Writers who can produce two or more quality manuscripts a year will probably develop a larger readership than an author who only writes one book a year.
I can think of a couple of authors I love who only write one book a year. After I read their yearly book, I sit back with a satisfied smile, put it into a place of honor on my bookshelf, and drum my fingers, wishing I could have another of theirs to devour.
Those authors would only stand to benefit by producing additional books. They'd make more money, grow in popularity, and keep their name in front of reader's eyes.
Yes, they'd benefit. But at the same time, I don't think they're hurting themselves. Every time one of my favorite authors writes a new book, I read it, even if it's only once a year. They've got my loyal following no matter how many they write.
Number of books won't change my loyalty. But the quality of books could. If an author I like writes a book that doesn't jive with me, I can overlook one, maybe two like that. But if they continue to disappoint me, then I have a difficult time continuing to read their work.
I'm in a new place in my writing career. I'd like to strive to write more than one book a year. In the past I've taken approximately nine months to complete a book and that includes the weeks of pre-writing research necessary for historicals.
I'd like to challenge myself to higher daily word counts. I'd like to try to squeeze in additional concentrated writing time each week. If I do that, I might be able to finish a book in six months. However, as I mentioned in the last post, I won't have the luxury of devoting all of my writing time to my WIP (work-in-progress). I'll have to juggle the editing on my first book too.
So, what's my point? While a greater quantity might help a writer's career, a better quality WILL always benefit--without fail.
So, if we have to pick, quantity or quality, which should we be striving for?
It's easy to get caught up in the numbers game with other authors. When we're unpublished we compare how many books we have sitting in our drawers. When we're published we compare our totals per year.
We might have twelve books stuffed into the closet, but if we haven't grown in quality with each one, then what good are the numbers to us?
I want to be in the business of making readers fall in love with each of my books. What about you?
How many books a year do you strive to write? For fast writers, how do you maintain quality?