Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Writing 101: Speed

After you publish a book, you've got to start immediately thinking about publishing your next book. You've got to keep publishing, even though you have to worry about promoting and editing and making trailers and maintaining you day job, too. When it comes to being an indie, how important is speed? 

How Fast Can You Publish?

Some of the most successful self-published authors don't just put books out there. They put a lot of books out there very quickly. They make money by constantly offering something new to their fan bases. They make money with speed. What if you can't keep up? 

How fast do you have to get your books out before you fade away and all the readers forget you exist? Pretty fast, really. Indie authors helped to create events like NaNoWriMo, a speed-writing contest where everyone scrambles to write a novel in a month as if this somehow has some virtue to it. Speed is everything in the self-publishing game, and that's unfortunate because speed and quality don't often go hand-in-hand. The Mona Lisa literally took decades to paint, people. 

But I digress. The point is, speed is pretty important in self-publishing. If you aren't publishing frequently and regularly, some readers are going to forget about you. They may not wait for you to release that sequel or finish that series before they move on to another author and forget your name. 

Speed matters, yes. You'll sell a lot more books and probably have a lot more readers if you start churning out novels all the time. But quality matters, too. The vast majority, and I mean the vast majority, of all authors don't make a lot of money. Most of them have other jobs. But they write because they love it, like you, and because they want to tell stories.

At the end of the day, you are always a storyteller. It doesn't matter how fast you can publish. Your job is tell the story you've got to tell in the best possible way. Your job as an author is to deliver quality over speed. Keep doing that, and you'll win the race eventually. The tortoise was slow and steady, and he beat that flashy hare at the end. If you release fewer stories that are higher in quality, eventually you'll win over that big fan base ad build up that reputation that will help you sell more stories. 

When it comes to speed over storytelling, always choose storytelling.

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