Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Readers and Authors: Salieri to Mozart?

Ever see the movie or play Amadeus? In it, Mozart is supposedly murdered by a musician rival, Salieri who, knowing Mozart is ill, still commissions him to write a requiem. The effort required to compose this work added further strain on Mozart's already weakened body, and he dies as a result.
Far fetched, you reckon?

Maybe, maybe not.
The point I'm making is that sometimes readers, in their voracious hunger for new material to read (especially from their favourite authors), don't realise the strain they're placing on authors to complete that next book in the series, to finish their current WIP (Word in Progress) or to hurry up with that next novella, short story ....
Authors are crumbling beneath the strain, worried they'll lose their reader following if they don't feed the monster.
We, the authors, have become Mozart to our Salieris.
Now I'm not saying I don't appreciate and value my readers. Heaven knows I do, and I thank goodness for each and every one, and if I could write faster and produce more books - 2-3 per year - I would, just to satisfy my wonderful readers.
But, alas, I can't.
My ideas flow at a slower pace than some (whom I envy) and my books are larger. On average, my novels range from 114K to 95K words. Those are no small numbers. It takes me approximately 10 months to complete the first draft before it goes to my editor who then picks it apart until it's perfect. The next month I'm editing and re-editing before the manuscript is shipped off to my Beta readers whose job is to spot every typo, every blooper, every gremlin that can wreck a smooth read.
Twelve months later, taa-daa *drum roll* a new book is ready to be launched.
In the  meanwhile, I've neglected my family, postponed social engagements (some of my friends have given up talking to me, and I don't blame them), and scrimped together enough money from my meager royalties for a professional cover design, formatting, editing and proofreading just to get another book out there.
Then I take a deep breath and sit back - for at least a good half hour - at another job done.
The alcoholic drink in my hand is mandatory.
Ah! But it's not over. Now I need to spend the next three months marketing and promoting my latest release while starting on my next WIP.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm simply showing the reality in being an author in the digital age, and it's a pace few can maintain.
I'm hoping I can, as there are a lot more stories inside my head clamouring to get out.
So please readers, when you're inquiring about the next installment in my series, also ask me if I've had a holiday.

As for freebies .... that's for another post, and it won't be pretty.

PS BloodWish is due for release this coming Easter 😊 And if you haven't yet started this series, what are you waiting for? 😉

Available on Amazon. Just ONE CLICK HERE.


Mary Anne Yarde said...

I know exactly what you are talking about, but my readers also motivate me to keep writing!

Joe Bonadonna said...

I couldn't have said it better. I'm a "slow writer," as well. I've spent 3 years each on my last two books. Sometimes a story writes itself, but that's an exception to the rule. I stick to the 70-K to 75-K novel, and luckily a series publisher gives her writers a year to write short stories and novellas for her anthologies.

Firetulip said...

Very well said. My books are about 70-80K long and it's hard to carve the time to sit down and write. With the full time job, household and two kids who have after school activities, it's a miracle I can get any amount of words on the page.

Erika M Szabo said...

Well said! We don't want to lose readers but we don't want to hurry and push out a story that could use some more work. I'm a slow writer, therefore, it might be another year before I publish my next novel. Therefore, I started recommending similar genre books by fellow authors to my readers when they inquired about when my next book will be published. This took a lot of pressure off my shoulders and I think my readers respect me for not being jealous of other writers. I often get messages such as, "I'm still waiting for your book, but the one you recommended was a really good story." :)

Linda Boulanger said...

I'm also slow in getting each book out. My intentions are to have them out faster, but the muse has other ideas. The words come when they come.