Friday, August 10, 2018

Writing: How Long?

I released my latest novel, Guarded Prognosis, on July 17. I'm glad to see it's been well-received (all 5-star reviews on Amazon so far, and the readers seem to like it). This makes twelve novels and four novellas so far--not bad for a kid from a small Texas town, retired (sort of) from the practice of medicine, who never thought about writing. But with some degree of success comes problems.

Since starting to indie-publish my work, I've settled into a routine of one novel, followed by one novella, followed by another novel, etc. One of my readers has already noticed that I intend to publish another novella, Emergency Case, toward the end of this year, and he's asked when I'll release the cover of that one?  I read his comment and realized that it takes most authors anywhere from several months to one or more years to write a book that can be read in less than a week. That's a good problem, but nevertheless, a problem.

To answer the question I was asked, I've already finished Emergency Case and sent it to the woman whom I've engaged as my editor. At the same time, the lady who does my covers is working on a cover design. But, although indie-published work can come out faster than novels released by traditional publisher, it still takes a while for the process to play out.

I'd like to hear what you think about this. Is there a solution? Let me know. And meanwhile, thanks for buying the books. I appreciate it.

Tweet with a single click. "Indie publication has speeded up the process, but it still takes months to produce a book. What's your answer?"


greg fuller said...

Here is a thought. I've noticed some authors publish a hardbound first, and then six to twelve months later the softbound comes out. Perhaps, you could try that format. When the softbound is could also publish a novella three to four months after the softbound has been released.

Richard Mabry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Mabry said...

Greg, thanks for your comment, but in situations like you describe (and I'm not familiar with those) I'd imagine there was a publisher involved. In the case of an indie-author, it's best to publish the printed book (and these are soft-cover books, not hardbound) and e-book at the same time. Matter of fact, it would be best to release the audio book at the same time, but it usually works out that comes later. But I appreciate your thinking about it.

Priscilla Bettis said...

I don't think there has to be a solution to your publishing timeline. Books are . . . slow. You can't rush quality. If an author is churning out TOO fast, then I start to wonder about how good the books are. Is there any wordsmithing involved? Is the editor being thorough? Does the cover artist come out with creative, beautiful covers?

Patricia Bradley said...

It's always amazed me that someone can read in a few hours what took me months to write. :-) I actually posted on my blog today about why it takes usually a year to get a book from the first editor to the bookstores.

I agree with Priscilla...there is no shortcut. :-) Looking forward to your next novella!

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, I agree that a good book takes time to write. When I see an otherwise excellent author start bringing out books too quickly, I have the same kind of suspicions as you.

Patricia, I agree with you. And, yes, your blog post explains why it takes a year for a traditional publisher to get a book out. This can be shortened some in indie-publishing, but there's a minimum that we can't get around.

Thanks to you both for your comments.