Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Poll: Which Book Should I Publish Next?


Okay, I need some help focusing here. The time-gobbling monster has already eaten January and is threatening to eat February, too.

First, before I go any further, it’s time to get something off my chest. I’m not sick of indie publishing but I am sick of trying to sell novels to children and young adults. On the plus side, I have some fabulous loyal adult readers, many of whom have read both Desiccation and Noah Padgett and the Dog-People and given me a heap of positive feedback. This has led me to believe that I don’t write the sort of novels that most people under the age of 18 want to read, but ones that their parents and grandparents want to read instead. Yes, my novels contain elements of fantasy and science fiction, but no, they’re not about wizards, vampires, paranormal romance, spaceships with lasers blazing (or whatever lasers do).


This leads me on to my next point: even if I publish a novel specifically for adults, it could still deviate from the expectations that die-hard fans of a particular genre might have.

I had considered writing a genre-bending novel, as it fits into the bracket of quirky and yet has an identifiable market. With that in mind, I decided to read Jane Austen’s  Pride and Prejudice and then carry out a textual comparison between it and Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies. The trouble was that I loved the original so much that I couldn’t get past the first few chapters of the zombie version, which I hated. Maybe if I hadn’t read the original, then I might have seen it differently. Certainly it made the New York Times best seller list. I don’t have a problem with zombie books per se, having read some excellent ones. I just don’t like ones that would make Jane Austen turn in her grave (no apologies for the pun), although I do acknowledge that some of her writing is quite witty. Maybe one day I might bring myself to write a novel based on a classic novel but not so that it follows the original text word-for-word in places; otherwise, what’s the point in having worked hard to develop a voice of my own?

I’ve written five novels in all, leaving three unpublished as yet. The fifth one, my speculative fiction novel Counting Magpies, I intend to submit to publishers after a further edit, as I’ve identified some new small press publishers that didn’t exist a couple of years ago but are looking for quirky novels. There are plenty of successful hybrid authors, who have both indie and traditionally published novels, so why not me?

Now to ask you, my wonderful blog followers and visitors, readers or potential readers, which book I should indie publish next. In other words, which would you be most likely to buy, if any at all? To help answer this, I would really appreciate it if you could take part in the poll and/or comment with some constructive feedback. I’m at a bit of a crossroads and am not sure which direction to take just now.


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36 thoughts on “Poll: Which Book Should I Publish Next?

  1. well Sarah – I do not read certain genres (out of preference – and I know authors understand this) and even though I voted for the romance one to be next – it was that 1982 psych hosp setting that grabbed me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Sarah,

    I’m not a fan of zombies, faeries or wizards. I haven’t read one Harry Potter book nor have I read any of the popular Vampire books. I loved Noah Padgett and Desiccation. Of course the romance set in a psyche ward has a particular draw for me. 😉 I don’t think we covered that in our chat either. Time to Skype soon, isn’t it?

    I don’t understand why some books make the Best Seller list and why others don’t. One novel that won a Pulitzer, The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay left me cold. It was long and drawn out. Part of it kept me engaged but half of it just irritated me. Sentences that went on for an entire paragraph. Much of it was erotica.

    I wish I had words of wisdom for you, but I don’t. Wish I could find those for myself as well. I’ll stop rambling now.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,
      I know what you mean about some of the winners of the more erudite literary prizes. The only Booker Prize winning novel I’ve managed to complete, is Wolf Hall, but it took me three months to read because of the lack of dialogue tags, so I kept getting confused about who was talking. I much preferred the TV serialisation of it, which was brilliant. As for Harry Potter, I have read all the books but the last hundred pages of the final novel left me completely confused. I got the feeling that J.K. Rowling was working to a strict deadline set by her publishers, which forced her to rush the finale. Her writing is very patchy, I think, but I did quite enjoy Harry Potter.
      Re Skyping, yes, that would be lovely, although not today as it’s music practice evening and I have to get tea early. Maybe tomorrow or Saturday, if I can get my act in order and actually finish the things I’m meant to be doing (or rather, those things I’m meant to be doing, according to others!).
      All best wishes,

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dale on said:

      I adored all the Harry Potter books and movies. And now that you mention it, Sarah, it may have felt a tad rushed at the end but not enough for me to complain…
      As for the “Anything Book Prize”? I often times wonder what the hell? I’ve read a few “winners” and have been left scratching my head as to the why more than once. I guess we know nothing, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      • We do know that there’s a great deal of literary pretension out there. Sometimes I’ve considered writing a faux-literary novel for an experiment, where I’m talking unadulterated nonsense just to take the p***. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it got picked up by the highbrow literary establishment as some kind of genius work? It would be wonderful to be a fly on the wall and hear it being discussed in universities, with all sorts of things being read into it that I never intended?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My immediate response is “which one do you want to do?” That’s the one I would choose….and whichever path you take, best wishes on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale on said:

