I grew up before the internet (which makes me sound ancient, but I’m really not given that the internet rose to it’s current status in the 2000s according to Wikipedia). Back then my author role models were Margaret Atwood, Suzannah Dunn, Philippa Gregory, Aimee Bender, Carol Shields, Chuck Palahniuk.
An eclectic bunch, to say the least!
All of them traditionally published, of course, and all of them putting books out once every two or three years. A comfortable pace, perfect for me, both as a writer and a reader.
But the rise of ebooks and self-publishing has caused an incredible upshift in books being released every three or four months in the case of some authors I know of.
There are two main reasons why:
- To remain in the public eye in a busy market
- To increase the likelihood of making a living
and I understand that. They are both very good reasons.
But is it too much? Does it mean that readers have to narrow their reading habits? If you have twelve favourite authors who publish a book once every two years, you’ll buy six books a year, enabling you to discover new authors, or re-read your favourites, or fall back in love with your twelve second best authors.
If those same twelve publish four books a year, you’ll be reading forty-eight books before you even begin to look around for anyone else.
It may not seem a lot to some people, but although I’m a fast reader I often have gaps between books meaning I will sometimes miss my Goodreads reading challenge of twenty-five books per year. My TBR list is overflowing, I never take my publisher up on reading ARCs from my fellow authors because I know I’d struggle to read to the schedule, I often end up reading an author’s previous book while they’re publicising the next.
I know I’ve asked this question before, but I’d love to know what you think. Are readers overwhelmed, or is it just me? Are writers doing themselves a disservice by writing so quickly, or is that the natural speed of things?