Is the key to success writing more and more and more?

The New York Times had an article in yesterday’s edition that begins: “For years, it was a schedule as predictable as a calendar: novelists who specialized in mysteries, thrillers and romance would write one book a year, output that was considered not only sufficient, but productive.”

That is so true! I know of several authors who were more prolific but the fear was that their books would cannibalize sales of their previous books. Sometimes they got around this by writing under a pseudonym or two. (That was supposed to be why Stephen King also wrote under the name Richard Bachmann.)

The article continues: But the e-book age has accelerated the metabolism of book publishing. Authors are now pulling the literary equivalent of a double shift, churning out short stories, novellas or even an extra full-length book each year.

They are trying to satisfy impatient readers who have become used to downloading any e-book they want at the touch of a button, and the publishers who are nudging them toward greater productivity in the belief that the more their authors’ names are out in public, the bigger stars they will become.

“It used to be that once a year was a big deal,” said Lisa Scottoline, a best-selling author of thrillers. “You could saturate the market. But today the culture is a great big hungry maw, and you have to feed it.”

I also know a lot of self-pubbed authors who feel the key to success is writing as many books as you can, even as many as once a month.

While such a schedule seems impossible to me, people have done it. SF/Fantasy author Michael Moorcock used to write books in a mere week. And starting today I’m taking a class with romance author Candace Havens called Fast Draft. I didn’t know anything about it before I signed up, really. I thought it would be tips on writing a fast draft. No. Well, it is, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In this class I am expected to write 70,000 words in the next two weeks.

Ha ha!

And I just got one revision letter and expect a second one later this week.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Read more about writer’s feeling the pressure to write more here.

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