A Book Takes As Long As It Takes

I've seen a lot of advice online about how to sell more books...be a bestselling author...attract new readers...make more money, etc.

Most of that advice says: publish a book every month.

Huh? You've got to be kidding, right?

Uh, no. That really is the advice that everyone is repeating. What's even worse is that some authors feel lacking because they can't do this.

Cut Yourself a Break

Before you attempt to follow this insane advice, let me just point out the obvious. "This is insane."

Is there really an author who can write and publish a book--a real full-length book, not a short story--every single month? If so, I want to meet her/him so I can learn how they do it.

I've been in the business a long time. I've never met anyone who could do that. Not even Nora Roberts could do that when she was uber young and publishing prolifically.

Reality Check

In all honesty, I do not believe a book, meaning a novel of at least 50,000 words fully realized characters and a coherent plot, can be written, edited, proofed, and published every month.

Maybe that ill-conceived advice is about an ebook. Not all ebooks are books. Some are short shorts (in the print world, a short short is a story of no more than 1000 words). Some are short stories--more than 1,000 words, less than 20,000 words. Some are novellas, 20,000 to 40,000 words. Even a short novel which weighs in between 40,000 and 50,000 words would be hard to pull off every month.

Theoretically Speaking

Could an author publish every month with most of the ebooks being short stories with maybe a novella or even a novel tossed in every few months?

Theoretically, yes.

If she/he has nothing else to do with her time. No family, friends, significant other, job, house, pet, or any of those other things that demand time and attention from most of us.

But, to me, it sounds like the expressway to burnout. No matter how much you love writing, or any job for that matter, when you work all the time, immersing yourself in such a demanding activity, you n intense

Realistically Speaking

I think advice like that serves only to make an author crazy.

Always feeling as if s/he's not doing enough to keep up with those who are doing it--or attempting to do it.

Always afraid they're losing readers if they don't publish frequently enough.

That kind of advice is dangerous.

In a way, it's funny. There's a widely held opinion that we've trained readers to expect free or super cheap ebooks. I guess now we'll be told we're training readers to follow only the authors who publish every month.

Is it a case of the tail wagging the dog or vice versa?

There are enough things in this crazy business that drive you crazy.

Beware taking to heart advice that can only be followed at the expense of every person, relationship,  and situation in your life.

Takeaway Truth

Assuming you really are working consistently on a story, then, in my humble opinion:


Good luck and best wishes with setting up a sane writing and release plan for yourself.

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