I was scrolling through a Facebook group that I belong to and ran across a post from a fellow author, asking for advice. She had received this response from a publisher and wanted to know if anyone had any experience with them (I know the pic is small, I'm hoping you can still read it):
Needless to say, I just about fell off my chair. Is this honestly the direction that publishing is going? A book a month? I mean, I realize that this is a single publisher, but with the way the algorithms and such work over at Amazon... this seems to be the direction that we're headed in. Honestly, though, this just screams quantity over quality to me. I did do a little research and the publisher is not a vanity press. They are a romance and erotica publisher that pays an advance and 50% royalties once the advance is earned out. They also pay for editing and cover art. The majority of the marketing seems to be up to the author (but that doesn't seem to be unusual in today's publishing landscape). Is the self-publishing model of rapid release going to eventually squirm its way over to traditional publishing? Will writers just become word monkeys, chained to their desks, churning out pages as fast as they can?
No. And no.
Which is not to say this model doesn't work, because it does.
Back in the day and that was The Day, I worked as a telephone operator on the night shift. Calls were not frequent but we were staffed up just in case. Which meant we were sitting around between calls for sometimes five minutes or more.
Fortunately, we were allowed to read.
The first time I worked nights, I hadn't known to bring a book.
Well, no problem. The lovely ladies I was joining had books to spare.
And ALL of them were Harlequin romances. Old style, mass market paperbacks.
The ladies bought these books by the multiple dozens.
And lest you think they just gobbled them down, oh no.
They regaled me with plot lines, characters and settings on the dozen or so books they had with them that night.
I never ever disrespected the romance genre after that.
I don't read much of it, but those books were treasured by those ladies (and a lot of other readers too) and who am I to judge their taste. Let's all remember I loved Perry Mason books at one time.
Which is to say, this model that involves producing a lot of books on a quick time line isn't new. It's in fact, rather old school in this category.
It didn't overtake the publishing biz then, and it won't now.
This kind of book appeals to a certain type of reader.
And that's exactly how publishing should work.
As a writer, if you can write at this speed, have at it.
But if you can't, don't want to, don't worry. There's a place for us slowpoke writers and readers too.