doubtlessly will. However I feel myself gripped with a desire to cultivate and consolidate my existing writing to do the most good. It’s like I suddenly inherited a portfolio of book rights, only I inherited it from my younger self. So what do I do with it?
It’s a lot of responsibility that I’ve dropped in my own lap. Here’s what’s gelling in my mind:
Some books, I think, just are out of date and should be retired. I could just make them free, maybe updated with a message, but there’s no reason to promote them or publish physical copies. Perhaps I’ll print out 10-20 copies and donate them to close the door.
I just hate the thought of these being gone but past is past. The responsible thing is to not to have it worry me.
Some books deserve a second or third edition and maybe a new cover. They’re worth it, especially with some tweaking, updating, and a new look. Some are even worth a rewrite every five or ten years.
Some of my works address specific needs and can keep evolving. Updating them seems both responsible and kind of fun!
Finally, I want to take most if not all of my ebook only books to print. That’ll take effort, especially as I’m looking to explore other ways to publish and get into bookstores. However it’ll be worth it to create a physical legacy for my work – especially the Way With Worlds minibooks. Part of me imagines an indie bookstore with a bunch of those minibooks on a shelf waiting for writers . . .
This builds a legacy and increases the reach of my work, and arguably some of my best work.
The above is not a simple effort. However it feels worth it (or most of it feels worth it). Maybe the next year or two will involve a larger focus on updating my catalog instead of expanding it.
Thirty-nine books isn’t enough. But maybe I’ll take some time to do right for most of them – and the books to come.
I look forward to people’s opinions.