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How Many Books Should You Publish Per Year?

People think that this is an easy question and easy answer:  How many books should you publish per year?  Answer:  As many as you can.  Right answer — wrong line of thinking.

Can you really publish a book a month?  Yes, you could but, unless these books have been in the works for months ahead, then the answer is no.  At least the books themselves will not be a success.

I almost fell into this trap, but thanks goes to my co-author for telling me to relax.  Many people who know me could tell you that I stress over several things.  I stress over times when edits are not done on time, or not done as well as I like, or the fact that my writing is not as good as I want it to be.

The point I’d like to make is that stress can create a publishing nightmare.  Especially with deadlines that everyone might have.  In Search of the Lost Ones went over the deadline — not once but four times.  Everyone was mad- but for different reasons.

The editor wanted more edits.  It was true that they were necessary, but my editor is busy beyond belief, and really after a while ran out of time.  I think editing is a hard job, but I did learn a lot from my editor.  Mainly, write this book.

The publisher needed to have something soon.  They were willing not to publish the book after the second round of edits came back needing more edits.  But publishers need to meet deadlines or lose money.  (Thank goodness my publisher was understanding in the end.)

Sometimes I felt like I never wanted to see that book again. (Well, I did but I was wanting something to move — or at least not have an obstacle to deal with.  Think:  “I need more time!” or “I need the manuscript now!”)  I also had to play referee.

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is decide that you will only publish one book a year.  Writing is a job, yes, and you might not like the process at times, but I think that if you are honest with your time, you will be able to find out how many books you can personally write.

One Comment

  • Rachel

    I agree with you, Rebecca. Not only must a writer of 3-4 novels a year sacrifice quality, they also can't promote each book as effectively as it deserves.

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