You have to release 6-12 times a year!
This is such a horrendous and bad myth that drives people to pursue traditional publishing in the vague hope that they can get around not releasing more books. It also discourages writers who think they can never make it big or make a decent living since they can’t write or publish (or can’t afford to!) release as often as some of these faster writers.
Let’s be clear on some truths.
- backlist will support your day-to-day revenue
- promotions are required to let people know your work exists
- the 30 day sales cliff on Amazon is real
- your latest book will generally provide a huge a boost to revenue and visibility of all your other works.
I italicised truths because without marketing and without being at least vaguely on market with covers, blurbs and yes, genres, you could write dozens of books and still not sell well. A book on a topic that no one is interested in (the bowel movements of my third son – Kimmy) is just not going to sell, no matter what kind of marketing you do.
That being covered, yes, more releases are better.
And depending on how you write and how you create your product (remember, you can potentially release works as novelettes and novellas!), you might even be able to do that even if you are a ‘slow’ writer.
Even if you can’t release regularly, there are numerous authors making a living (i.e. 30-50k+ a year) who only release 1-3 times a year. Check out the 20booksto50k group where an entire thread was out, discussing such strategies. Jami Albright is a great example of someone who makes a bunch releasing once a year.
The trick it seems is being in a good genre, constantly promoting and interacting with your fans to ensure your pre-order and your backlist are well positioned. Without a decent backlist, going full-time is extremely hard for certain. It’s nearly impossible to make it with a single book (no matter which side – indie or trad – you are in).
But no, constant quick releases are not necessary. It might take you longer to build up a big backlist to get a somewhat steady baseline amount, but if you are in a big genre or promote your work to fans regularly, you can certainly make a decent amount releasing slower.
It just requires more work on the promoting side.
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