If you can believe it, this is my first "discussion" post. I've always wanted to do a discussion post but I never knew where to start and I could never think of a topic that other bloggers didn't already address brilliantly. That being said, nothing is new and I'm sure that this topic has been discussed by someone, somewhere but recently I read the latest book by my favorite author and the entire time all I could think was:
ARE AUTHORS RUSHING TO PUBLISH TOO QUICKLY?
Let me break it down for you. First of all, I love self-publishing. I think there are some amazing authors out there that wouldn't otherwise be able to get their books out without self-publishing. Some of my favorite books in the past five years have been self-published. I discovered Colleen Hoover, Chelsea Cameron, Emily Snow, Jessica Park, Tarryn Fisher, Autumn Doughton, Jillian Dodd, Rosalind James, Tammara Webber, Tracey Garvis Graves, and Mary Whitney, all through their self-published works before any of them were signed to representation/traditional publishing houses. However, I have definitely noticed a change in books that were self-published three, four and five years ago versus many of the books coming out now (some even traditionally published).
That is, I feel like authors are rushing to publish too quickly. It's like this need for instant gratification (and we know this is tied to social media, the internet, etc.) means that an author has to constantly be publishing. Whatever happened to having to wait a year or more for the next installment in your favorite series or a new book by one of your favorite authors? Whatever happened to sometimes waiting multiple years and that being okay because the book that came at the end of that wait was amazing? For example, I waited 11 years for Donna Tartt to publish another book after The Little Friend. And guess what? The Goldfinch was incomparable when it came out -- there is no way a book like that could be written in a year, or even two years, or maybe even in ten years. It was well worth the wait -- it was worth whatever research, planning, plotting, revising and editing it had to undergo to be ready to publish.
Another example is my beloved Raven Boys -- The Raven King, the last book in the series (and the book I am most dying for and anticipating this year) was supposed to come out on September 29, 2015 (I mostly remember because that's my birthday). Obviously, it didn't. Sometime before that date, Maggie announced that book was being delayed and now we have a scheduled date of April 26, 2016, which very well might change. I'm okay with this despite how much I want this book. And you know why? Not only do I trust the author and respect her for saying, this book isn't ready, but editing/revising/time can only help.
I know that not every author has the luxury of time and resources to make every book perfect before it's published but I also don't think authors should feel rushed and pressured to release a new book every few months. There needs to be a renewed focus on editing, on planning a series out (not just writing the first book and then seeing what happens or crowd-sourcing an ending), on developing a story and not just writing something as fast as you can in order to publish it/sell more copies. I know this is all a bit art for art's sake but I'm writing this to traditional publishers as well as those who self publish. Find someone to be objective about your work -- to truly edit it, not just fix a few typos (which also seem to exist in larger numbers than ever before!). Nereyda recently wrote an honest and inspiring review of November 9 by Colleen Hoover and she wrote this sentiment with which I could not agree more:
I also really wish authors would find beta readers that aren’t friends that can be truly objective…
If you don't know by now, this post is largely inspired by F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher. Tarryn is one of my favorite authors, if not my favorite author. But this book made me question everything and ask whether authors are rushing to publish too quickly and the status of beta readers that are the author's best friends. Don't get me wrong, the book wasn't bad but it wasn't up to par, in my opinion. It could have been SO much better with more time, more editing, and someone being constructive. When we are forced to sit on our hands (or on a book), new things occur to us, we may re-phrase something that is pivotal or change an entire scene -- room and space and time from writing is a good thing and, in my opinion, ultimately produce better results.
Lastly, my kingdom for well-developed companion series if you're going to write them. Not every single person in a book needs their own book -- have a reason for the companion series to exist! There, I said it. I find that the ever growing number of companion series out there today is one of the reasons for this constant influx of books being published way too quickly -- so and so needs their own book and it has to come out in less than six months in order to remind people of the success of the first book. There are certain authors that have become exponentially popular based on this theory alone and I think their work suffers for it.
So, have you noticed a change in the quality of books lately? Are things being published too quickly? Would you be okay waiting for a book for longer than a few months, even if it was one that you really, really wanted to read?
LET'S DISCUSS! WHAT DO YOU THINK?