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Permlink Replies: 8 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Nov 4, 2017 6:26 AM Last Post By: James Duggan
James Duggan

Posts: 242
Registered: 02/08/14
Prolific book publishing
Posted: Oct 31, 2017 8:11 AM
 
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I read in a previous post, I won't say which, where someone claims to publish on average a book every three weeks.
At the beginning of the year, another declared his intention to publish fifty books over the next twelve months. ( I wonder what happened to him? ). There are many other claims of a similar nature.
Now, am I missing something here, or is this all just mischief and bluster by those who would wish to impress?
I may be naïve, but I don't see how it is practically possible to achieve such a rate of publication without gaming the system in some way. They must be churning out absolute rubbish or simply publishing other people's work and putting their own name to it. If it's the latter, is such a practice acceptable?
Someone please enlighten me if you can.

Jim.
Diana Persaud

Posts: 2,780
Registered: 10/07/13
Re: Prolific book publishing
Posted: Oct 31, 2017 8:17 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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There are a few authors who can write novels and publish every three or four weeks. I know of several. They are disciplined writers and write full time. They also make a living at it. No gaming of the system.

It can be done.

Most of the people who claim to publish a "book" a week are publishing pamphlets or public domain works.

You can't control what other people do. People who 'game' the system usually get caught. Or they don't make money and move on to something else. No point worrying about it. Just focus on honing your own skills.
Simon Farrance

Posts: 50
Registered: 03/10/16
Re: Prolific book publishing
Posted: Oct 31, 2017 8:59 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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I can do it when I’m at peak performance, which doesn’t happen in the summer with my dog wanting four long walks a day. I’m just getting back to it now. In our climate he will semi-hibernate all winter.
As Diana says, it’s about discipline, not gaming or producing crap, which I despise. I use at least two thirds of my time for editing, but I can write between three and six thousand words a day in the other third, usually first thing in the morning.
Even with a few days off and the occasional day that’s mostly editing, I can produce over 100,000 words a month, and do a significant portion of the editing. I have somebody else do a second content edit, and I use a proofreader.
Brad the Writer

Posts: 1
Registered: 10/31/17
Re: Prolific book publishing
Posted: Oct 31, 2017 9:03 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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Several years ago, Russell Blake was a forum member (back during his JET series days), and he reported here and on his blog that he would spend three weeks writing a rough draft, before handing that over to an editor (he kept two editors busy), proofreader, and formatter. Plus, a cover artist. They would spend a month on working on that book, while he took a week off before starting his next book. He now has 50+ books that sell rather well, including ghost writing two Cussler novels, and a Kindle World. (He attributed his productivity on running on a treadmill while writing, rather than sitting at a desk.) Whether you like his stories or genre, he can be considered a model of indie writing success. Not necessarily high-brow literature but many people enjoy reading his stories.

Another prolific author I've mentioned here in the forums in the past is Toby Neal. Nearly fifty books in the last six years, short stories for anthologies, co-authoring, and a Kindle World for her original character. In fact, look at any of the Kindle Worlds. Prolific authors with compelling characters, plots, and locations, who keep the quality high by using editors, proofreaders, formatters, and cover artists, while they work hard on the next book. (Not to mention promotional work.)

That leads to what you're wondering right now. Yes, writers become rather formulaic with their stories and plots. While many authors sit back and cry foul, many readers want something predictable and fun, just pure entertainment. (Personally, I find Neal's stories long stagecoach rides across dusty prairies into a town called Tedium. Her character Lei is a little broken and a little too stupid to solve the mystery of finding her lost keys, much less solving murder mysteries. But hey, Neal makes a lot of money selling books to bored women in Wichita, and that's the point, right?) Read the negative reviews on Russell Blake's books and you'll notice a common thread of readers complaining about predictability or canned characters. It seems once writers see too many of those types of reviews, they move on to new characters and situations, building new series. I suppose for that author, those reviews, and diminishing sales results, become their quality benchmark.

The fellow that said he was going to write fifty books this year hasn't been back, that I've noticed. If I remember correctly, he said he was going to keep them 20K or longer, and he was going to be editor and proofer. I can see a short story every week, but not novels or even novellas.

