Monday, May 14, 2012

So Much for Over-Exposure: Writers Producing More Books Each Year Now

To say that I was slightly annoyed when I was told that I had "over-exposure" a couple of months ago would be an understatement. I was fucking livid. And that's because I think I try to be in touch with readers all the time. I hear them and I try to listen to what they want. I also think this article proves that nowadays, with a new digital market, it's hard to be over-exposed when readers are demanding more and more books.

And no author knows what book will resonate with readers. So the ability to produce more work in a shorter amount of time can only benefit an author, not hurt him or her. Of course every writer has his or her own pace. Nothing will ever change this. And every writer needs to write at his or her own pace in order to produce quality work. I found that with the first self-published book I ever wrote, "Chase of a Lifetime," it took me longer to get the book released because I was so concerned about quality and technical issues I never had to worry about before with a publisher. I work much faster when the publisher deals with these things. When it was up to me, very different story.

But the point of this post is that publishing is changing. It's more demanding and readers want more books from authors. No more summer Fridays off for a while and no more dead periods during the year where publishing shuts down and goes to sleep. For some this is a great thing, for others it will be a horror. I've known people in publishing who made millions and lived to brag and boast about it, and we used to joke around that they took vacations from vacations. In fact, Tony and I always joked that we do more in one day than these people do in a month. Publishing, until recently, has always been considered the slowest industry in the universe. I've even seen this written in blog posts.

Not so much anymore!


Dorien/Roger said...

Nice blog, Ryan. But I'm afraid that for too many writers--not you or me, of course--quantity does not necessarily equal quality.

ryan field said...

I think it depends. I've seen books that took years to write that absolutely suck. I'm not joking about this. They are horrible, and the author spent YEARS on them.

Every writer works at his or her own pace, and I'm not sure quality suffers because a writer works fast. All the old Nancy Drew books were published fast and they are classics now. What we're seeing now isn't that new. It's just being repeated in a digital world.

I did once write a m/f romance novel with a pen name in three weeks under contract. I don't think the quality suffered, but I will NEVER do that again. It was more than intense. Never again.

lauradeth said...

I'd rather have two books a year than than 15 rushed/demanded books.

As a reader, I have no problem waiting for a book.

Also, finished Cowboy Mike - loved it. COAL is still my favourite though!

ryan field said...

I wait two years for an Anne Tyler novel. It seems like publishing took a sharp turn in the other direction. But I'm sure it will all balance out eventually. I'm starting to see signs of this already.