On Writing

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm not the fastest writer in the world (obviously) but my goal has always been to write (get published) one book per year. Maybe every nine months, tops. Seemed reasonable at the time. Then I look around and peeps were talking about 2 books per year, or every 8 months, tops. Plus novellas, if you could swing it. Not to mention all the marketing, etc.

::picture me with my eyes crossed and about to drop in a dead faint.::

Reading about, and watching, the outputs of authors like PBW, and Holly Lisle, just make me want to curl up in a foetal position and start gnawing on my manscript. lol.

Anywho, Tess Gerritsen has **some things to say on the subject. What a sigh of relief for me. If an author of her stature is saying a 1 book per year schedule, can be grinding, then there's hope for me yet. ( ** you can't directly link to Tess's blog posts--I don't even see archives--so look for the 12/11/2005 post, if you can find it.)

Joe Konrath's recent post had me riled! Riled, I tell ya! ;-) (and good thing, too.)
And check out his 'Size Matters' post on word counts, white space, the cost of publishing, and how it all relates to your odds of being published.
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Shari said...

Every writer has to face the reality of how harsh the publishing world is - and decide if they want to keep writing anyway. Thank you for sharing so many viewpoints on the business!

Annalee Blysse said...

Tough to be as prolific as some!

Jaye said...

Hey ladies, thanks for dropping by. One of the great things about the net is the amount of information out there from experienced, knowledgeable, and generous authors.

Jordan Summers said...

Unfortunately, I think the only way you can get by with one book a year is if you hit big out of the gate. Otherwise, it's tough to keep you name out there. Sigh.

Jaye said...

I guess this is where a good supply of back stories would help. You know, the ones you couldn't get someone to even sneeze at in the first round of queries, but now they want more of your stuff?

I definitely think as a newbie, I'd like put out my first 3 releases at 6/8 month intervals (this is just me daydreaming, folks. Stop laughing). Build up a little name recognition/market brand, then ease back to 1 release per 9 months- 1 year releases. (I said, 'Stop laughing!')

Julie said...

As I am writing like a madwoman to get four books out a year, I can't possibly comment. :-)

But I did find out that I was wrong about the Christmas lights house: it really does exist. I'm too cynical, I guess. http://www.snopes.com/photos/arts/xmaslights.asp

raine said...

As a fellow slow writer--I'm with ya.
My ideal would be one-and-a-half books or so a year.

Even better would be to have a six-month leeway in between, so I can see it better and get it out of my brain before final edits.

Ah, well...I can dream...

Jaye said...

Raine, 1 and a half (I'm talking single title here) would be perfect for me too.

Julie, you always wrote like a mad woman, published or not. For prolific writers such as yourself, this isn't such a concern. :-P

I didn't check the snopes, but I did watch the video again, and it looked 'real' but that some fancy editing had been done. Then someone posted in comments that they live nearby the house and visit and it did indeed exist. I forgot where he said it was Oregon? One of those 'O' places. lol.

Danica said...

Good stuff as usual Jaq. :) The paragraph thing was very helpful to me, as I've been told in COUNTLESS contests that I have too many. Interestingly enough, I don't have as many as the averages he pointed out.

Jaye said...

Funny thing is, I never noticed the paragraph thing before, unless it was way too long (10-15 lines). But now he's just given me another thing to tweak.... lol. He's right though, it makes for an easy/faster read. :-P

JA Konrath said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JA Konrath said...

(I reposted this to fix some typos)

Keep in mind that most publishers don't want you to put out more than a book a year. In fact, my contract specifically says I cannot publish more than one, unless I use a different name.

Printing ARCS, getting reviews, printing the catalogues, taking orders--all of that takes time. A book a year is the speed which publishers feel is optimal to 'grow' an author. If you reach the status of Nora Roberts or James Patterson or Tess Gerritsen, they might be clamboring for more. But until then, don't fret--one a year is what they want.

Jaye said...

And all I have to say to that is: *phew!* Thanks for the clarification, Joe.

I feel a wee bit better, but I still suspect that many romance genre publishers are looking at an optimum 8-9 months release schedule. Then again, I think that's just been in the last few years. Things are liable to change again.

Amie Stuart said...

Love the word count post!

And you might not be fast but you're a solid writer ;-) and damned good at what you do.

Jaye said...

Aww, thanks hon. Right back at ya. (except you are fast.) :-P

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