Choices, Choices

Caution: Rambling post ahead

Sometime towards the end of last year, I decided I was going to focus on writing novels this year.  I even decided I was going to focus on writing sci-fi/fantasy.

But it’s hard to keep on that track.

One, because there’s such a long lag between books when you focus on novels.  At least for me.  I can write a first draft in a month, but I can’t write a complete novel I’d be proud for others to see in a month.

Two, because I start to second-guess myself.  Focusing on novels means letting all but three of my pen names (I have eight) go by the wayside.

Is that smart?

Perhaps not.  Because non-fiction has this weird way of just puttering along with sales with no promo.  Lots of my fiction needs a constant push to keep going–and does well when I do that–but my non-fiction just sort of sells itself.

I put out my first non-fiction audiobook this month and without any promo it sold ten copies.  And at that conference I did a few weeks ago my non-fiction outsold my fiction. And at better profit margins, too.

I can also write it much faster.  My best-selling non-fiction title tool me ten hours to write.  Erelia, which is a definite outlier since it was the first thing I ever wrote and I completely rewrote it again before publishing it, took me 450 hours.

So what am I doing writing novels?  Good question.

This post was prompted by a review of my top ten titles.

Out of four novels I’ve published, one is my best-earning title and one is number four.  (The other two are in my top twenty-five).  One of those is a romance and one is a fantasy novel.

Numbers two, three, and eight of my top ten are related parts of a romance serial.

Number ten is a romance short story collection.

But five, six, seven, and nine are non-fiction titles.  Five, six, and seven also have nothing to do with one another.  Nothing at all.  They couldn’t be more different.  And yet they each just keep on selling.

So if I look at what sells, it seems I should write romance and non-fiction.

But I love writing fantasy.  (And I hang on to this hope that once I get a completed trilogy out there it’ll start to take off.  But that’s not going to be until probably early next year for either of my fantasy series.)

And I have more ideas for all of them than there are hours in the day, so that’s not a real issue for me.


This is why writing has transitioned to a hobby for me even though I’d love it to be full-time.  Because I’m simply not capable of approaching it in some hard-hearted business-like fashion.  Which means I’m just going to keep bumbling along, writing in too many genres to gain momentum, entertaining myself but not many others.

Ah well.

It’s a good thing I have an alternate source of income these days…


About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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