Over-Saturation. Of What? Of Books. Yes, I said it.

TooMuch

I love to read. As a matter of fact there have been brief moments lately when I’ve battled with whether to read a book from my favorite author or whether to write my story. I have most often chosen to write because my story wouldn’t get written if I spent all my time reading others’ work but the challenge was/is still there. This post is from a readers’ perspective or at least my reader’s perspective.

Anyway, I think there really is such a thing as too much. I didn’t think there would be; I’m as surprised to type that as you are probably surprised to read it. I have always hungered for some of my favorite authors to come out with the next best book for me to line my shelves(Kindle) with. I’ve messaged them, commented on threads along with other readers wondering where is the book?! But lately I’m noticing something, and I do think it’s due to self-publishing: there is just too much. . . for me.

Writers are rushing to churn out books as fast as we demand them. Supply and demand- but isn’t there a thing as too much, too soon? Yes, your reader is hungry for more of your words but there was something appealing about that wait. During that wait, I discovered new authors, new books and even though periodically, I wondered where you(my favorite author (s)) was in your next one, I had something to keep me company. Not only that, this is where book clubs fit in with discussions about the most recent piece of work. We did stuff in between releases. Remember?

Self-publishing has so many wonderful attributes, that this is not to bash the industry, no. But maybe someone needs to help these authors and me someday soon, pace their releases- the way publishers do- especially in certain genres. Now some of you reading this are among the favorite authors I read and love. Don’t start throwing rocks this way. I’m merely speaking my opinion and not calling YOU out. What has happened for me at least, is I’m stuck. I don’t know what to start first. So many releases on the same day, during the same week from so many of you; stories, I’m interested in, some I’m not familiar with, that I give up. I actually will let your book sit there until I can decide which one to start first. It’s too much pressure and I really can’t keep up. I’m almost ashamed to say that I haven’t read your books in months. I want to but oy vey! It’s like looking at the McDonald’s menu. Too many danggone choices to choose from while someone stares at you waiting for your decision, and there is a line behind you. The line full of other books waiting to be read. And I don’t have that kind of time. I work.

Now that I’ve gotten that out, I’d be interested in hearing from readers and writers alike: What do you think is the appropriate length of time between releases from an author? And not just what we want but how long before we actually wonder whether they are still in the land of the living and writing the next big one?

Please share your thoughts.

-Aja

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16 thoughts on “Over-Saturation. Of What? Of Books. Yes, I said it.

  1. I understand as a reader and an author. As a reader I’m tempted by all these new releases, but there are so many and I know I can’t buy/read them all. As an author, I’ve felt some pressure as I watched other author’s churn out book after book while I worked on one. I know I can’t (shouldn’t) compare myself to others, but it did make me wonder if I was working to slow. Once I got over it I realized everyone has their own pace, readers and writers. I can sometimes read 4 books a week and still write my own, where other people may find that pace insane. It’s about finding that sweet spot. 🙂

    • I can’t wait to find that sweet spot, Melissa. I have actually gotten to the point where I don’t worry too much about what I’m missing but I do get sad from time to time that I can’t sit in on chats because I don’t know the material :(.

  2. Thanks for the honesty Aja. As an avid reader and wannabe author I definitely have been in the same leaky boat you’re talking about so I feel your pain. I find myself often giving up on my favorite hobby: reading, because choosing what to read is so difficult or the act is so time-consuming and writing myself has become a priority. I can’t speak to how long the timeframes between releases should be but I’d much rather have a writer leave me on pins and needles for a year and then give me one fantastic book to read, then speed it up to meet the immediate gratification demands of some of their audience with a mediocre product. It doesn’t always happen, but truth is sometimes when it’s rushed the book is only half as good as it could’ve been.

  3. Oh, I agree there is such a thing as too much. Crappy planning is what’s going to bite me in the butt for the end of year. I have vowed never again.

    Now what’s an okay time frame? Depends. Are the books shorts? Part of a series? Will meeting some insane pace of a release month going to turn your hair gray prematurely? I’m comfortable with 2-3 months because I’d love to do more planning, promotion beforehand. Really hard to do that if the book you’re going to release is ready a week beforehand. Or you’re still hocking last month’s book.

    Now as a reader, well, I have a philosophy. Just because a book is released doesn’t mean I’m going to read or purchase the book right that second. lol Would it be great? Hell yeah. I want to read all the books I’ve picked up. I want to buy all my favorites. Life gets in the way.

    Seriously, the reader me and the author me share that view. I’ve actively resisted myself from telling folks, hey, the book is going to be on Amazon between now until an eternity. Get to it when you can. lol

    • You are so right! I don’t have to buy it now. And lately, I have been leaving the book in my wishlist but you know what? I forget about it! And then when some discussion comes up weeks later I go dag, I forgot it. I have to get off of FB because there are too many spoilers. Oh! It’s too much! LOL.

