M. Pax's blog this week. Cheer me on up to three times a day using the phrases "Lady of the Lab," "Lyon's Legacy," or "Tosspot" for a chance to win an eBook from me!
This month's issue of Indie Life was inspired by a post called "New Rule: No More Binge Publishing!" You can read the original post here and some excerpts on Passive Voice. It's very interesting to see how the comments differ on the two sites: commenters are more supportive on Libby's blog than on the Passive Voice blog.
Is there a limit as to how much one should publish each year? What is the ideal number of stories one should publish, and does the length of the story matter? I for one don't think there's a hard-and-fast rule for this. Someone who has a backlog of stories, whether unpublished or with rights reverted, might be able to publish them more quickly than someone starting from scratch. Also, the more time you have to write, the more quickly (in theory) you should be able to finish, edit, and prepare the stories for publication. However, novels will probably take longer than short stories. The ideal and realistic number of published stories each year is going to vary from author to author.
So far, self-publishing seems to favor authors who can write quickly and publish rapidly. Since every work promotes all the other stories by making you more visible, this is a good strategy. I think even when the self-publishing industry matures a little more, the advantage will still lie with the prolific authors. However, it's also an industry that looks to the long-term. No matter what happens to the current distributors, there will be other ways of getting your books in front of readers. Since these stories will be around for a long time, it's best to make sure they're as good as you can make them at the time of publication. Even though your skills will improve with practice, you can learn more by finishing several stories instead of revising the same one over and over. Ultimately, each author will have to figure out for herself how quickly she can write and publish well.
Personally, I originally planned to publish six works this year. I did publish three early in the year, but the other projects I've been working on have turned out to be longer and more complex than I thought they'd be. Sure, it's frustrating that they're taking so long, but I think they'll turn out to be better stories for it. I'll know when they're ready to share with the world, and I hope my readers will agree. I also hope as my son gets older, I'll be able to find more writing time, since it's currently very limited. In the long run, I'd like to plan a writing/publishing schedule every year so readers know when to expect the next book in a series, though of course real life has a way of trumping plans.
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