It happens to the best of us. We slave over a new book, taking the care to make it as great as we possibly can. Release day comes. Readers flock, they ooh and ahh and then squeal when they reach THE END. Then the inevitable happens…”when is the next book releasing???”
This is every authors greatest accomplishment and most prevalent fear. How do you balance readers desires for a quite release yet still produce another great book.
Then there are other pressures. Deadlines (from agents, publishers or personal), the need for steady income flow, fitting in writing between traveling to signing events and of course trying to wade through certain book platforms ever changing algorithms to stay current.
I pose this question: Is it better to produce fast and sacrifice quality for quantity?
I’d like to say this answer is a simple one but the reality is its not. Far from it. With each release comes more pressure on an author to perform just as well if not better than the book before. We give our bodies and minds hardly any down time before we leap into our next project. Stress mounts and inspiration becomes strained instead of fluid. One of the many pitfalls of the modern day indie author.
What about the pressures that those authors who work full time and have families feel when they can only publish one or two books in a year?
I can attest to feeling as if I need a clone just to keep up. Wishing that I had more hours in the day when I’m already working double what I would if I had a full time job outside the home.
It is not just an author’s writing that suffers from this pressure to write quickly, but their home life as well. Social media never sleeps. People from all around the world email, tweet, post Instagram pics or FB private message at all hours of the day. This causes so many authors to feel as if they should be working 24/7 just to keep up.
Before the indie craze readers expected a book a year from their favorite authors. Since then the ability to hit publish and 12 hours later have a published book on the market has trained readers to expect faster results. This needs to change.
As a reader I know all too well the “need” for the next book in a series. I agonize over analyzing what could be and the wait is unbearable but I also intimately understand the need for the time invested in the writing, editing and marketing.
Indie authors many times get a bad image for poorly edited books. I will throw up my hand and admit that I wish I had more time to do a third, fourth or fifth read through to ensure every tiny typo is caught, but to do that requires more than a 6 week turn around. Readers simply cant have perfection in such a short amount of time.
So what do we do? How do we find the happy medium?
Readers: Explore new authors while you wait. The market is filled with such amazing talent these days. Fall in love with a new author. Meet new characters. Embrace that knowledge that authors want only their best work out there for you to read. It is important to them that you get good value for your hard earned money.
Authors: Try not to stress. I know, that is WAY easier said than done but stress only crimps your writing style. Accept that you may not be able to keep up with everyone else. Find peace with your own style and length of publishing time. Write what inspires you, edit to the best of your ability and don’t publish until you feel confident that your book is ready to be seen. Some books are harder to write than others. It’s ok.
“Pressure to perform and stress over deadlines are the biggest hindrances for creativity. Step back. Take a break and come back when your mind is relaxed.” ~ Amy Miles