Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Release Opinion Desired

I've noticed a trend in publishing that I believe is relatively new: having authors release three books in three consecutive months. It seems to happen to many debut authors (who I'm more in touch with due to NON than previously published authors)—Christy Reece and Tessa Dare are two examples of debut 3-book release authors. I'm currently reading another debut-to-urban-fantasy new-pseudonym author, S.J. Day, whose first three novels had a May, June, July release schedule.

The question is, is this trend desirable?

From a reader's standpoint, it seems like you can't go wrong. You find a new author you like, and almost immediately there are two more books out that you can read. You don't have to wait another year or half a year for the next novel.

From an author's standpoint, it also seems like a good deal. You've sold three books, not one. Your name is now on three side-by-side spines in the bookstore, giving you greater shelf presence. You're promoting three books at once, basically, so perhaps it means that you can give a little more focus to promoting rather than working on that next novel (unless you're due to release three more the following year, which most of these authors are).

Is there a downside? I can think of a few, but they would be downsides with only one book released (like if it doesn't sell enough to impress the publishing house, you're not getting a second chance; if the bookstore's out of the first book, your potential readers aren't going to buy the second/third; there's probably a greater possibility of getting low-balled on the advance, but I guess you'd make it up in royalties if your novels are that great). What do you think?

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