Publishing in Installments? What?

So, I recently came across a really interesting book by an author I hadn’t read before. And I loved the book. It was original. It was beautiful. It was unique. It played to parts of me that don’t get nearly enough attention (my music). I loved it.

Except for one thing.

It seems that this author is dividing his books into parts (like, not just multiple books in a series, but stopping partway through as a “Part One”) with no indication of when the next part will be released.

This bothers me.

This bothers me because now I started a story I love and I don’t know when, or if, I will be able to finish it.

It bothers me because, instead of writing the story he wants to because he loves it, he is writing a whole slew of stories in installments and waiting for readers to tell him what they like and don’t like… presumably so he knows which stories to kill and which to continue.

It bothers me because now I may never know where the story is going because I don’t know when he’ll get around to continuing this one again, in the middle of his at least 5 other “Part One”s.

It bothers me because it feels unfair. Because it feels like the author is not being true to himself and his stories. Because it feels like I’m being cheated by someone more concerned with pleasing a crowd of unknowns than pleasing his own inner storyteller.

Why is this a problem? Because if you can’t love your story simply because it is the story you have to tell, and not because other people love it, than how can you expect to be seen as a confident writer? How can you expect people to fall in love with stories when you are so unsure about them yourself that you won’t finish them before getting input?

I mean, beta readers are one thing. But literally these books are being sold on Amazon as Part One of a story (I got them because I bought them on a day they were free… I don’t think I’d pay for an incomplete story, even if it was only 99 cents).

Am I completely crazy for thinking this? Have you ever encountered such a publishing method before, outside of serials?

Waiting Games

There is no feeling like the feeling of completing a draft. It is exhilarating, it is fulfilling, it is accomplishment. It is a milestone that few writers reach. And when you get there, you deserve to celebrate.

The thing is, it doesn’t end there.

After you finish the draft and celebrate, maybe go out and party with some friends (or maybe just stay home, dance, and read a book you’ve been dying to read), you still have a few critical milestones standing between you and the reader. I passed the next one: rewriting and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting…

After having the draft of This Cursed Flame (my fantasy novel set mostly in my own version of a djinn Realm, following one very shy and quiet genie who just might be the key to saving all the Realms) completed for a couple of years and editing and revising in the meantime, I finally worked up the nerve to submit my very first query to a publisher that accepts queries from unagented authors. This was the critical part, since I decided to move forward without an agent for the time being.

I did my research, I met with my writer friend Dara Lyons (who you can learn more about here), I composed my query letter, and I sent it off into cyber space.

That was a few weeks ago. And still not a word.

I don’t expect to have my work picked up right away. But waiting can be torture.

So what about you? Have any of you gone through the direct-to-publisher querying process? How long did you wait before moving on, and how did it go for you?