Others publish a dozen or even 17 books all at once, and looking inside, they're pure gibberish. Quite often these authors are manic-depressive, go on a manic high, spill out into Word docs, and publish them, not realizing the poor quality. Those are easy to recognize once you see the pattern of a ton of books published close together, followed by a long gap, and then another burst of activity. Others, like you said, are public domain books that have been republished. Seriously, how many editions of those old books does A-Zon need?
Traveler321

Posts: 245
Registered: 10/01/16
Re: Prolific book publishing
Posted: Oct 31, 2017 9:14 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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What happens is they slowly go mad and end up on the moon.
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 1,014
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Prolific book publishing
Posted: Oct 31, 2017 9:26 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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James Duggan wrote:
I read in a previous post, I won't say which, where someone claims to publish on average a book every three weeks.
At the beginning of the year, another declared his intention to publish fifty books over the next twelve months. ( I wonder what happened to him? ). There are many other claims of a similar nature.
Now, am I missing something here, or is this all just mischief and bluster by those who would wish to impress?
I may be naïve, but I don't see how it is practically possible to achieve such a rate of publication without gaming the system in some way. They must be churning out absolute rubbish or simply publishing other people's work and putting their own name to it. If it's the latter, is such a practice acceptable?
Someone please enlighten me if you can.

Jim.


Almost anyone with a modicum of self-discipline can write a novel in three to four weeks, as NANOWRIMO winners prove annually. But few can keep up the pace. As to claims, well, people make claims here all the time, of books written, pages read, offers from film producers, etc. Who's to challenge even the most outlandish claims? Except, of course, a certain poster who claims her books are bestsellers, yet who lists a profile link to books ranking two million and worse. Liars must not only have good memories, but must also refrain from providing pins to pop their own bubbles.

Part of the problem you desc*ribe is in the use of the word "book." Everything on KDP is a book, except when they're not. Posting a book every few days is no real accomplishment when said book is twenty pages or less, especially if cobbled together from Wikipedia entries and free internet sources. Many of our colleagues on the sub-continent produce 17-page epics by the wheelbarrow full every week. In a sense it may be gaming the system, but it really isn't because customers are smarter and more discerning now. Few will download an e-book for the novelty of it...those days are gone. Even free has lost its allure -- freebies used to result in thousands of downloads, now they get hundreds, or dozens, maybe.

As to that ambitious fellow wanting to write fifty books in a year (he was already a ghost writer, so how hard could it be?), perhaps his head exploded 🎆 when he found out just how hard writing really was.
Jonathan B

Posts: 4,612
Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Prolific book publishing
Posted: Oct 31, 2017 9:38 AM   in response to: James Duggan in response to: James Duggan
 
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I know of several writers with this kind of output. All of them are permanent fixtures in their genre's Top 100 list. Several are regularly in Amazon's overall Top 100 list.

One of the big romance writers puts out a new novel every three weeks. She has a full-time staff to put the novel into publishing form while she churns out the next one. I think it take another month for the book to be published, but the end result is that a new novel comes out every three weeks, and her fans wish the interval would be shorter.
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 1,014
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Prolific book publishing
Posted: Oct 31, 2017 9:58 AM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
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Jonathan B wrote:
I know of several writers with this kind of output. All of them are permanent fixtures in their genre's Top 100 list. Several are regularly in Amazon's overall Top 100 list.

One of the big romance writers puts out a new novel every three weeks. She has a full-time staff to put the novel into publishing form while she churns out the next one. I think it take another month for the book to be published, but the end result is that a new novel comes out every three weeks, and her fans wish the interval would be shorter.


Erle Stanley Gardner used to dictate three books at once and some the old pulpsters used to churn out a short novel between their morning whiskeys and the magazine's afternoon deadline.
James Duggan

Posts: 242
Registered: 02/08/14
Re: Prolific book publishing
Posted: Nov 4, 2017 6:26 AM   in response to: Salamander Mall... in response to: Salamander Mall...
 
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Thanks for all the replies. Bit of an eye opener. I think I'll just have to learn to ignore the 'book a week' folks and let their work sink or swim accordingly. The impression I'm getting is that most of it sinks. As for me, I'll stick to my average of one every three months. I know my limitations. I didn't realise that was my output until I posted this thread and read the replies. As I said, it's a bit of an eye opener.
Thanks again.

Jim.
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