An author friend recommended I read a book on rapid releasing. For anyone who might not be aware of this process, it means that authors put out a new book as quickly as possible. The author of this particular book has experimented with publishing a new book a week for the first pen name, a book every other week for a second pen name, and yet another book every single month for a third pen name. I assume these books aren’t all full-length, though she never specified how long they were. All I know is that the one pen name that she shared have books that are full-length.
She never did address the questions I had while reading the book. Does she use ghostwriters to help accomplish this feat? I wonder how it’s possible to keep up with that kind of momentum for more than a year. It seems that getting out all of those books between three pen names every year would end up giving someone a serious case of burnout. I think this writer said she started back in 2016. Other questions I had about her process that she never addressed were, “When do you take time to edit? When do you take time to discuss covers with your cover artist? When do you balance the marketing aspect with writing? (She said she loves promoting her books more than writing them, so I assume she doesn’t hand this task to an assistant.) Do you answer emails? How do you have time for social media (since she’s on Facebook)? Or, does she have an assistant who does the bulk of the non-writing stuff for her? And if so, how much is the assistant doing?”
In the end, the questions are none of my business. If she doesn’t want to explain how she’s managed to keep up this hectic publishing schedule every year since 2016, that’s really up to her. The goal of the book was to tell authors why rapid release will sell more books and why authors should adopt this method if they want to make a living writing. I only read the book since an author friend wanted to know my thoughts on it.
Well, here are my thoughts on the rapid release strategy.
I think it sucks. I don’t like it.
Just reading about the woman’s hectic process wore me out. I walked away feeling like I needed a long nap.
What’s the point in writing books if you’re going to be working on them so fast that you don’t have any time to enjoy the process? You might as well just hire the work out to ghostwriters. Come up with outlines so you can make sure the story is your idea, but let them write them out. There’s nothing wrong with using ghostwriters. You don’t have to tell other people you use them. And ghostwriters get paid for writing books for you. Some of them are pretty cheap from what an author friend told me. If the only goal that matters to you is money, then why burn yourself out by writing at such a crazy pace?
I’ve chosen not to do the rapid release schedule because I want to write my own books AND I want to enjoy the process of creating the story. The journey of watching the story unfold (with all of its twists and turns) is what makes writing so much fun. When you get that “ah-ha” moment, it gives you a natural high. When you aren’t rushing through the story, you get to spend days enjoying that high. If you’re zooming right through the scenes, the high is going to be suppressed by your tight deadline. All that matters is finishing the book. It doesn’t matter what a character discovered about himself or how a conversation a character has will end up having significance later on in the story (or maybe even a series). In my opinion, writers who rush through books just to finish them are missing out. But, to play devil’s advocate, I’m not the one making $100,000+ a year writing books. So what do I know about the business, right?
All I’m doing is giving one writer’s opinion. I’m done with trying to come up with ways to make more money from writing and publishing books. It’s done nothing but drained me of all the joy in my writing. I almost quit writing because of the hamster wheel. You can make a ton of money at this and still be miserable. Money doesn’t make writing fun. I get that money puts food on the table and pays the bills, but it’s not going to be what makes writing FUN. You have to love the process of writing to have fun. You have to be passionate about what you’re working on to have fun. Your stories have to mean something deep inside of you. If you aren’t invested in what you’re writing, the books won’t have long-lasting meaning to you.
But maybe that’s not your aim. Maybe your aim is only money. In that case, I highly recommend ghostwriters because a rapid release schedule is going to end up draining you dry unless it’s a short-term strategy. Writing isn’t something that always earns you more and more money every year. Income can go down. There are no guarantees in this business. One book can be a good seller and then next can flop. You just don’t know what will happen. And not everyone who runs ads all the time sees a return on their investment. So don’t expect constant ad run to be your magic bullet. I’ve heard too many horror stories from writers who ended up in debt running ads all the time. Yes, the work out well for some, but not everyone benefits from them.
If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s how important it is to enjoy the time you have because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Writing is what keeps me sane. It gives me a foundation to stand on even when the rest of the world is descending into chaos. We live in a time when we’re lucky to have computers and internet because these inventions have made it easy to write and publish books. With self-publishing, you can write any story you want. No publisher is going to step in and stop you from getting your book into the world. That’s a tremendous blessing. In 2021, I’m going to enjoy this blessing to the max. I’m going to dive into the joy of meeting characters in my stories and finding out what fun journey they’re going to take me on. I will not rush any story just to get it out into the world.
If anyone out there feels the same way I do, I’m currently working on a book that is for writers who don’t want to rapid release but might want to find a comfortable publishing schedule that best fits their lifestyle. It’s meant to be motivational and instructional. I believe that finding a comfortable publishing schedule opens the door to being able to relax and enjoy the process of writing. If you would like to write more (and have the spare time to), this can help “up” your publishing schedule. But this only works if you have the time. It won’t do anything if you’re already pressed to your limits. If you’re pressed to your limits, I recommend slowing down. I don’t think we should stress ourselves out to publish more books.
I’ve been writing since I was in high school (early ’90s), but I didn’t get serious about it until 2008 when self-publishing became easy and affordable. In the past 12 years, I’ve experimented with different writing paces, and I’ve settled on a happy medium where I can balance writing and real life without feeling hectic. I wrote down my strategy and put it into a short book. (There’s really not much to it.) I already have the cover for it.
I have the first draft down and am currently working on the second. I’d like to have this out in the summer since my plan is to finish up with the current romances I’m writing first. I’ll make this free when it comes out. This is something I hope will help writers who are having trouble coming up with an annual publishing schedule. Maybe some will find they can get more books out. Or maybe it’ll just help with organizing your time so that there’s not so much “wasted” time that seems to go into a black hole somewhere. I believe a productive mind is a happy mind. Also, it’s nice when you can truly enjoy writing for the sake of writing.