“I was once told by a traditional publisher I write and publish more books than they can handle so I became a publisher.Kailin Gow
We’ve all heard of “one hit wonders” – well, the famous ones anyway. Like – Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and two of my personal favorite books ever, one hit wonder or otherwise – The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.
But for all the ones we’ve heard about imagine all the one hit NON wonders we never heard about?
Think of all the authors over the decades who wrote one book, hung all their hopes on it, and when it didn’t “hit it big” – presumably gave up and went back to their day jobs. As a rule of thumb, whenever you hear the “miracle” stories – one hit wonders and overnight successes among entrepreneurs for instance – there are hundreds if not thousands of stories of people who either attempted and gave up or are STILL grinding away, trying to make their mark. And it’s the latter ones – the ones still grinding, still PRODUCING every day that I admire – a lot.
Quality and quantity are not separate conversations.
You can be prolific and produce quality products – social media content, other editorial content like blogs, and yes – books. Establish a process that works for you, wherein you can write your book and prioritize quality in that process. Do this by focusing on your writing fundamentals, studying works by others, and emphasizing attention to detail. Then SCHEDULE the time needed to follow through on that process. You can be as prolific as is possible in the time you commit to your writing. The more time you find in your schedule (i.e. that you sacrifice the “non writing” things – like scrolling through Facebook or binge watching Netflix), the more writing and editing sessions you commit to – the more books you have the capability of producing.
Being prolific is not some magical miracle accessible to only a select few.
Apply the discipline, take control of your time, park your butt in the seat and write. With self publishing on a nearly equal playing field as traditional now, it’s not as if only a percentage of the books you write will be seen by others. These days, 100% of what you write can be published. You can literally write and publish as many books as you want.
Why is being prolific so important?
Because it is LOUD out there! Not just in the social media and online content space – but in publishing and self publishing as well. There are a LOT of books out there and the great thing is despite many reports to the contrary, there are a LOT of readers consuming those books.
With the constant social sharing of things we love and hate, there are also a LOT of conversations about books. Think of the endless “what are you reading?” posts on social media where people are constantly looking for book recommendations from their friends.
There might be a lot of people watching Netflix at all hours, but those who do read are doing so voraciously. Don’t be fooled by the media noise – there is a constant demand for quality books with unique, well developed ideas, memorable characters, and engaging stories.
Publishing more books under your name also strengthens the business side of your writing career. This means a broader more impactful author brand, more money, and more opportunities to get noticed… “discovered” by the masses.
Betting on one book and then waiting around to get discovered here in the middle of the creative noise – is just a bad bet.