More than one person has asked me why I don’t publish more books each year, so I thought I should address this question. Since March 2011, I have published seven books. If things go well, I’ll put out Blood Link IV in the next two weeks and that will still be a total of eight novels published in a two-year period.
I actually started writing seriously in June 2010, but I first submitted Protecting Parker to a publisher in October of that year. At that time, the four Blood Link books were one (rather jumbled) story of about 125,000 words, and I was sure that book was all just a waste of my time. Now the word count for the four books of the Blood Link series totals almost 400,000 words, and the ten people who actually read the darn things love them to death.
These eight books are not all there is. There are two books written that are in the beta cycle right now. The Healer – Book V of the Blood Link series centering on Dr. Peter (Mac) MacKenzie. My next standalone novel (tentatively titled The Embassy Guards) is a thriller about a special ops team with a cover as (can you guess) embassy guards. While those are in beta read and head for edits next month, I’m currently writing Book VI and the next standalone thriller. Those will be the four for 2013.
What most people should remember is that this isn’t all about me and what I can do. For every book I write there are numerous beta readers. All of whom have lives and may or may not be able to jump right in on the manuscript I send them. For every book I write there is an editor. My two editors do not do this for a living – they do it because they foolishly agreed to in a moment of weakness and now can’t figure out how to get the hell out of it. They have lives and other things they would rather be doing. Marcia prefers retirement and genealogy to editing. Arwen is a high school teacher and would much rather ring hand bells, hunt for old cemeteries, do needlework, and read for pleasure. Neither of them derives a great deal of satisfaction in facing the never-ending assaults by my comma fairy, and they are both more than a little embarrassed by my gerund fetish. The fact that I now know what a gerund is continues to amaze all of us. Two books each per year is a big enough imposition. Anything more than that could mean my death sentence.
There is also the issue of creating a quality cover and the technical aspect of the publishing to consider. Dean actually has a real business that he needs to attend to, but he makes time for me because I’m like a tubercular cough and won’t go away without large doses of expensive medication. (The truth is that he’s too busy to file the request for a restraining order on me.) Despite my obnoxiousness, he turns out my covers, reconfigures each book for the different sites, and takes care of actually getting my books online and making sure that they stay there. He’s also on call for my computer issues, technical (think geek) questions that I need to know for my manuscripts, and the poor bastard has to actually read every book I write. How much suffering can we expect from one man?
Publishing four books a year is what my team and I can manage, and probably more than any of them would like.