Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Authors Become Book Factories

Photo:  Evan Bench
When editors have a hot author, they push him/her to amp up production.  They desire, especially of those writing series, to keep up a pace of a book a year.  I understand this.  The author is popular and the editors want to capitalize on it while readers are slavering over the next possible installment. It means more money and success.  But there are also drawbacks to this.

First, authors can get burn-out.  Some writers are fine writing one book, or even two, a year.  Not all authors follow that pattern, though and it is unfair to push an author until they literally tire of their characters.  Authors should love revisiting characters they have come to know well, not cringe.  They will stop wanting to write about them pretty soon.

Authors may also not put as much thought into subsequent books.  Should the author really have killed off that character?  Oops, there is a plot hole there that no one actually caught.  It happens!  If authors are pushed to work at a pace they aren't good with, they miss things or do things to their plot they don't really want to do because of deadlines.  If an author does put out a misstep of a book to keep up with what editors want, the book runs the risk of hurting sales. If you keep ticking off your fans, some will leave!

There is NO time for other projects.  Say an author wants to branch out into a different area for awhile; they can't while the demands exist.

And how can one promote effectively for months while expecting to keep up the pace?  Insanity!
I would much rather have an author I like take two years (or even three) to write another novel if it means they will keep producing work at a level I have come to expect.  When an author doesn't enjoy what he/she does, it shows.  No one should make writing more difficult than it already can be.

What do you think?  Do you think it is perfectly acceptable to expect all authors to work at a break-neck pace?  Have you ever read a book where you can TELL the author was forced to produce it?  Sound off!


  1. You make some great points. It is true the author who keeps pumping out the books too fast may bet burned out as well as the possiblity of making more mistakes. A great quality book needs a little more time to process and edit, otherwise it really increases the pressure on the writer. It is great for marketing and a writer's career. Hard thing to choose.

    1. As long as the quality doesn't suffer, I wouldn't mind doing it but I know I am not that fast of a writer.