  4. As a reader and an (hopefully in the near future) author, pacing is everything to me. It sets the tone, the dynamic of a story. The same can be said for the releases of these fabulous books. As much as I want to devour each story I’m thrust into , sometimes, I’m so saturated that instead of writing or reading, I’m standing in one place- wondering what to read next. I like the idea of a story simmering, giving me time to really process what happened. I often find that if I’m made to wait, I’ll revisit the story, or read more from the author or even branch out. Some may say that time could kill the flow but I’m not so sure. I know of a very popular author who published last year was adamant that she would be publishing at the beginning of this year and didn’t get a chance to publish until this month. Sure, others were mad but for me, waiting allowed that hunger to seep in, to take root. As a result, I enjoyed the product so much more and I feel as if the author really had a chance to take in what she needed to take in to make her work as phenomenal as it has become.

    The long and short of it is, I really love that I have so much to read but in the essence of keeping it fresh and vitalizing, a little waiting wouldn’t be so bad.

    …And it wouldn’t hurt to give me some time to finish my own writing 😉

    • You put it so eloquently, Margaret. I really had to stop reading. If it’s that overwhelming to make a choice, I let it go. I actually tried out a few of those free ones. Like I used to do when I wasn’t trying to keep up with the paid ones. I feel so much better but I really think there should be pacing. There aren’t twenty movies being released each week. You know what I mean?

  5. Self publishings’ quick turnaround for a voracious reader or habitual procrastinator (don’t judge me!) is a godsend. I remember not that long ago when I’d wait anywhere from 6 months to a year or two for my favorite authors to release their next big thing or the follow-up to that last big thing. I’ll agree with you Aja, there seems to be a lot of pressure on the reader especially one that gets bogged down trying to make time to keep up with supply and make decisions about how they’d like to spend their hard earned disposable income. It’s budgeting to the nth degree. I applaud you and all of the other writers with the discipline to step away from the front of the line to buy your favorite authors books and give your own writing priority.

    • What are you procrastinating on, Sabrina? LOL.

      Yes, writing has to be my own priority but different readers have different needs. And I recognize I don’t speak for everyone. What I didn’t say because I didn’t want to stir up too much trouble, is that I think quality is suffering some. Taking time means you’ve probably went through many stages before releasing that book, hopefully. Rushing may mean taking a few steps out. But hey, that’s only my observation. Thanks for weighing in.

  6. I’ve learned that no matter how hard I try, I can’t release more than two full length novels a year. Since I’m not a short story writer, I don’t have anything to put out in between novels. So, I’ve decided to make peace with my ability to produce.

    As far as reading goes, I’ve had an epiphany with that also. With my writing schedule, the time I have to read is only on weekends and when I’m waiting somewhere – grocery store, doctor’s office, etc. I stick to my favorite authors and a few new indie authors I’ve discovered over the past couple of years. Time is a limited commodity, and we have to spend it carefully.

    • You are so right, Chicki. I have to use my time carefully. I wish I didn’t have to let so many potentially good reads go in order to keep my priorities straight but such is the case. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Thanks for the honesty Aja. As an avid reader and wannabe author I definitely have been in the same leaky boat you’re talking about so I feel your pain. I find myself often giving up on my favorite hobby: reading, because choosing what to read among the plethora out there is so difficult or the act is so time-consuming and writing my own work has become a priority.

    I can’t speak to how long the timeframes between releases should be, I suspect that’s on a case by case, writer by writer basis. But I’d much rather have a writer leave me on pins and needles for a year and then give me one fantastic book to read, then have them speed it up to meet the immediate gratification demands of some of their audience with a mediocre product. It doesn’t always happen, but truth is sometimes when it’s rushed the book is only half as good as it could’ve been.

    Besides what self publishing has done is given us more wonderful (and yes, not so wonderful) writers than ever. I never feel as if there isn’t something I want to read, so I say authors take your time and knock my socks off.

  8. Deloris says:

    I really don’t care how many books and author publishes because I’m only going read what I want when I want to.One thing I can say ,I can tell when an authors rushes to publish their book,it shows up in their work and its not good. I want them to take their time to write a good book,when an author is not in their groove you can tell, I think they can too. Write as many books as you like I feel like ,but write a book that you want to read.

    • I feel you. But that’s what I mean about this pacing thing. I really think without it, the material suffers some because the speed to get it completed and published makes sacrificing “something” necessary. Publishers would generally slow the roll for various reasons, mostly having to do with money but also to make sure the job is completed right and very well. But hey, different strokes for different folks. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!

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