Failure

An interesting concept, failure. No one wants to fail of course. If humans could, they would only succeed at everything they do. However, some of the greatest discoveries in the world have happened because people were looking for one thing and failed only to find something even better.

Yet, I am not here to expound on the great discoveries that failure can produce. I am here today to tell you of one of my most recent failures. When I started The Peggy’s, I did so with the heart of a younger child and not the mind of a mature man whose job it is to produce and sell written works.

I wanted to harken back to the days when I would stand at the magazine and book isle at a store and read the next part of a great story. That was in the sixties however and this is 2022. In the sixties and seventies, it was normal to be fed smaller bits of something. Bits you kept in the forefront of your mind as you waited for the next part.

This is why television series were so popular. You waited each week for the next part. Waited anxiously in some cases. When they shot J.R. in the infamous Dallas season ender, people could hardly stand it. They had to wait for half a year to find out who shot J.R.

Magazines I loved did the same thing. They would build up a story in sections published over time and use cliff hangers to hold your attention. To make it so all you wanted was to buy the next edition.

Like I said, that was then, and this is now. Now we stream entire seasons over a day. Watch multi-movie collections without waiting for anything. In fact, people prefer to stream it all, so they don’t have to wait.

This is the mistake I made with The Peggy’s. Well, at least one of them. Most of my customers prefer to have the entire book on hand when they read. The novelty of waiting each month for another chapter wore off quickly. When I asked those who purchased the chapters why they’d trailed off, the answer was simple. They would wait until they had the entire manuscript available.

I failed to build the excitement and desire to wait each month for another cliff hanger. To make readers want to wait for the next chapter. Instead, they are willing to wait for me to publish the entire book. Nothing more and nothing less will do.

Another aspect of what I was trying to do failed as well. I was trying to get the readers involved to help create the storyline. I had no outline, no major plot, or subplots. I started with an idea and a single chapter and hoped readers would get involved. They did. At first in a little trickle of response but then it became a deluge.

The ideas on where to take the story ranged from fantastic to absolute crap. Same with the characters. However, the real problem was as we got into writing each chapter, it required changes to the earlier chapters. Something I had not planned for.

Which means, I have to go back and rework the previous chapters so they match up with those in production right now. Not a good thing for those who have already purchased those chapters.

Consequently, I have to take down the chapters already published. I have to send out updated chapters to those who already bought them, and I have to write the book in its entirety before I publish it.

It’s a bit of a mess. One we can make right for all those who have purchased the chapters, but also for those who have contributed their ideas.

I have decided on keeping three of those individuals who have had extraordinary ideas I used in the book on hand. I will give them credit and part of the proceeds for the book once I finish it. It will be another collaboration for me and The Pyrateheart Press.

A collaboration I am looking forward to.

I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.

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