Friday, February 24, 2017

Writing: Too Much, Too Little, Just Right

People ask how long it takes to write a book. Like so many questions, the answer is, "It varies."

Some of my colleagues are like writing machines, turning out two, three, or even four books per year. Others publish one book per year. Personally, I'd love to be able to take the time to have one book a year published, but my contracts have always called for a book every six months or so. So sometimes the interval is a contractual matter if the author is working for a conventional publisher.

I thought I was going to have a novel published in November, which would have been six months since the last one appeared. But the publisher decided to change that from November, first to January, then to February. As that time approached, it was evident that there were problems, and the upshot of all that is that Critical Condition won't be out for a bit (even though it's written and edited). In the interim, responding to repeated queries by my readers, I've written a long novella (about half the length of a conventional book) which will be self-published, releasing in about three weeks. More about this as the time draws nearer.

But that brings up the question I want to ask. Do you tend to "forget" about an author if he/she doesn't have a new book out every three months, or six months, or nine months? What do you think the ideal interval for publication would be? As readers and writers, chime in. I'm waiting to hear.

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10 comments:

Paula said...

I have my favorites, like your books who I can't wait to read the next one. My problem is I have so many favorites. So I need alerts to jog my mind to order the book when the library gets it. If there is a series, sometimes I'll wait til all three of them are out so I can read them without interruption. Then of course I need a checklist to tell myself if I've already read it.
Sorry you've had so many problems with your publication team. Blessings

Richard Mabry said...

Paula, there is a service that alerts you (using Amazon data) when an author puts out a new book. It's http://authoralerts.com. Grab a list of your favorite authors (I hope I'm on that list) and get notified. And I agree about the checklist--I used to keep one, but sometimes I forgot to list a new book by a favorite author, so it didn't help.
The problems with my publisher for Cardiac Event were financial (on their part, not mine), which is why that book isn't out yet.
Thanks for your comment.

Jackie Smith said...

I never forget my favorite authors...like you! I am sorry for your publication issues. However, I am waiting for your next book! I was at a classmate lunch yesterday about 60 mi. away (I try to attend it monthly), and 2 ladies were talking about how they loved your books (I introduced you to them awhile back). We are older, avid readers of Christian fiction, esp. medical.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Jackie--for your comment and your nice words. My next release is my long novella, Doctor's Dilemma. I'll have an announcement about that in about a week. Depending on some factors my agent and I need to clarify, Cardiac Event will be my next full-length novel.

Gail H. said...

My favorite authors are never forgotten. I follow blogs, newsletters and Facebook of my favorites (you included) and love learning everyday things about all of y'all! By the way, Happy Anniversary to you and your beloved!! 💘

Richard Mabry said...

Thank you, Gail--on all counts. The full story of what followed Cynthia's death can be found in my non-fiction book, The Tender Scar.

Patricia Bradley said...

I don't forget authors, either. And I wondered what happened with your book. :-) Eagerly awaiting it! But I totally understand about publishing houses. My last book was moved from November to January then the first of February and ended up releasing January 31. lol

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, we were all thrilled that a new publisher of Christian fiction was starting up, and I was honored to be one of the signees. But interim financing hit a snag, and so did publication of my book. Meanwhile, I decided to self-publish this novella. And Cardiac Event will eventually come out, whether from a publisher or as a self-published novel.
Thanks so much for your comment.

Elise Griffith said...

I read favorite authors' books whenever they come out. Mauve Binchy had a new title about once every two years and they were worth waiting for, God rest her soul. Other authors do a book a year. Sometimes when an author is pumping out 3-4 books per year it shows; the story can feel rushed. Your novels are worth the wait because they're each so unique.

Richard Mabry said...

Elise, thank you for that. Since I don't write romances per se (although I try to incorporate them into my novels), it's tough coming up with something different for each one. And I appreciate your saying that time between novels doesn't matter as much as we authors have been told. Hope you enjoy my forthcoming novella, and the novels that follow.