What’s With the Rush to Publish?

Self publishing has changed the mindset of many writers in many ways. But today’s topic is the rush to publish. Back before the days of self publishing, I don’t think most writers were in any rush to publish their books. Why not? Because they had no control over how long the process would actually take. Queries. Rejections. Queries. Rejections. It was a cycle that continued…until it didn’t and an agent and/or publisher was found. But that’s no longer the case. Sure you have the purists who will still go through the process to find an agent and traditional publisher for a wide variety of reasons. And these writers are in no rush because they know the process takes time. But bring on the self published authors and it’s a different story.

They seem to pride themselves on the number of “books” they can release. I’ve read about some authors trying to write one million words in a calendar year. ONE MILLION. And then taking the next year to “edit” those books. Like really? I’m sure that person had every intention of self publishing all those books at some point. Also, I’ve read about self published authors releasing a book a month. I mean, who do they think they are? James Patterson? Because those books can’t possibly be high quality. It seems like they’re getting that whole “quality over quantity” thing all wrong. Just because you release dozens of books does not mean anyone is actually reading them.

I just don’t understand why all these “authors” are in such a rush to publish. As if their nonexistent readers are going somewhere.

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36 thoughts on “What’s With the Rush to Publish?

  1. You really laid it down with this post. I had never heard of this until now. It makes sense, maybe some people are just born with word processors in their mind…. Nevertheless, nice post, thanks for sharing.

    -N.N. Team

    Liked by 2 people

      • Hi John, How timely your above Post is, to me, anyway! My Mom, Bless her Heart, sent me a copy of my Uncle’s fresh-off-the-Press Book(let), for Christmas. My Uncle–I suppose due to his advanced (82) yrs–in his rush to get published, got talked, into publishing all three of his books at once, by an off-shoot of a famous self-publishing company.

        I was aghast when, (even before opening the book), at how many copyediting errors and typos there were in the its back cover, alone. Later yesterday, upon speaking with Mom, and suggesting she may wish to convince him to have a Professional Editor look at, and Revise what is necessary, in his two already-Written follow-up books, she sadly told me it was too late, “He’d already published them all!” I felt truly sorry to hear that, for I know that–though he and I learned English at different Ages, and in spite of his shortcomings in the English Language–his Storytelling and Poetry, IS better than mine.

        A few years ago, I also had explored the Idea of going the Self-Publishing route, and more than anything else, it was the Huge Up-front Costs, with NO GUARANTEE of either Sales, Distribution, nor Publicity Support, that held me back. I am, thus Keenly, and Painfully Aware of how much Money has just been virtually stolen from an 82-yr-old Man, publishing a deeply-Flawed, typo-ladden, grammatically atrocious book, when for just a few Hundred dollars per book, he could have had his own Niece–a Journalist by Training, and a Lifelong Writer, in three Languages; a Copyeditor for an app Developer, etc…, who could’ve helped him with those corrections.

        I’m not saying my English is perfect; I know it isn’t! But at least, it is a little better than his, and I do have a Background Cooyediting for a Nigerian Intellectual (True) Author’s Book; Wrote the Manuscript for a Professor/Herbarium Curator from OSU, Corvallis, OR, in the early ’80s, and more!

        Lastly, I think Your Blog Rocks, except: btw, snc 4 me txtng hlps me b brf, It IS my 1st lin o’Commnctn–U can thnk ADD 4 tht 😉

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      • That’s not a good story. I’ve heard from someone else who said he rushed to publish because of his age. So it may be a similar thing.

        And thanks! I’m just goinh to ignore your last bit of text. Yep.

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      • John, Pardon my Denseness: Since English isn’t my first Language, I don’t quite follow what you said, (meaning: “That’s not a ‘good’ story,” as in “not true,” or as a “truly Bad Thing,” that DID just come to my attention, regarding my Uncle)? Would you please, indulge me, and be clearer, in your Reply? .., (the remainder is in a Post in “Manicartist89.”)

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  2. You say: “Because those books can’t possibly be high quality. It seems like they’re getting that whole “quality over quantity” thing all wrong. Just because you release dozens of books does not mean anyone is actually reading them.
    I just don’t understand why all these “authors” are in such a rush to publish. As if their nonexistent readers are going somewhere.”

    I say: Are you speaking to yourself? Because I don’t see that your book reviews are very positive for your own self-published book, nor do sales of it seem very high. So why trash those trying to work hard to produce their next book? Just because you don’t understand why they do what they do doesn’t mean it isn’t the right thing for THEM or their readers (even if there are only two of them). And suppose they are on the wrong path, going about it all the wrong way… I don’t find it interesting or helpful to read blog posts pointing fingers at them and placing quotation marks around their title of “author” as if somehow they are beneath you. They aren’t beneath you, John.

    I hope whatever has made you so bitter will soon be cleared away from the filter through which you view the people around you. Kicking people in the head will not help you climb the ladder, nor will it help you finish your next book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First things first, I have to admit, your vendetta against James Patterson is pretty funny. It’s like when Cecil from Welcome To Night Vale blames everything on Steve Carlsberg.
    ANYWAY, in response to your post, I tend to just stare at the people writing a million words a year (That’s only like 3k a day, or approximately 12 handwritten pages or 6 typed, nothing ridiculously insane like 10k a day) with a sort of jaded longing, as I sip my tea. I will never reach the ranks of the highly prolific. It’s okay though, as someday I hope to join the ranks of the highly qualified : )

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    • I actually like Patterson. I have like 12 of his books. But I know what people always say about his writing philosophy.

      The million words thing is an example. I know it’s not THAT many words. But it’s the reason behind it. Instead of focusing on one or two or even three books and really trying to make them as good as possible, they just keep writing. And writing. Because they’ll have 10 or 12 books that they can release later instead of one or two.

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  4. I absolutely question the quality of a book written in one month. I suppose there are exceptions but over all the quality can’t be consistently high. I understand what you are saying and I more or less agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The best reply I ever heard to “But what about famous soandso” who publishes and sells. “Imagine how much better it would be if they took their time” That make so much more sense to me than trying to mimic it :”D

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m one who rushed to publish, in a sense. But I had a reason, still do.
    Look up ‘late bloomer’, you might well find a photo of me.
    I began writing fiction at age 73, started publishing this year (age 74).
    Those readers might well be there a year or two from now, but I might not. It’s why I never considered the traditional publishing cycle, submit, collect the rejection, do it over again. Maybe for years. And maybe never get published at all.
    So having decided to try writing fiction (I was blogging before I started my first story), I’ll do what I can while I can. Even if I survive, not only is my future guaranteed to be much shorter than my past, there’s Alzheimer’s.
    If I wait, there’s no guarantee of tomorrow, no guarantee the books won’t die on my hard drive. I feel pressure that younger authors can’t know.

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  7. Great perspective and insight. However, I don’t think all self-published writers are in a rush. Some have other legitimate reasons to go that route. That said, it’s better to have quality than quantity, something even the self published can and do achieve.

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  8. There is actually a decent reason why self-published authors are determined to release several books each year – marketing. It seems that self-published authors who can offer packages like “Try my first book free, and the rest of the series for $2.99 each!” or “Get the whole series for $10!” or various other package deals are the most visible and the most successful. Just publishing one book, begging people to buy it, then drumming your fingers is not how to launch a solid self publishing career.

    Self-published authors have to do their own marketing work, and that involves manipulating readers into feeling like they’re getting a good deal, that there’s nothing to lose when trying a self-published book, and ‘proving’ themselves professional by having multiple publications. Multiple publications also builds a fanbase too. And that fanbase expects constant new content, or they will vanish. Sort of like how you’ll lose blog followers if you go four months without posting anything.

    That being said, I personally cannot write 3+ books a year without them being crap. Nor do I know anyone who can. I don’t read many self-published authors (heck, I barely have faith in most traditionally published authors), so it’s just not my thing. I’m sure it’s possible to be both prolific and a good writer but that seems rather rare, and I feel like such a person would have literary agents throwing offers of representation at them. It’s unfortunate that self-publishing depends on such an unrealistic system of marketing to survive, because it *does* lower the overall quality of the books being released. Kind of a vicious circle.

    Liked by 1 person

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