I'm a new author and, for some strange circumstances, I ended up finishing three stories (first drafts):

Ghost Earthquake

Eri misses an earthquake that hits her city. She doesn't remember what she as doing at the time, and nothing seems to have moved a single inch in her apartment. As she tries to uncover the mystery, she comes face to face with her deepest fears, and realizes the world around her is very different to the one she once knew.

Themes: earthquakes, alienation, change

The Girl without a Soul

The main character goes to a mountain to visit his half-sister. He hasn't seen her in years. She went there to undergo a spiritual healing. Later he discovers her wound has something to do with their elder brother, and that she needs him (the protagonist) in order to recover from this affliction. But that isn't all. While he's in the mountain he meets a girl who (apparently) doesn't possess a soul. She is often seen in the forest near ancient trees. After he meets her she tells him that he didn't only come to the mountain looking for his half-sister, but also looking for her. That he must help her to accomplish something. Something of utter importance.

Themes: love, isolation, the soul

Black Cuckoo

A story about a man who tells his wife about a sexual fantasy he has. But that he's OK if she doesn't want to go along with it. However, the wife suddenly stops talking to him, and after that a series of surreal things start to happen to him: he's visited at night by a black bird, and meets a young girl in the forest nearby their house.

Themes: love, relationships, fantasies

I'm in love with all of them. But I've been wondering which one is more likely to appeal to a wider audience, given that I'm a new unpublished author. I'm thinking of publishing on Amazon via KDP.

Should I choose the one with the most appealing title (I think The Girl without a Soul is the best choice). Or the one with the most promising premise (Ghost Earthquake)? Or decide for the one with more appealing themes (Black Cuckoo since it involves sexual fantasies, horror, and magical-realism)?

I'm confused, which one should I choose?

  • Have you considered publishing them all at once, or in close succession?
    – Standback
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 16:42
  • @Standback♦ Interesting option. But since all of them are first drafts, I think it'll take me like one or two years.
    – wyc
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 16:45
  • 1
    Ah, ok! So you're asking, not which to publish first, but which to develop first. Got it.
    – Standback
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 16:53
  • This is a Your Mileage May Vary question; there is no one right answer. Find a beta reader and/or an editor and get someone else's opinion on which one is the most promising. You need input from outside your own head. Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 17:33
  • 1
    Apart from my answer, I'd like you to know that all three books sound great to me and I hope you write, finish and publish them all! Good luck!
    – user5645
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 17:48

3 Answers 3


As @Standback said in his comment, you might want to consider a publishing scedule, instead of a writing schedule.

When readers finish your book, and they liked it, they will want to read more from you. If there is nothing, they will move on to another author and forget you, before your next book comes out. You will have to do all your marketing from zero again.

From that perspective, it does not matter which book you write first. Just write the one that you want to write now, then write the others, and in two years start with publishing and marketing them all, and in parallel write your fourth book.

As for which story is most promising, I find the Black Cockoo least interesting to me, and least appealing (as far as I can judge) to the general public. The protagonist is married which is unattractive to some readers. Sex as a central plot element is difficult. Could turn into obscenities, or turn me off, if it is the wrong kind of kink. Sex as an add-on is nice, but not as the driving force. So, I don't know about this one. The only interesting part is the girl in the forest.

Some of the books that sold best in recent times and were made into movies were young adult novels with female protagonists. Ghost Earthquake has the most straightforward and attractive plot. It's easy to understand what I'll get myself into, if I read that book. The plot sounds direct and uncomplicated. I'd read that first, if I had all three.

The Girl without a Soul sounds more interesting than the Earthquake, but also somewhat complicated. What kind of book will that actually be? Interesting, but takes some more mental effort to think myself into. So while its still high, its second on my want-to-read list. Or maybe not. Its already intriguing me, and I want to know more.

The Earthquake and Soul books would make a great pair that would sell well together or in succession. The Black Cockoo is something else and does not quite fit. Different target audience. Whichever you start on first, do that one last. Or communicate the plot differently through the blurb and cover, maybe I'm getting it all wrong.


I currently have 4 pending projects. For one book, which I wrote during the Nanowrimo, I have a first draft, almost complete, and I'm already working on the 2nd draft and hope to publish it soon. I only have outlines and notes for my other projects.

So, the way I deal with my dilemma is that I work a little on all of them, however, I've chosen one particular project - the Nanowrimo one to publish first because of the fact that I have all the information I need for the second draft. I have a very good idea of how my other projects will look like in the end, but I chose the one that is closest to being published.

So, like one of the members commented, if you publish one book and the readers like it, they will look forward to the next one. So work on the one you think will attract a wide audience (so far I think that the Earthquake one is very promising) and try to get it published, but work on the other ones as well. If you want, you can even publish novellas/short stories, as many young adult authors are doing right now, so that your readers don't forget about you too soon and have something to look forward to.


I'm an author too with 4 published books.

I would like to say that:

1- Get alone with yourself
2- Don't think about anything related to writing
3- Listen musics different than your playlist - in your mind included
4- Watch movies from other languages
5- Call some friends you haven't seen for a long time
6- Do something unrelated to yourself but helping for someone
7- Spend few days without computer

That's your 1 week prescription for seeing a life which is you are already surrounded with.

After all there is no doubt about what to do next.

Good luck

  • +1 Most of us have so much noise and input battering at us that we are totally out of synch with ourselves. Many answers lie inside of us, if only we give ourselves the quiet that we need to hear them.
    – user5645
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 13:14

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