Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Readers Want

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

Once upon a time...authors produced one book every year. And readers were perfectly happy with that.

Now...they want our next book yesterday. And we're doing everything possible to grant those wishes. My publisher (Berkley Prime Crime) sends a new beekeeping mystery out about every nine months. Just like a baby, it goes through various stages of development - work with my editor to make it the best it can be, inhouse meetings to discuss cover ideas and sales techniques, multiple fine tunings, searching for those sneaky little typos, then off to the printer and finally distribution throughout the country and beyond. Berkley has a lot of authors. The wheels are racing all the time.

Some of us write multiple series - 2 or 3 for traditional publishers. Some of us have rights back for out-of-print series, have reissued them, and are continuing those series as independents authors, doing all the publisher's work ourselves. I do that with my Gertie Johnson murder mysteries. She's a "labor" of love.  I've written a 4th as an independent, just started #5, and next year, I'm really hoping to crank out several more.

Readers are wanting more faster. I'm writing as fast as I can. So are all the other Chicks. Thank you for your patience and loyalty. We love you.


Anonymous said...

I think readers understand that authors don't write THAT quick. I think publishers are running with or throw-away comments of "oh! I wish she write quicker" and making it the HARD sell to authors, that we are DEMANDING a book a week.

I think that's bad form, we readers do have more sense than that...i hope!

Just do your thing and we will buy it, WHENEVER you finish it!

If we love your books we will read it whenever it comes out!

Keep up the great work ladies.

Paula Miller said...

Wow! How do you do that? You must write constantly....that sounds like more than 40 hours a week! I guess we as readers don't think about all of that. We just finish your book with a smile and start wishing for more. Some characters are like friends that relieve stress. Gertie is like that for me, as are Mouse & Sister from Anne George's Southern Sister mysteries. Maybe, readers should re-read some of the older books while they wait for a new one. I do that when I am just in the mood for a certain character. Thanks for keeping the new ones coming :)

Booklady said...

I agree with anonymous. Most readers understand that it takes time to produce the wonderful stories you right. If you wrote cookie cutter type stories, it wouldn't matter how fast you wrote them, the readers would soon grow bored.

I'm amazed and impressed with all the things the Cozy Chicks manage to get done (tours, promotions, having a life) while still managing to write several series.

And I'll admit that I've been guilty of saying "I wish I didn't have to wait so long 'til the next book, but that's only because I like your books so much.

Beverly aka Booklady

Aurian said...

Lol, of course I wish you all would write a book a month, but I know it is impossible. And I would certainly stop reading if the quality dropped because of a too tight schedule. I don't mind waiting for the next book in a series. The only time I am really cursing, is when a book ends with a cliffhanger and I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next.

So, write in your own rythm, and your loyal fans will keep buying and reading them as soon as they are published.

After all, there are so many great books/series/authors out there, I can never read them all.

Nancy J. Parra said...

I agree, I think readers love good quality stories and will wait for them.
(((hugs))) for working so hard.

Heather said...

Personally, I prefer quality over qauntity. There's nothing more disappointing than picking up a book by a favorite author, only to find it riddled with typos, loose ends, and an ending that feels contrived or rushed.

Lindy said...

I have stopped getting James Patterson's books because he just churns them out--getting someone else to write them and putting his name on it. I like good original stories that are well written. So take your time. Yes, we love to get your books and become immersed, but we'd rather wait for a good one than be stuck with a rushed one. Thank you for providing us the wonderful experience of reading your books.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Heather, "quality over quantity." I certainly wouldn't want to rush a author into writing faster.

Besides, I am so far behind in my reading that I will never catch up with all my favorite authors.

I've noticed lately that some older books of authors I've read for years (such as Agatha Christie and Ruth Rendell) are being republished or are now available as e-books. I think that's great because somehow I missed reading some earlier Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford's mysteries.

We all love you "Cozy Chicks." You keep writing on your schedule and we will keep reading.

Shirley in Baltimore