Readers that grew attached to the characters in this wedding romance or became invested in the story have an idea of what they hope and want to happen in the concluding part, what they think should happen, and what they think will happen. Some fans might be left feeling a little underwhelmed if the events in the book don’t align with their expectations and desires—especially as they’ve had so long to ponder on it—or if they just don’t like what happens, thus feel cheated out of the finale they were waiting for. I mean, my best friend stopped talking to me for a bit because things in my Soulmates Saga didn’t pan out the way she wanted them to. So yeah, I have plenty to be nervous about. Eek.
The only thing I can promise you is that the writing quality is heaps better in this book. I’ve written six books since writing If I Say Yes in 2016; I know I’ve improved. I understand the genre conventions much better now, too. I also had longer to work on If I Say No; it’s been a bigger labour of love than the first book. If fans don’t like the conclusion as much as they liked Book 1, at least I know it won’t be because the writing isn’t as good. We’ll see. Just keep an open mind, I suppose, and try to appreciate the story for what it is.
Why I Delayed Completing If I Say No
This book has been in my head for four years and it feels good to finally pull it out of my imagination and throw it onto the page. Some of you know why I didn’t finish writing If I Say No immediately after writing If I Say Yes, but most of you don’t. I think I owe you an explanation.
Quick answer: It looked as though no one read or liked If I Say Yes.
Within the first two of years its release (published in May 2017), If I Say Yes was downloaded by almost 10,000 readers on Amazon US alone (plus ~5,000 readers on Smashwords). Without any paid advertising. Before November 2019, however, there was only one positive review at Amazon US and one positive review at Amazon UK (4-star and a 5-star reviews, respectively). The other retailers didn’t have any reviews or ratings in that time. “No one’s reading it. No one liked it if they did read it. No one wants the sequel,” I assumed.
With my other free series starters—where there weren’t many reviews, either, but a lot of ratings at Apple Books and Nook—I could tell readers were enjoying them based on the paid sales of the sequels. I mean, they wouldn’t pay $3.99 for a sequel to a book they didn’t like, right? Because If I Say Yes didn’t have a published sequel, I had no way of determining reader sentiment and assumed the worst. As a lot of writers are prone to do *shrug*
Now, I know this goes without saying for most of you reading this, but I’m still going to say it because, you know, some people might twist my words around: This is not me complaining or blaming anyone—especially not my readers—for not reviewing my book. You know I don’t think readers owe authors book reviews. I’m just saying that this is what went through my head. Some would argue that I should have finished the series regardless, but I had a newborn baby (born December 2017) and had to stop writing If I Say No, stop writing completely, in the few months leading up to his birth and in his first few months in the world due to health conditions and you know, pregnancy and motherhood.
When the Baby settled into a routine of napping during the day, I finished writing Witch’s Blood, Book 2 and published the Witch’s Blood Series in summer 2018. This was the series I had to stop writing because If I Say Yes “demanded” to be completed first. When If I Say Yes didn’t “take off”, it made more sense to use what little free time I had to write the witch books instead of completing a Duology that no one seemed to be reading.
The Witch’s Blood Series
is the follow-up to the vampire books that people were enjoying, paying for, so it already had an audience, so to speak. Other companies discontinue certain products that people don’t like and focus on producing the items that customers want—and they’re multinational companies! I’m just one person. I followed my gut and my heart, as I tend to do with my books, and put If I Say No
I got the idea for my epic fantasy series soon after the Witch’s Blood
books came out and I spent the next couple of years writing the Heir to the Throne Trilogy
instead of completing If I Say No
. No one seemed to be reading If I Say Yes
, so I felt little guilt over postponing it further. I was eager to write my new fantasy books, so I did it.
Why I Decided To Publish If I Say No
Towards the end of 2019 and early 2020, I received several DMs in quick succession from readers saying they loved If I Say Yes and were desperate for the sequel. One person even said they re-read it around two years after their first read! Like what? Someone re-read my self-published book? Seriously? I know I only re-read my most favourite books, the ones I love, the ones that have great sentimental value to me—how could someone re-read a book I wrote?! Me! Wow.
My mind was officially blown. It’s like the coolest thing ever. The best feeling. “If I never make it as a writer,” I said to my husband after reading the below comment, “I can still die with the knowledge that I wrote a book that one person re-read.”
I had no idea that book had resonated with people in that way, had no way of knowing that readers were eagerly awaiting the conclusion to Shell’s story. A couple of positive reviews trickled in around about this time, too. Together, they painted a much more positive picture of the series.
I’m thankful for those messages because at the start of 2020, I actually decided to hit Unpublish on If I Say Yes. That’s right: I decided not to write the sequel and pan the series altogether. I didn’t want to leave the series starter at the retailers, for free or otherwise, when I knew I wasn’t going to complete the Duology. It would have annoyed anyone that read to the end and saw “Book 2 isn’t happening anymore. Sorry.” I wrote it as part 1 of a 2-part story with a specific (intended) reading experience in mind, and half the series wouldn’t have done it. Besides, my epic fantasy series was about to come out and I didn’t think I wanted to write contemporary romance anymore, especially not the sequel to a book that no one seemed to be reading (or enjoying if they did read it).
So, yeah, this is a finale that wouldn’t have been written if it wasn’t for the readers. Because of them, I ended up writing If I Say No in the year I’d decided not to write it at all LOL.
*Wipes away tears* Anyway, here are the links at the various retailers:
Free Book to Celebrate
To celebrate the release of my sequels, I usually make the series starter free for a limited time. However, If I Say Yes has always been free and will be free until further notice, so...
Book 1 of my other contemporary romance series, Soulmates Saga
, is free for a limited time at Apple Books
, B&N Nook
, and Kobo
Bear in mind that it’s a completely different story to If I Say Yes and has a different feel to it. A bit more grown-up with some darker themes. The overall series does have some Wuthering Heights vibes to it, too! It will always be special to me and I’m glad the readers that reviewed Book 1 over the years were touched by it. Don’t miss out on discovering this epic musical Saga with a touch of Bollywood-esque romance! You’ll get the revised 2020 edition of this book, which I uploaded the other day, complete with an extended preview of the sequel (first eight chapters).
As some of you know from this post
, I edit and re-publish my older books when I launch a new novel in that genre, so that new readers can get the best version possible. That’s what I did with the Saga
in the lead up to this release. I wanted to re-write my 2012 publications as though I got the ideas now, but time was an issue, so I did in-depth line edits, improving and adding to what’s already there—as well as deleting some stuff, too, of course.
If you download it from Apple Books (for your iPhone or iPad), you’ll be able to update it to every future version I upload. That’s why I personally prefer to buy ebooks from Apple Books—I don’t always get to read everything I download straightaway, but when I do get around to reading them, I can always update the file to the latest version before flipping to page 1.
Praise for Soulmates Saga #1
"A truly fantastic read. The two main characters are cleverly crafted, impeccable. Their depth makes them feel real."
—Author, I.C. Camilleri
"Very well-written. I felt like I knew the characters myself!"
—Kobo Review of Smashwords Edition
"I cannot believe this is Neha’s first book. It is perfect."
—Blogger, Charlotte Lynn Reviews
“I loved the book. It touched me in such a way that I felt lost for a while without having Jamie and Mukti in my life. I can’t believe that this is the author's first book; the way it’s written is excellent.”
"Touching, moving, unique love story."
—Apple Books UK Review of Smashwords Edition
And these comments on If I Say Yes are just as lovely—who wouldn’t complete a Duology after reading these? LOL. These are the people to whom I’m dedicating If I Say No:
Amazon US reviews: