Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Traditionally Published

“Write Faster!”, Might Be the Worst Advice . . .

So much in our highly materialistic age is bad for us… Slow Writers can be Better Writers

I’m not denying the benefits that have come with mastery of the material realm; it’s just that, due to a certain denial of our higher selves, materialism has also bequeathed some very deadly things

One of the great benefits, for readers and writers, is all things Digital

All, that is, except the modern maxim from the self-professed “gurus” that the more you write and the faster you write it, the more “valuable” you are

There’s a certain blog that has posts from two writers—Anne R. Allen and Ruth Harris.

Their blog recently had this article, Are Slow Writers Doomed to Fail in the Digital Age?well worth reading and pondering; so, I’ll share a few excerpts to help you decide to take that last link (or, share it with writer friends...).

It begins with:

“…back in 2014…the indie superstar gurus were telling writers to grind out ebooks as fast as they could type to take advantage of the ‘Kindle Gold Rush’.

“Three years later, the Kindle Gold Rush is history; but there’s even more pressure to write fast—not only for authors who self-publish, but for traditionally published authors as well.”

Then, this:

“I’m afraid I’m in the tortoise camp myself. My plots morph and change during the writing process and never bear much resemblance to my original outline. That means I spend a lot of time rewriting and reworking.

“Maybe I could write faster if I kept to my outlines, but then I wouldn’t have nearly as much fun writing the books.”

And, a bit later:

“…much of the developed world seems to be engaged in some turbocharged drag race of the soul, hurtling our frenzied selves from cradle to grave, terrified of slowing for even a minute of rose-smelling.”

Then, further on:

“In an an economy where fewer people have steady jobs and many eke out a living with random piecemeal employment, working an absurd number of hours becomes something to be admired.

“In fact, taking care of ourselves has become something of a taboo.”

After engaging in a practice I use quite often (linking to a number of other articles supporting the theme), the author continues with:

“If we’re blogging, networking, sending out newsletters, and churning out books as fast as we can type, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important person in the publishing equation: the reader.”

Then, after much more valuable information, advice, and reasoning, this is said:

“Okay, I’ve learned to compose a little faster than I could a few years ago. I’ve moved from a snail’s pace to that of an arthritic penguin, but I still can’t write much more than 2000 words a day on a WIP, combined with an average of maybe 500-1000 words of nonfic for blogs and social media, another 1000-3000 on email and replying to requests, comments, and questions, plus a few hours editing or proofreading.

“Am I a failure? I don’t feel like one….

“I’m certainly not keeping the publishing industry afloat like those Duck Dynasty guys or the adult coloring book craze, but I have 10 published books, several of which have made bestseller lists. I’ve got several books in translation and audiobooks, and I’m being read all over the world.

“Hey, I even have haters, which might be the real mark of success in today’s snarky Internet culture.”

Well, with an article that has so much good stuff, I have to restrain myself from stepping over the boundary of “fair use”; but, I’ll just share this one last excerpt, ok?

“…remember there are other ways to make money from your books that don’t involve churning out 12 books a year. Go wide, get translations and audiobooks (You can find translators and narrators for no money up front at Bablecube and Audible.) And most of all—live a healthy, balanced life, remembering that you are part of a community, not simply a book-generating machine.”

Yes, I know, if the article is way longer than this blog post, lots of folks may not go read the whole thing…

Well, most of those folks will be missing out on something great

And, because this post was so long, here’s the link to the full article again:

Are Slow Writers Doomed to Fail in the Digital Age?
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Another Look At Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing . . .

I’ve certainly tried to cover the major trends in self-publishing and traditional publishing on this blog

It’s also a certainty that the balance between these paradigms will shift and swerve quite a bit before reaching equilibrium

Today, I want to share two articles, one about a book recommendation site and one about book merchandising—both making a buzz in the news lately.

First is, New ‘Bookish’ Site Ignorish Indie Authors, from IndieReader […the article having been, sadly, removed since this post was first published…].

From the article:

“The site is designed to serve as an ‘all-in-one website that uses proprietary technology’ to help readers find their next book. It will sell some books, while also allowing readers to find most others at the retailer of their choice….its primary purpose is to serve as a recommendation engine.”

However there is “…the question of whether Bookish is purposely excluding indie books. Maybe we should expect no different from a site founded by Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster. Traditional publishers generally see indie books as a threat to their business model, and beneath their notice unless they become a national bestseller.”

“In fact, you could argue this whole endeavor is a day late and a dollar short. There are already plenty of book recommendation sites, such as Goodreads, Amazon’s Shelfari or Indie Reader, and all of these include indie books (with the latter being dedicated to them.) What precisely is Bookish bringing to the table?”

Right, what is it bringing to the table?

Feel like going there and checking it out and coming back and sharing in the Comments what you think it might be bringing to the table?

The second article is Smashwords Authors Gain Seat at the Merchandising Table with the Apple iBookstore’s Breakout Books Promotion.

From the article:

“Apple’s iBookstore today [Feb.4th] launched Breakout Books in the U.S., a new book merchandising feature that showcases books from popular self-published authors, including several that have already achieved New York Times bestseller status (update:  – The New York Times covered the story today!).  (However: The Breakout Books section on the iBookstore seems to have become lost, sometime, in the 7 years since this was first published…).

“Most major retailers reserve such high profile merchandising attention for large, long-established publishers.

“Although the iBookstore has always carried and supported self-published ebooks, today’s launch signifies an escalated commitment on the part of Apple, whose iBookstore currently sells books in 50 countries.  The iBookstore first piloted the Breakout Books feature in their Australian store and has since implemented similar features in Canada and the U.K.”


“A retailer’s merchandising decisions are among the most important drivers for book sales.  To appreciate the significance of Apple’s move, it’s helpful to understand how readers discover books, and how a store’s merchandising decisions impact customer decision-making.  In order for a reader to discover and purchase a book, the book must be:

  1. available – in a store where readers are looking for books
  2. discoverable – visible and findable in the store
  3. desirable – the book must satisfy the reader’s desire for entertainment, escapism or knowledge.  Key levers that determine desirability include bookseller recommendations, customer reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, author brand, author platform, and price.
  4. affordable – the reader must perceive the value of the book to be greater than the retail price and the value of their time to read it”

The article goes on to explain “WHY EBOOK RETAILERS ARE EMBRACING SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS” and also has a fascinating list of “Multiple Smashwords Authors Featured in Breakout Books”.

By the way, “Smashwords is the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.”


Two stories, two messages

If you’re the kind of person who reads a blog post then follows the links and reads those articles, you’d help the other readers of this blog quite a bit if you left your opinion of these two stories in the Comments :-)
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