    Alrighty. So I’ve voted because you asked us to. Frankly, I would (will) read anything you right, regardless of the genre… So. Hope that helps! LOL…
    But so you know, I did choose the Medieval style, second would be the romance, third would be the short stories and well… you get the picture 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Dale. That so sweet of you… such a vote of confidence in my writing. Thanks for your feedback about what comes next.
      The Medieval style novel is a great favourite with Mister and with my daughter. I’m undecided whether to call the time-travel one a romance, as it’s the opposite of slushy — quite gritty really, as the two characters involved could be considered delinquent anti-heroes!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Autobiography!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. that was a bit difficult as I do like short fiction too but having time traveled myself- once to the Cretaceous period, that did it for me. Time Travel topped them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I voted for the time travel novel, although I admit that 1982 doesn’t seem that far away to me. I love the psychiatric hospital angle. I think the 1982 would need to be very evocative of the time period.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Luanne. It’s not all set in 1982. Some of it’s set in the way-off future. Hopefully my portrayal of 1982 is accurate, especially in the context of a psychiatric hospital. The story is told from the viewpoint of a first-year student psychiatric nurse, which is what I was in 1982, although we were called “mental” nurses then, rather than psychiatric nurses!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mental nurses! What a name! Well, it sounds great. I hope you go with this one.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, my two nursing qualifications were RNMS, RMN. The RNMS was short for Registered Nurse for the Mentally Subnormal, which was considered a most politically correct way of describing people who had once been called even more insulting names back in Victorian times. I expect that many words which are considered politically correct today, will be tomorrow’s shockers.

        It looks increasingly likely that I’ll go with this one, although I might have trouble with the word police if I don’t offer an explanation of some of the 1982 terminology that would lend authenticity to the story. I love some of the notes in the back of the Jane Austen novel I’ve just read, related to the meanings of various words or phrases that would mean something completely different now.


  8. Looks like time travel romance is winning. 🙂
    If it’s any consolation, I have five or six unpublished novels. One is indie published and even then, I didn’t really market it. Why? Because after writing the second paranormal fiction novel (which is finished, just unpublished), I got totally sick of it.
    I DID get a lot of motivational mojo after reading Chris Fox’s “5,000 Words per Hour.” I was able to crank out those two novels before I knew I’d get “sick” of them. But then I did.
    Now I’m on another journey to publish a coloring book. We’ll see what happens after that. 🙂
    So…go where your heart tells you. And have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The colouring book idea sounds great fun. I believe that Bill Holland is taking a short break from writing his latest novel, to have a go at doing a colouring book, too.
      I know what you’re saying there about getting sick of the whole novel-writing thing. I’m getting sort of worn out with the effort and rather short of money, which does erode the pleasure of it somewhat.
      That being said, my time travel novel (which is the first novel I ever wrote) did get a full read from a top publisher years ago. He went on to reject it with the words “very promising”. I was such a newbie at the time, that I sent him my first draft!


  9. Well dearest Sarah, I am horribly out of the loop and wonder if my two cents still counts (which I hope it does!) but I would go for the time travelling novel. I’m intrigued by 1982…when I think my memoir story takes place mainly between 1978 and 1981. Maybe we could compare notes of the time frame! I think you would write a fantastic book with this theme with your background and also it’s one I would most likely read out of your choices. Hope this helps, despite my lateness… xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • My time travel novel does seem to be the clear winner here. I will be making a start on it after Easter. Am needing a breather from major projects just now. At the moment, I’m waiting for Leigh to finish beta-reading my speculative fiction novel, which I may try submitting to two new publishers who seem to be looking for that sort of thing. I’m keeping all options open, re publishing. Just now, I’m also looking at earning some money doing a bit of proofreading. Silly to have the qualification and not to use it. Thank you, dearest Sherri, for your feedback on my poll. It’s very helpful and not in the least bit too late. xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t blame you taking a breather…you’ve worked so hard on your books, you need the break. It’s great to explore all options in the meantime, go for it with your submission and keep us posted. And a great idea to put your excellent proofreading skills to use while making a bit of money, definitely. I’m glad my feedback on the poll has helped, thank you dearest Sarah xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

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