Sunday, May 15, 2011

Is More Better?

I recently read a popular blog where the the author says he has over 40 titles on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble. Very prolific. There are all kinds of works from short stories to collaborations to novels. I like this author and have read many of his works. But does that kind of production make it more of a business than an art? Is that how it should be?

I keep thinking of that line in Jurassic Park "...just because we can, doesn't mean we should..." But I also think of "...those that can, should..."

Back in the day, if a writer released two books in a year, it was an anomaly, a freak of nature. Now, for some, and you know who you are, it's one every two to three months, ignoring all of the previous taboos involved in this business.
No production concerns, no agent to slow down the process, and NO gatekeeper persona to sift through. Just write and publish. Write and publish. Write and publish.

Is this new wave a good thing for the publishing world? More specifically, the indie world?
Tell me what you think.


  1. It's a good question. My opinion is that it is author dependent. Writing one book a year (alone) is all I'm capable of right now. I'm sure there are writers out there who can do it full time and hire an editor and cover artist, who can put out several books a year. I think the writing will really tell the tale. If that's too many, the quality will decline and the reviews will show it.

  2. Such prolific publishing is not so unusual in some genres, but it generally yields a production-line similarity. Some readers like the predictability of that, while others prefer to read books by a favorite author that are very different from each other. I suspect that such a pace is likely to turn off readers over time.

  3. Hi Rick,
    As a NEW CERTIFIED FAN of your DETECTIVE MANNY WILLIAMS series, having read and thoroughly enjoyed CARIBBEAN MOON, I am anxious to read DECEITFUL MOON.
    There is an Author who holds the Guiness Book of World Records for having MORE Books on the New York Times Best Seller List at the same time - 17! In the past few years he has been colaborating with a few other Writers. He turns out several books a year, and they all go straight to the Best Seller Lists. A couple have been turned into major films.

    Personally, I agree with WORDSMITH, that some start to look like they came off a production line. I also agree with S. L. Pierce, ONE well crafted novel per year is good. I like a well developed character(s) that can be worked into a series. That said, I think you are off to a great start and Detective Sergeant Manfred Williams will have a long career in solving major crimes in Lansing, MI.

    Michael Phelps

  4. When will you issue EMERALD MOON?

  5. Speed of writing is very author dependent. I have one writer with Ridan, Nathan Lowell, that writes so quickly that many authors are using his name as a unit of measure. As in I wrote half a Lowell today. (A Lowell is 10,000 words in 24 hours).

    There is no question that more books is a key to success as evidenced by Amanda Hocking and John Locke. So prolific writers have a huge advantage.

    But I share your concern that quality can suffer if you just throw stuff out there as fast as you can. Editing is important and sometimes you just have to let the story sit and simmer with you. That being said...some authors will polish to infinity and beyond. There becomes a point of diminishing returns where you have to say "good enogh". Recognizing when you reach that point is the where the rubber meets the rode.

    Robin Sullivan | Write2Publish | Ridan Publishing