Quality vs. Quantity : Message to Self-Published Authors

Iris BollingWhat is the first thing you think when you read an author has produced twenty books in a twelve month time span? WOW! That author is bringing in the big bucks. It’s a logical assumption. You want a piece of the action, don’t you? LOL! We all do. But, at what cost?

This is going to be short and sweet.

If you put out twenty books and only two out of the twenty were good reads, how many more of your books do you think readers will purchase? Probably none. Here’s a little something to remember. Quality will bring you a bigger bang for your money than quantity will in the long run. How, you ask? Well, let’s look at the economics of book sales. You sold one hundred books at $5.00. You made $500.00 dollars. Not bad. You put out another twenty. This time you only sold two, you made $10.00. What happened? The readers choose not to try you again. Eighteen out of the first twenty they purchased were not good. And here’s the thing, you knew it before you put the book on the market. But you put them out there anyway for the quick buck. Now, you really have a problem—negative name recognition. You have to win the faith of the readers you lost back.

Let’s take a look at another scenario. You wrote one book. You sold 100 at $5.00. You made $500.00. Not bad. In fact readers are talking about your book to others and you find you have to reprint more or your eBook sales are jumping. When you release your second book, you sell 200 on the first day. $1,000.00 in one day! This is a real WOW! You have double your sales on the first book, all from word of mouth. The readers talked about how good that first book was to their friends, bookclub members, on review sites and other readers listened. Not only did you retain you first group of readers, you have added more. Why? Quality.

The quality of your story is what will keep the readers faithful to you as an author. They will remember the characters, what they did, how they did it and who they did it to. Readers will begin to quote some of your words. But most important, the readers will share your work with other readers. Give them a piece of crap and they will not even remember the name of the book. Or worse, when they hear your name the will smirk, “Don’t waste your money.”

Quality vs. Quantity…..Quality wins hands down, every time. When writing your novels, but your big toe in it the mix. It will pay off in the long run.

Iris Bolling

http://www.irisbolling.net/ or http://www.sirient.com/

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15 thoughts on “Quality vs. Quantity : Message to Self-Published Authors

  1. Bettye Griffin

    Great analogy, Iris! I don’t think any readers expect absolute perfection, but writers should always give their best effort and seek assistance–turning out a high-quality book is something practically impossible to do alone.

    1. Iris

      Thank you Bettye for stopping by. You are right. It takes a village to produce a good quality book. (Did you get the connection to it takes a village to raise a child? No–okay.) Shaking my head, anyway, it takes a good editor,(something I will talk about in my next blog) a good page and cover designer to put out a high-quality book. the point is to take your time and put out the best book you can. Will it be perfect? Probably not. But you will know the reader is getting the best you have to offer at this time. As you grow, things will improve.

  2. Kim

    You are so right Iris. I think a lot of authors, even some established ones need to read this and take notice. I for one have stopped buying books from one of my favorite authors because she now puts out way too many books a year, and the quality has gone down dramatically! I still read her books if I receive them in a swap, but I refuse to spend my hard earned money on rubbish.

    1. irisb

      Thank you for stopping by Kim. I did the same thing. One of my favorite authors began putting out one or two books a month. While I would enjoy that, I need to feel I’m getting something new for my money, not a refurbished story. So now I don’t buy the book, I’ll borrow it or just wait until something new comes out.

  3. Delaney Diamond

    So true! Quality trumps quantity any day. One thing to think about, too, is that if you provide the quality, you won’t have to churn out as many books to make what you need to because you’ll have more buyers.

    1. irisb

      Hello Delaney, Thank you for dropping by. I have to agree. If the quality of one book is good, you don’t have to be concerned with quantity. The quality of that one book will carry you a long way. Do that with the second book and you have established yourself as a quality author. Readers will follow your work wiout hesitation.

  4. Deatri Post author

    Same thing happened to me with traditionally published authors. I’ve stopped reading a few of my once favorite authors because they were pumping out so many books (which I liked) but the quality dropped AND it felt like they were just changing the characters’ names and locations so I was basically reading the same stories over and over.

    Excellent post Iris!

  5. Wolfgang Smith

    You really can’t blame authors for popping out books like candy when there’s a demand for it.

    Selling books is the new crack money to a lot of authors…admittedly, too…especially since a good number of them are either in prison or ex-convict

    1. Deatri Post author

      Hello Wolfgang, thanks for dropping by. Here’s some food for thought. The key is quality. If an author can release one quality book a year, good for them. If an author can release 20 quality books, good for them. If authors release substandard work, growing a large, loyal reader base that can’t wait for the next title to come out will be pert near impossible.

  6. Betsy A. Riley

    Good blog. I have seen a decline in quality in some bestselling trad authors as they get too many series going, with too many co-authors. True, I used to hate waiting a year or more for the next book, but even worse is getting the book and having it not be worth the time I spend reading it.

    1. Deatri Post author

      Hello Betsy,

      Thanks for coming by. I’m with you. As a reader I hate waiting, but as a reader, I find it’s worth the wait.

  7. Wolfgang Smith

    “Quality” is subjective…because there are a lot of books out in the market that I think is thrash is selling out like hot cakes

    That’s why readers are in the rush to be authors without formal training…they think it’s easy based on the success of books that they perceive as “easy to write about”

    For example…Urban/Street Fiction

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