Maintaining Visibility: How Often to Publish?

I started 2013 with the intention of publishing one novel-length story every three months (this was when I thought Strain would be published in the summer.) It hasn’t quite worked that way, because Strain has taken longer than I first was led to believe, and I also have had several novelette/novella length books released. I’ll have five releases by the end of the year, but only one will have been a novel.

March: Velocity (novel)
April: Giving an Inch (novelette)
May: The Laird’s Forbidden Lover (novella)
September: An Inch at a Time (novelette)
December (I think): Inch by Inch (novelette)

Talya Andor

Conventional wisdom from authors attending the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up covered the subject of how often an author should publish in order to stay on the readers’ radar. The answer surprised me: there’s a push to publish quarterly to stay on top.

I am a prolific writer myself, but the thought of putting out something every quarter seemed pretty exhausting. After all, the process involves brainstorming, turning out a first draft, going back for the first edit, submitting, doing another, potentially more extensive edit for pre-publication that might involve re-writes, and galley approval. All of that for one manuscript–then the prospect of juggling four (or more!) manuscripts a year can be overwhelming.

That led me to take a look at my own experiences over the past year and a half. I started out submitting three manuscripts right out the gate. By the end of the year I’d submitted two more…

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Maintaining Visibility: How Often to Publish?

  1. I don’t need that kind of pressure, to be honest. I write as fast as I write, and forcing myself to increase that speed would make it seem too much like a job. I still think writing should be a pleasure.

    I have several good ideas waiting to be brought to fruition, and I look forward to telling those stories. At my own speed, not someone else’s.

    • I hear you, Theo. I feel like I already write as fast as I can go, usually keeping multiple projects on the front burner at a time, and it actually isn’t in my power (unless I 100% self-publish) when they are released. So, this year I’ve submitted two novelettes to calls that indicated they’d be out this year or early next year. One call was canceled. The other call postponed by a year. Those are things I can’t control. All I can do is write, write, write, and submit, submit, submit. That’s about all I’ve got control of and getting upset or wound up about whether or not I’m publishing quarterly is something that isn’t going to help one way or another, I suppose.

      • I had a long stretch between my last Precog book and the release of Blue River at Dreamspinner (they sat on it longer than I expected them to). In the meantime, I wrote a full-length book, which I’m self-publishing on Halloween. I’m already well into my next project, a YA novel. I try not to be too hard on myself, but I do keep moving forward. 🙂

      • Yeah, I think that is probably a much healthier way to look at it. What we’re seeing here is my need to overachieve and set unrealistic goals for myself at play.

    • I am, unfortunately, one of those people who thinks that if I’m not going far above and beyond the call, I’m slacking, so I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself. *sigh*

  2. I think if writing was my full time job that maybe I could do it – at least get through the work – how long before I ran out of stories I can’t say. But while I’ve still got a day job, then I’d have to find a way to do without sleep, I reckon.

    • Oh, definitely for people who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to stay home and write, I can’t imagine how maintaining such a schedule would be achievable.

      I wonder if that is where the trend we’ve been seeing of shorter books being published comes from–the need to get something out there fast, rather than linger over a longer project.

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