Writers and Prose: Why ‘Just get it out there’ is NOT a good mantra for writers.

Quill-InkI had an interesting comment left on my blog the other day. It was from a writer who asked when book five and six were coming out. I apologized for the delay, said there were some setbacks (there are), and said that book five would be out later in the year.

One of the biggest drawbacks I hear about Trad. Publishing is the fact it takes at least eighteen months from the time a book is accepted, until it’s published. Some people snicker at the ‘old fashioned’ publishing format, citing it takes about ten minutes to upload a file to Amazon or Smashwords, fill in the details and press ‘publish’. Voila! A book is born!

Is it really that easy?

I published my first story in September of 2011, and the second four months later in January of 2012. I was able to do them so quickly because I’d worked on them for a while and had a few things already going my way. The third book was out in June 2012, and the fourth April 2013. I use book money to pay for editing and cover art (I do the formatting myself), but as the books became longer, the price for editing went up and I had to save over a longer period of time. This is the dilemma of most self-published writers – lack of immediate funds. I suppose I could use a credit card, and I did for the first couple of books, but it’s too easy to rack up the debt this way.

There was a mindset among authors that the more books you put out, the more money you’ll make. Unless you have a backlist, or like me, are working on several manuscripts at the same time, putting out more than two titles per year is an ambitious feat, and considering we have to pay for cover art and editing (and in some cases formatting), this can be expensive for any author and you either go into debt or save and wait.

Putting out a novel a year doesn’t seem so old fashioned now, does it?

I’m not advocating slow writing, nor am I trashing authors who can whip out a book in less than three months, I just want authors to know that you don’t have to rush to publish. If that happens to take you a while, maybe longer than a year to put a book out, so be it. The publishing industry, whether Traditional or digital self-publish, is not going to disappear any time soon, despite what some people on both sides think. Relax, write the story you want to write, and make sure it’s something you want out there, no matter how long it takes.


About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

4 Responses to Writers and Prose: Why ‘Just get it out there’ is NOT a good mantra for writers.

  1. I’m always amazed at people who can put out so many books in such a short period of time. If I don’t know the author, sometimes it worries me that they might be cutting corners–like editing.

    I’d rather see one good book a year instead of six mediocre ones. I’m not going anywhere. I can wait. 🙂

    • I thought I could put out at least two per year. I probably could, If I used my credit card, but I don’t want to keep relying on that. One per year is good for now. It gives me a chance to work on more stories and not have to worry about getting them out ‘in time’.

  2. Nya Rawlyns says:

    Excellent advice, Darke. The proliferation of poorly edited, nearly incomprehensible, sophomoric storylines is turning readers off, and it just may be driving them back to traditionally published work that has been vetted to a certain standard.

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