After looking over some of my ideas for future books, my editors picked the two they liked best. So last week I began researching Book #2. It's set for release in the fall of 2011. Book #3 is on the schedule for fall of 2012.
On paper, the plan is for me to write one book a year. An entire year to write one book seems like plenty of time, doesn't it? In fact, it even appears leisurely!
However, this week I'll be getting my REWRITES for Book #1. Tomorrow, I have a phone meeting scheduled with one of my editors to begin discussion of all of the changes I'll need to make. (You can be sure I'll blog about this entire process!)
The rewrites are only the first round of edits and are the most substantive. My editors have already warned me that I need to make my ending more happily-ever-after. I'm guessing I'll have other big changes to make as well. I'll find out exactly what during that phone meeting--which is making my stomach twist into strange shapes.
Once the rewrites are done and in, then I'll eventually get two other sets of edits. All this to say, I will NOT have a leisurely year in which to research and write Book #2. I'll be learning how to multi-task: writing one book and editing another.
So, that brings up a couple of questions. One, how do authors manage to find time to write more than one book a year in light of all of the other writing responsibilities they have? It seems that most authors write multiple books in a year. And two, is it better for an author's long term career to publish more than one a year?
Of course I posed these questions to my editor. My contract essentially says I should write one book a year. Is that enough? Or should I attempt to do more?
Here's my take on his answer. I've got to figure out what I'm capable of doing. I'll be facing new challenges with fitting editing into my schedule. In the past I could wholly devote all of my writing time to one book. But now I'll either have to write and edit at the same time or put aside my writing for a while and focus on the editing. The next year will give me the opportunity to figure out what works best for my schedule.
But besides that, my publishing house is interested in QUALITY books. They'd rather have me take the time I need to produce ONE dynamite book a year, than two or more mediocre books.
However, that being said, my editor also alluded to the fact that publishing more than one book a year helps keep an author fresh in the public's eye. Readers are less likely to lose track of an author who is multi-publishing, whose name and books are splashed across cyberland as well as bookstores.
What do you think is best for a writer's long term career? Is one book a year really enough or should an author try for at least two?