Saturday, May 20, 2017

How many books a year does an indie author need to write to be successful?



“I need to produce at least three or four new books a year to remain seen and sought after by readers.”

This is a statement I’m sure many indie authors have uttered in their writing careers. 

I was speaking to a friend and fellow indie author the other day and, as we often do, we were discussing what projects we were working on. She has a comic-prose novel in the works and I have the final installment in the Helheim Wolf Pack series that I’m working on. But then she said that exact statement to me: “I need to produce at least two or three books this year.”

My first reaction was: I need to compete with that, because, let’s face it, the self-publishing industry is nothing but competitive.

But my second reaction was: “How on earth am I going to do that?”
I’m not sure what other authors’ lives are like but mine is B-U-S-Y. I have a nearly three-year-old. I have a husband. I run the household. I buy groceries. I clean the house weekly and tidy up daily. I cook dinner every night. I try to squeeze in some ‘me’ time at the gym. I write when I can (usually after all my other duties are done for the day), but I struggle to find a couple of good, solid usable hours in which to be creative a produce something decent.

So when this statement was made, I recoiled. Yes, I’d love to write 2-3 books a year, but the reality is, it’s never going to happen. You’d be lucky to get one book out of me. But it did get me thinking…

On average, it would take me around 6-8 months to write a book. That’s one book. Add another 3-5 months to go through the editing and proofreading process and to get promotion and social media campaigns in place, and you’re left with approximately 13 months of work that goes into one book.

Can anyone else see the problem here?

Unless you’re happily unemployed, unmarried and without children, I just don’t see how a target of 2-3 books a year is feasible. 

So I did a little digging to see whether this figure is truly accurate…

Let’s take Stephen King for example. He has written 54 books in a span of 43 years (1974-2017). If you average all that out, Mr. King is producing 1.25 books per year.

Seems weird, right? All right, take JK Rowling as another example. Harry Potter was release in 1997. She is still actively writing, with her last release in 2016. She has written a total of 22 books in 19 years, so she’s averaging 1.15 books per year. 

Still not convinced? John Grisham. His career spans from 1990-2017. He has had a total of 36 books published in his 27 year career. The average? 1.3 books per year.

Here are some more startling stats:

Stephanie Myer (2005-2016) – 10 books ~ 0.9 books per year

Neil Gaiman (1984-2017) – 26 books (novels only) ~ 0.78 books per year

Jodie Picoult (1992-2016) – 27 books ~ 1.1 books per year

Nicholas Sparks (1990-2016) – 21 books ~ 0.8 books per year

Liane Moriarty (2004-2016) – 10 books ~ 0.8 books per year

Of course, there are a few freaks of nature out there who do produce more:

J.R. Ward (2002-2017) – 47 books ~ 3.1 books per year

Dean Koonts (1968-2017) – 115 books ~ 2.3 books per year

Even with these two examples, their yearly production of books is not ridiculous (4-6 books a year, for example; however, some indie authors are producing this many books a year).

So my question is this: where are indie authors getting the idea that they need to become slaves to their readers and churn out books so often? As a reader, I’d rather quality not quantity. 

Wouldn’t you?

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let me know if you think this notion is crazy or not.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Updates updates!

The Dark Trilogy

Well, it has been some time since the Dark Trilogy was removed from online retailers. I'm working so hard to get all three books back up and available to purchase, but I've recently run into a HUGE problem.

My computer decided to die on me last Friday. I've tried all I can to get it up and running again, but have had no luck so far. It's time to bring in the professionals! I don't know how long this will delay me releasing Dark Desire and Dark Devotion digitally, but know that they are coming!

If you are after paperback versions of the books, I will have a limited number of copies available to buy at Oz Comic Con in Melbourne on July 1 & 2.

The Half Blood Series

In other news, I'm just over 70,000 words into the final Helheim Wolf Pack book. 

"Omega" is the working title, but if there are any other "Half-" inspired titles, I'd love to hear them!

This book is Brax's story and will be the final book in the series. It originally started as a 3 book series, but that soon expanded out to 5.

Appearances

I've been accepted to go to Oz Comic Con in July. (Yahoo!) Held at Melbourne's Exhibition Center, I'll be there selling the 4 Half Blood books and the remaining stock I have for the Dark Trilogy. I'll be having some deals going with the Dark Trilogy - probably buy the first 2 books and get the 3rd for free (!) 

I'm also going to be at Supanova in Brisbane in November. I'm hoping to have the final Helheim book available then, and I'm so excited for everyone to read Brax's story. I'll also have some new stock for the Dark Trilogy with their brand spanking new covers. What an exciting year!

I guess that's it! Stay tuned to social media for any further updates and happy reading!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"A house that has a library in it has a soul" ~ My Dream Reading Space

I was asked not too long ago about where I like to do my reading. The truth of the matter is that I read whenever and wherever I can snatch a few minutes to myself. Usually, I get some reading done at night, just before I go to bed, but I do wish I had a secluded little hideaway somewhere in the house to just disappear to whenever I want to avoid life for a few moments.

<sigh> Sounds great, right? So I did some scouring around online (Thank you, Pinterest) and found some great images that pretty much sum up exactly what I want in a reading space. 

1. A big comfy chair

It's essential, of course. I like pops of color in my life, so I'd love to have a chair that reflects my personality a little. I like lots of cushions to sink into while I'm reading and forgetting about the world. Here are just a few samples of armchairs I've added to my wishlist.

Clockwise from top: wayfair.com / urbanbarn.com / arhaus.com / potterybarn.com


2. A sofa table

This has got to be close by while I'm reading. I'm a tea drinker, and when I get reading, there's no telling how much tea will be consumed. I think I prefer the more relaxed version though, like using an ottoman with a tray on top rather than a traditional table.

Clockwise from top left: arhaus.com/ wayfair.com  / templeandwebster.com.au
3. A rug
 
I love a rug I can literally sink my toes into, so I'd need a nice thick pile and a lot of coverage. An area rug is perfect for this! I've gone for a lot of neutrals because I want the space to be calm and relaxed (well, except for the zig-zag rug...I just love the chevron pattern).


Clockwise from left: templeandwebster.com.au / arhaus.com / wayfair.com / templeandwebster.com.au

 4. Some lighting

Let there be light!
 
Clockwise from left: arhaus.com / arhaus.com / potterybarn.com / wayfair.com


5. The perfect room

I love the idea of either hiding myself away where nobody can find me, or going to a space in the house that is reserved just for reading. On my 'must have' list, there'd have to be a great window for natural light, loads of shelving for all my books and quite possibly a fireplace.

There are so many great ideas out there for this kind of 'library/reading nook' that I had to share my favorites...


Clockwise from left: patchworkurchin.tumblr.com / bookbub.com / onekindesign.com / homeedit.com /
 
And for something really out there...
a library net!
(how awesome is that??)

Source: geekologie.com


Some of the great Pinterest boards I discovered:




I think Dr. Seuss said it best: 


It sounds like I've been given free rein to go and buy some more books.

Don't mind if I do, Dr. Seuss; don't mind if I do.

Share your own ideas for a dream reading space in the comments below!