Do you want your favourite author to take as long as necessary to write their next blockbuster? Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison famously can take anywhere from 5 to 10 years to deliver a novel, and it tells in the beauty of the prose.
Or do you prefer your bestsellers delivered every few months – James Patterson and Wilbur Smith now use co-authors, so that they can churn out several books each year.
Most of us indies writing full length novels aim for one or two books a year, depending on other commitments.
There is a compromise in all these approaches. Marquez and Morrison keep their fans waiting for years, but these two Nobel Laureates fame is such that their fans will quickly hear of a new publication and rush out to buy it. An indie writer who has built a small following would lose that audience and have to start to build their readership again from scratch if they delivered a novel every 5 to 10 years. Nor can indies afford to hire co-authors to pen their novels so that there is a new release every few months (this is quite different to the collaboration of some indies, where the novel is actually written by more than one writer).
The reason I ask this question is because, whilst the first draft of my first published novel, Secrets From The Dust, was penned over about 6 months, it was not released for about 8 years, because I was pursuing traditional publishers at the time. So, over the years I was able to revisit it and polish it, and that is in large part responsible for many of the favourable comments I receive about the novel which mention the quality of the prose.
My latest novel, The Disease, was written, edited, proofed and then published over about 9 months. Those who have already read it have commented that it is a gripping read. But I know that the prose does not reach the elevated levels of Secrets From The Dust, because I did not do my “making it sing” rewrite—partly because I felt The Disease, being a suspense novel, did not need it, but also because if I wanted to “make it sing”, I would need to spend another 12 months, at least, on the novel.
So, before I begin my next novel, I’d be grateful to hear readers views on this, and you can help by answering my poll below. Thank you!