*Insert BIG APPLAUSE here*
Indie Authors: Slow Down!
When Terri first suggested a guest post for her blog (thanks Terri!), ideas about writing and the life of a stay-at-home parent immediately came to mind since we both have that in common. Time or the lack thereof, is one of the most complained about issues you’ll find with stay-at-home parent/authors.
Super Speed Indie Author
I have an Indie author friend who plans to publish eight books this year. My first thought when he told me this was that he had a backlist from traditional publishing. Nope. My second thought was that he wrote for years and is only just now publishing the books he had hidden away. Also not true.
He plans to WRITE eight books and publish them, all this year! That author friend is Russell Blake. As of this post, he’s published eleven books. Check them out on his official author page and blog, Russell Blake - Suspense Writer.
Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it likely? Maybe in Blake's case, but not in Terri’s or mine. Well, we could if we locked ourselves in the closet, ignored our children for twelve months, and our significant other literally handled everything else a responsible parent typically handles. As I said, not likely.
I haven’t read any of Blake’s work yet, so this is no judgment against him, but I can’t see how it’s possible to put out quality work at such an astounding rate. There’s no doubt, the man loves writing, and I’m certain he puts in long days. If he can write and publish eight books this year, awesome for him!
We’re Not Machines
However, most of us, especially stay-at-home parents, are not machines even if we want to be.
Here I am, stating that it’s virtually impossible to put work out as fast as we’d like, yet in the title I suggest slowing down. It’s all a bit of a conundrum.
The faster we put out books, the sooner our name is known, the more book sales we’re likely to have, the more money we bring in… kind of. As an Indie author, we read these words just about everywhere we look. Then beneath, in miniscule words, we see, “Make sure your work is quality.”
What? It’s like telling us to go sprint ten miles, but be sure to breathe slowly. It doesn’t work that way.
Any parent, not just stay-at-home types like Terri and I, have certain responsibilities. When your child has a blowout, you can’t tell them to hold on because your muse is on overdrive. When your daughter comes home from school with a broken heart and tears streaming down her face, you can’t say, “Just a few more tweets, honey. Then I’ll console you.”
Parenting demands your attention when IT decides.
Two HUGE Reasons to Slow Things Down
Writing and parenting!
Slow down a moment. Close your laptop, or switch off your monitor. Hold your daughter as she needs to be held. Get that diaper changed before the blowout remnants end up on the carpet (not a pretty sight).
Quality comes about when you take your time, both in writing and parenting. If you rush through that hug, or through the diaper change, this will only slow you down in the long run. Your daughter won’t understand why her feelings weren’t important enough to take you away from work. If you have children, I don’t even need to explain the possible repercussions of rushing through a diaper change.
When you rush, you make mistakes. Again, both in writing and parenting. I’ll admit there are few things in life more exciting than pressing that “publish” button on Amazon, putting your other kind of baby out there for the world to see. Waiting a month, going over the manuscript twelve more times, tweaking the cover, receiving input from readers, it all makes a difference.
When your book hits those virtual shelves, you want it to look like a shiny, new convertible with a big engine. Not the rusty, blue hatchback from the eighties with a sagging headlight.
Think about it honestly for a moment. Will putting your book out a month early really make that big of a difference in sales? Or would adding the multiple layers of polish increase sales more?
Take your time! Amazon isn’t going anywhere. Your children are though. Even when you’re busy, remember to spend that extra five minutes building Lego castles or creating monsters with crayon. It won’t hurt your book sales and it just may improve your life enough to allow your creativity to flow onto the computer screen like a fine painting.
Yes, writing is a business, and sales are important, but which way works better in the long run? Igniting sales by putting out a massive number of books in a short period of time? Or taking your time, living your life, loving your family, and creating a quality product that will bring a higher percentage of readers back later?
It’s your life, so live it the way you choose, but I know which choice I’ll make. Speaking of which, I have to go. My little guy says it’s time to play catch.
Thanks again Terri!