Part 2 – Tackling A Trilogy
In part 1, Tony explained that he’d completed not only his Tudor Trilogy, but also several other books. In the last five years or so! He could easily have added the title ‘Making Time For Writing For Busy People’ – he’s probably thought about it.
In addition to his first book, a business one, Tony also published another business title, Personal Productivity for Busy Managers and two non-fiction titles. The first, Terra Nova: Antarctic Voyager tells the near 60 year story of the titular ship from build to its sinking off the coast of Greenland and focuses on its 1910 journey to the coldest place on earth. The second, just to demonstrate his diversity, is one I’m ordering as it covers the story of the last mission of the space shuttle, Atlantis after 30 years of space flights. This is of particular interest to me as I was lucky enough to see the shuttle in all its glory at Kennedy Space Centre a couple of years ago and would love to know more about it.
So the big question I had was ‘how did Tony find the time to write all these books?’
From experience, I’d struggled to write just one but Tony thinks it’s a ‘Catch 22’ situation because unless you are writing full time, your day job has to take priority and therefore its unlikely you’ll have enough time and make a living from writing. Tony found that his children leaving home – allowing him to downsize to a place by the sea – allowed him to focus on his books and work whenever and wherever he chose. My kids better take note; although they aren’t teenagers yet there is a clear warning there somewhere.
So with one book being an achievement for most writers (and I’m putting myself in that bracket), Tony set upon the idea of tackling a trilogy next. He was reading Conn Iggulden’s War of the Roses trilogy and it occurred to him that it was what he wanted to do next.
By this time, Tony also knew what worked for him when it came to writing. He says ‘I don’t know if any writer ever feels they’ve mastered the ‘craft’ of writing’ but those first three novels had helped him understand how to develop his characters through dialogue and he also began to realise the value of building his author platform and raising awareness; spending as much time doing that as actually writing.
But still. A trilogy? Tony says there are real benefits and thinks it’s something every novelist should consider – I’m going to take some convincing, mind. Tony ranks the main benefit as synergy; in that the power of the group is greater than each working on its own.
The scope is another big plus. A trilogy, he says, offers a liberating sense of space and freedom because ideas you hint at on the first book can be developed further in the second and third books. Complex relationships can develop over time and of course, there is the ever changing context in which the story is set that offers readers as Tony puts it, a more immersive experience.
But Tony is also a business expert, remember? So there’s a practical advantage too because rather than having one launch and one opportunity to sell a book, you get multiple chances to do so and can be promoting one book while writing the next one. It worked. The Tudor Trilogy became a best seller in the UK, US and Australia.
He uses his writing blog, Twitter – @tonyriches – and Facebook to raise awareness of his work, utilising Blogger to automatically share posts to Goodreads and Google+. He has landing pages for each of his books and last year, launched his own author website (www.tonyriches.com) which has served him well. Generally, he has been disappointed with the results of most paid for promotion, although he rates Circle of books as a notable exception.
His own interaction with readers has made a significant difference. It was another benefit of writing a trilogy that he began having contact with people who wanted to know when the next book would be available and this helped Tony to develop an international reader base.
He now sells books via Amazon in thirteen countries and has built a great readership in Australia through engaging with people via social media. Having his Amazon Germany author page translated helped grow German sales and his biggest fan base is in the United States, so that’s where he focusses his energy.
And as you can see from the size of the reading pile in the image (those are the books Tony used when writing his trilogy) that’s a lot of energy.
Next time: Part 3 – A Gap In History?
About the Author
Tony Riches is a full time author of best-selling fiction and non-fiction books. He lives by the sea in Pembrokeshire, West Wales with his wife and enjoys sailing and river kayaking in his spare time.
For more information about Tony’s books please visit his popular blog, The Writing Desk and website www.tonyriches.com and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches. The Tudor Trilogy is available on Amazon UK Amazon US and Amazon AU