Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How Fast Should You Write a Book?

Lately I've read advice from self-published authors on how fast to write books. Some suggest no less than 3 novels a year. Others say you need to publish something regularly--every few weeks--so your audience stayed interested and doesn't leave. One prominent author claims to write short stories in 24 hours and then publish them.

Earlier I blogged on authors suggesting a book needs a certain word count for best effect on potential readers. 80,000-90,000 was considered ideal for novels.

The ideas of spending a fixed amount of time on a book, and aiming for a fixed word count, seem to work against achieving the best results in terms of literary quality. Clearly, a well-written book isn't the primary aim here, it is producing a lot of books and stories in a short period of time.

No doubt the advice that an author needs a lot of books on Amazon to get noticed and sell a lot is good counsel, and these recommendations on time and word count fit in with that. Unless somehow you write one book and it becomes a bestseller. That's not unknown but is the exception to the rule.

I find it tough to spend a very short amount of time on a story, because I know the literary quality will suffer. Perhaps I shouldn't mind so much as long as I am publishing a lot?

So far, I've published 4 stories in 2015 and hope to finish at least one novel and maybe two over the next 5 months. Fast enough? I suspect some of these authors are full-time writers.

My latest publication, the science fiction short story "I, Manikin."

1 comment:

Jennifer Cazey Daniels said...

I really appreciated this post because as a writer I find there is a lot of pressure to focus on quantity and not quality. I'm in full support of taking your time to write the best story you can, versus just trying to reach certain numbers. Isn't that the point of being a writer after all?