How much is too much?
Thanks to sites like Smashwords, Createspace, KDP, etc., there are a LOT of self-published authors out there. Everyone single one has a story to tell, which is awesome! However, it seems like more and more people are getting in to self-publishing for the wrong reasons. Please note that I am not suggesting that any one should stop writing, I am simply observing. I couldn’t imagine not being able to share my stories with the world, and I would hate to have someone telling me to stop. Please keep that in mind.
I was looking through Goodreads today; partially searching for a book that I read many years ago that I can’t for the life of me remember the title, and partially because I am always looking for new authors to connect with and new works to read. I noticed a somewhat disturbing trend with many of the authors. Some of them have only been publishing for a little over a year, yet they have 25 or more published books. I even saw one author that had been publishing for 3 years and had 92 published works. I realize, of course, that some of those books could simply be short stories, but even so, that is still a lot. So I started thinking about how long it takes to edit a book, and I mean really edit a book, as well as how long revisions take, formatting, and everything else that goes into it. Let’s assume that those are all short stories, that would mean that they would have to publish a work every two weeks to even kind of keep up with that kind of work. The author would have to jump from one first draft to the next, effectively jumping from story to story without spending any real amount of time on them. I don’t know about you, but that seems nuts to me. How can one even remotely produce a good story if they’re not focused on it long enough to develop it?
We are constantly criticized as a community because so many authors are just vomiting words on to a page, slapping it up online, and calling it a day. I don’t see any possible way that an author that has put out that much material in that short of a time is producing any kind of quality, and it feels like they are just perpetuating the stereotype. There are authors that work hard to be taken seriously and put a lot of time and effort into their work. I know that some of the bulk authors are full timers, and could put all of their focus on a work. Even so, 25 books in a year seems like way too many.
I would really appreciate a counter argument to this, and I am opening the door for a guest post, but I am being very serious. I try to advocate for indie authors as often as possible. But poorly thrown together work makes my side of the argument a bit hard.