We’ve all heard a comment to the effect of “wow, you’ve published a book? When will the next one be out?” Sounds like they have a lot of confidence in your work, but it is natural that there needs to be another book coming out sooner or later.
We’ve all also heard the comment to the effect of “Oh, you’ve published a book? Is it going to be your only one or are you writing a series?” This comment tends to make a writer wonder if it is a risky thing to publish only one book.
Either way, both comments can make you feel that you need to write and publish another book. For some writers, this isn’t the case, they can feel like one book and done — they just have a book to publish and the rest is not needed, they are the part-time writers (in the case of this blog post). Others, who only planned to write a book might feel they need to write a series, or more books when they weren’t planning on doing this in the first place. This is true with self-publishing and with traditionally published books.
One published book does equal more risk if you are living a life of writing. All books have a life cycle, with some being longer than others, but sales of books end at some point. We might remember Charles Dickens or Jane Austin, but there were countless other writers out there, and once you have a book of theirs, the chances are almost nothing that you will buy the same title again. (In my house we have two Pride and Prejudice, so there is such a thing as forgetting you already own a book.)
If you are writing for a living, this means over time, you will need another book to cover what expenses you have, because your last book has already been sold to your smaller networks, and you might not have the powerful word of mouth other authors have.
In my own case, I learned from a marketer family and friends are the worst people to count on for spreading the word about: author signings or books in general. I have to agree with this statement since once the book was sold, or they had done their part, nothing more came from them.
They aren’t lazy, but they do not care about my book.
When the next one comes, these same people will be “excited” and “thrilled” for me, and maybe will buy a book, but will not go much farther. I will even bet my own money and suggest the people who have lent a hand in making the next book a reality will not help in the least. I have a couple of books I am working on, and doing the journey with self-publishing, but it’s a time consuming process. I also have two others almost ready to be published. I’m not worried about them in so far it creates something more with this blog, and my own career as a writer. This is me being a responsible writer in looking towards the future, but knowing and understanding the past and making it work for me.
One book also is a money risk- long term and short term.
You have tapped out of your smaller networks, and you might even be tempted to pay for some advertising, but again, this will put a drain on your finances, after all money is king, and the more you have the more time you will have to spend on your writing. One book in this case won’t cut it.
Even now, as much as people complain about authors (Stephen King or Kiera Cass come to mind) who consistently write books, they understand the need to publish another “bestseller” or a book in general to keep audiences interested in their writing.
They understand that every book has a lifespan and a trilogy or just sitting back won’t cut it, they have to continue to write to earn money over time. They are not great writers, but they are smart writers with their outlook on writing.
Yes, one book does equal more risk, if you plan on making writing your career.