Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Off the Clock

As I mentioned in June, I quit ye olde teaching job in favor of not being beat up and getting to write stories of cute guys fucking all day. Props to me. But as Labor Day stares me in the face, I'm getting an odd feeling of being out of time and place. Labor Day has meant the start of a new year to me for a tidy few decades, much more so than January 1. Fall has always been new beginnings, new chances, new clothes and new school supplies. At The Most Awesome Job Ever, all Labor Day means this year is that a book came out, a book is in edits, I have print galleys due and another book due while a trying to keep new characters from trying to escape and take over. All of that is fun (except the print galleys), but they don't have that special connection to this time of year. Still not complaining because, see above, getting to write about guys meeting, fucking and falling in love is absolutely The Most Awesome Job Ever, but it's hard fighting the urge to buy new clothes or a pencil case.

We humans have been coming up with ways to tell time (Stonehenge, New Grange) almost as soon as we could count, so it seems like a pretty basic need to find a rhythm in the cycle of the year. That led me to thinking about finding a similar rhythm in my writing schedule. Does it matter when a book comes out? It seems to me that my books that release in March/April or December/January seem to sell best. May/June is okay. The slowest month for me for new releases seems to be August. Anyone have thoughts on that? Should I beg, borrow and steal to get books to come out December, April...and a month not August to get into a pattern? And how often is good for releases? Every four months? Every six? At what point do readers say, "I forgot she was still writing"?

I may not have semesters to tick off the time for me anymore, but as long as I have the rhythm of write, edit, release, I think I'll be happy living off the clock.


Melora said...

I'm glad you're enjoying the best job ever. For what it's worth, I would rather wait for a quality finished project from an author than one that feels rushed to meet a particular deadline. With new authors it helps to publish a little more quickly at first so that you have a backlist for readers to discover and dig into. That said, if you can captivate me with your story I wait years for the next (I'm looking at you George RR Martin) and still be first in line when it's released. You don't forget authors you love regardless of how often they publish.

K.A. Mitchell said...

Thanks, Melora. I always want to deliver a quality product when people are paying for it. My name is on it and I don't want to disappoint readers. I've been a reader for a lot longer and I know what it is to feel let down if a book feels slapped together.

jmc said...

I used to think that a book every year or two was enough for an author, but that was before the epublishing revolution. Now I think the pace of publishing and reader demand has accelerated so that a book per year seems like a minimum almost. Assuming the author's writing style and day job permit it. As a reader, I'd always go for quality of books rather than quantity, but also admit to having a limited attention span: too long between books would drop an author off my radar.

On August book sales: are people returning from vacation and thus not buying books to read at the beach/on vacation? How are July sales?

Best wishes for your first new school year doing The Most Awesome Job Ever rather than the other job.

Related Posts with Thumbnails