Writing fast and publishing fast to build up a backlog of books can have its advantages for a new author. Each release creates an opportunity for marketing and reaching potential readers. While writing fast is not a bad idea, it doesn't mean it's a good idea for everyone.
When you see charismatic and popular authors in the writing community putting out book after book, you sometimes can't help but compare your own progress to theirs. Every week that goes by they've announced a new title, a shiny cover, or a sneak peek of a chapter. This seems to be a rising trend in the self publishing industry. But how fast is too fast? And are these authors sacrificing quality for quantity?
Back in November, Natalia Leigh uploaded a YouTube Video called “I Published A Book - What I Learned a Year Later.” In her video she talks about this push for lots of books in the indie author community. She had a goal in 2019 to publish three or four books and thought for sure that she would be able to write and publish one every 2-3 months. I really loved how open she was about her struggles with accepting how difficult it is to be surrounded by the idea of writing lots of books quickly and have them be good.
I think she brought up a really good point about the quality of books published in such a short amount of time. With each new release the author's book must be equal in writing to the previous ones if not better. But if they're not working on developing their writing craft in between books because they are rushing to fill a backlog, readers are going to notice. Are they harming their reputations as authors (and their potential sales) by sacrificing quality for quantity?
The self publishing process has changed dramatically over the last decade and it has become easy for indie authors to publish their own books. Maybe too easy. Some writers can become impatient to finish a project and to see their name on a cover. I promise you, readers can tell. Editing errors, plot holes, and bad covers. If you want your book to be read by more than your family and friends or a circle of followers then you need to take a professional approach to your work.
There is a difference between being published and being read. You can't rush or take shortcuts and then expect your book to stand out in the current oversaturated self-publishing market and find financial success. That unprofessional version of your story is going to be out there forever like those cringe worthy photos of you on the internet. And honestly how many of those readers are willing to take the chance on your next book if they were disappointed in the first? It's okay to slow down. You aren't in a race with anyone!
Let your work breath in between edits and revisions. If you do decide to utilize beta readers, take their critique and suggestions into consideration to make your book even better. You will also need to book an editor and cover designer well in advance. Learn the ins and outs of marketing because it will take more than a social media presence to sell your book. Set the release date only when you have all of this accomplished to avoid any mishaps or mistakes for a successful book launch
You are a wordsmith and this is your craft. Take your time to write that epic fantasy series or thrilling mystery with the quirky detective that's going to keep your readers up late and night and have them shouting "YES!" when your hero final reaches their goal. Those readers are going to remember your name and will eagerly await your next book. Look at George R.R. Martin. He is known for slow releases but I guarantee you when he finally drops the Winds of Winter everyone will be lining up to buy it. The same can said of your journey. Word will get around. The sales and reviews you were so desperately hoping for when you were about to rush a release will happen. And they will continue to happen with each quality book you publish.