The Speed Limit


As some of you many know, from reading a previous post, I still don’t know which route to follow. Trad publishing? Agents? Small presses? Self-publishing? I honestly don’t know. Right now, I’m considering all options available to me. Though, I confess the slow processing of the trad publishing pushes me away.

Well, I’ve got one finished MS and it’s sitting on my desk while I try to figure out what to do (in the meantime, I’m writing another MS).

Why I didn’t self-published it, you may ask. Because readers of self-published authors want speed, among other things.

On his post titled If I were an unpublished author, would I self-publish?, author Bob Mayer advises writers to wait and only self-publish after having finished 3 manuscripts. Why? To build up readership and then to invest in marketing, so not to waste money.

And that’s what I’m doing. While I consider self-publishing or not, I’m writing another book, so, when and if I self-publish, I’ll have more than one book to upload. And if I choose another route, still it won’t be a bad thing to have more than one MS ready.

Moreover …

Speed is one of aspects that changed the most with the e-revolution. On his blog, author Dean Wesley Smith talks about the importance of speed in today’s market.

Traditional published authors tend to have the books of a series released one per year.

Some small presses can push book series to be released every 6 to 9 months, depending …

Readers of self-published authors/books now expect books of a series to be delivered even faster.

For example, Sarra Cannon released the first book in the Peachville High Demons, Beautiful Demons, in October/2010. The second one, Inner Demons, was released in December, 2010. From book 1 to book 2, only two months passed! Then, Cannon released book 3, Bitter Demons, in February/2011 (only 3 months after the second one) and book 4, Shadow Demons, in July/2011. Now, we are anxiously waiting for book 5! But we know it won’t take too long for Cannon to release it.

One observation that may influence why self-published authors are able to release books (of the same series) faster than traditional published authors: self-pubbed authors tend to write one series at a time while many traditional pubbed authors have 3 or 4 series up at the same time. (Of course, that’s not taking into consideration that the publisher may be interested in releasing one book per year of the same series because of marketing and expectation …) That’s the case of Richelle Mead, for example. Mead has 3 series out at the moment (2 actually as VA already ended and Bloodlines will be out only next week, then the Succubus one will end too. But well, since she wrote 3 at the same time for many years, let’s consider it’s 3). Mead writes a book after the other, each one from a different series.

Would that work in self-publishing?

Yesterday, on a thread at Kindleboards, many folks said they don’t like to buy the first on a series until a couple more are released too—why? Two reasons: to make sure the series continues and, if they like it, to read it as a fan, one after the other.

So, is it better to focus on a single series, finished it first, then start writing others?

What do you think?

  1. Self-published authors should write only one series at a time?
  2. Self-published authors should aim to release one book every two months? One book every four months? Or every six?
  3. How long in between self-published books is too long?



Hi! I'm Juliana Haygert,

USA Today Bestselling Author.

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