After scholars and authors publish a first book, they can have many conflicting feeling. Of course, there is a profound sense of joy, pride, and gratitude. Often, the feeling of personal and professional competence that one experiences is profound.
Yet, sometimes these more positive feelings are mixed with some more difficult emotions. I have talked to some scholars and writers who have felt a profound sense of sadness and fear, as they wonder if they have another book "in them."
This may be particularly true for those who self-published their first book. Since there book was not vetted through the sometimes rigorous peer- review of university presses, or the scrutiny of an editor of a commercial press who has to insure that the book meets consumer needs, self-published scholars at times wonder about the actual value of their first book, and wonder if they can pull off a " real" second book. Not that self published books are not real, but I have heard these self doubts many times.
When such fears and doubts attack, you may wish to consider developing the concept for your second book. Working on the concept for book two can help reduce some of your fears. After all, you already wrote a full length manuscript, so you know that you can write the words
There are several ways of thinking about the concept for your second book, First, consider what would be a valuable extension of your first book. What did the writing of this book suggest was missing from the literature? What needs to still be done in this area? What do you need to still say? Do a freewrite on these issues.
Second, you may wish to consider how you can "reapply" the analytical tools and approaches of your first book to a different area or sub-area.
Third, now that you have your first book out of the way, what would you "really" like to write?
Forth, think strategically. What would help your career along?
These are just a few ideas to help you develop your next book concept. This does not mean that you have to immediately begin writing on the first concept you think of. In fact, I would suggest a bit of a cooling off period. However, knowing that you have a second concept on hand can be empowering.
Most importantly, make sure you celebrate your first book. You did it! Feel good about it. Take it in.