The Write Stuff: Too fast. Too furious. When authors feel pressured to publish too fast

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

3 thoughts on “The Write Stuff: Too fast. Too furious. When authors feel pressured to publish too fast

  1. Well said, Amy. I think as well, a key component to the reading experience can be missed by having the next book available too quickly, and that component is anticipation. As you mentioned, when you’re waiting for the next book, you’re agonizing about not having it, but you’re also anticipating what it will contain and how the author will resolve some of the loose ends from the previous book. Anticipation is powerful in building excitement.

    Look at how shows like The Walking Dead create all sorts of anticipation and excitement surrounding the mid-season hiatus. Practically everyone I know groans when the hiatus hits, but then the build up to the return and conclusion of the season is incredible. Conversations happen all over social media about what is going to happen on the return. They are working it in the right way… and we as authors need to learn to harness that anticipation fervor and let it work in our favor.

    In the book world, I think we need look no further than JK Rowling and the Harry Potter series as an example of good use of anticipation. The wait between The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix was agonizing to say the least, but I wouldn’t have wanted the book rushed because it wouldn’t have been as rich and full-bodied if it had been.

    And as an author myself, I keep my head down and follow my process. I am not serving my characters or my readers best by forcing myself to write faster than I should. Each book is written in its own time, some much faster than others, and some take an extraordinary time to write, but the results will be worth it.

    1. I was among those who wauted anxiously in the midnight lines for the newest HP book to release and loved every minute of it!

  2. Reblogged this on Crazi Momma and commented:
    I am guilty as a reader wanting the next book asap. Though I know great writing takes time. I have waited years between books. Amy Miles hits the nail right on the head, Find a new author and new characters to fall in love with!

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