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My biggest problem is that like a lot of others I have a day job and therefore can't write as much as I would like.

I know a lot of people write like machines and turn out a lot of stuff but that's just not how I work...

How often do readers expect new work to be released by an author before they lose interest? A year? Six months? Two months? Just interested in views of others.
 

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About a year is as far as I can go before I honestly lose interest in a story. That's for a series, though. If it takes to long, I just can't be excited about the series anymore, and it's not because I forget the story. I'm the type of person that can't forget a book until 5+ years after I've read it (usually), and I don't enjoy re-reading a story I've already read and can remember clearly.

If it's just another work by an author I like, I will usually pick it up whenever I see it. But I wont actively look into seeing when the next work will be out (maybe check their website every few months if I can remember to do it).

That's just me, though.
 

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giantpasta said:
How often do readers expect new work to be released by an author before they lose interest? A year? Six months? Two months? Just interested in views of others.
My perspective is that if it's written well enough, the reader should never lose interest. My book should always be at the back of their mind, leaving them wondering, "I wonder what happens next?" If the reader goes, "Well, it's taking too long so never mind" then I never really grabbed them in the first place.

I mean, in traditional publishing, they really discourage authors from publishing more than one book a year, so readers should be used to waiting. It's only a recent development with ebooks where people expect books released every week or every month. Another example is television - some TV shows will go on hiatus for months. Some canceled shows still hold their audience for years. How many people are excited about "Arrested Development" and "Veronica Mars" coming back?

At the same time, I encourage my readers to subscribe to my Facebook page or my blog, that way when I release another book, they get the reminder.
 

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Nigel Mitchell said:
My perspective is that if it's written well enough, the reader should never lose interest. My book should always be at the back of their mind, leaving them wondering, "I wonder what happens next?" If the reader goes, "Well, it's taking too long so never mind" then I never really grabbed them in the first place.
Sorry, but no. Unless your book is the only one someone ever reads, it is unlikely to stay with a reader forever in that much detail. There are a number of books that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the years - why else would I keep reading? - and if all of them set up permanent residence in my head, there would be no room for anything else. Yes, there are certain books that last longer than others. Yes, there are certain characters that resonate with you on a different level. But these are few and far between, and you cannot expect every reader to respond this way regardless of how well the book is written.

People have busy, distraction-filled lives. If I regularly checked all the authors I enjoy reading for new releases, I would never get anything else done! You cannot expect people to wait on your doorstep for you to produce something new. I won't lose interest in the story if I liked it, but I may lose interest in coming back month after month to check if there is a new book out yet. That said, I am also hesitant to sign up to a mailing list and open myself up to a litany of irrelevant information from every writer that I happen to have enjoyed - but that's just me. If there was a service that let me plug in authors' names, which then sent me a notification whenever something new by one of them was published, that would be ideal. (If it exists, someone tell me where!)

What is more important than the speed of production is the method of getting the reader back. Unless you have a huge back catalogue (and often even then), your readers are going to read something else in between your books, no matter how dedicated they are to you. The key - and the challenge - is in letting them know when you next have something for them to read. If you have impressed them the first time, they will come back when/if they hear your next piece is out.
 

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Kim Sheard said:
You cannot expect people to wait on your doorstep for you to produce something new. I won't lose interest in the story if I liked it, but I may lose interest in coming back month after month to check if there is a new book out yet.
So Stephen King, EL James, Dean Koontz, JK Rowling...they're all frantically pounding out manuscripts, going, "I have to release a new novel every month or all my readers will disappear!" No. They release a novel every year, sometimes every few years, and their readers return.
 

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Nigel Mitchell said:
So Stephen King, EL James, Dean Koontz, JK Rowling...they're all frantically pounding out manuscripts, going, "I have to release a new novel every month or all my readers will disappear!" No. They release a novel every year, sometimes every few years, and their readers return.
Diana Gabaldon every four years and every time I swear it's the last one I'll ever read ... until the next one comes out.
 

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Nigel Mitchell said:
So Stephen King, EL James, Dean Koontz, JK Rowling...they're all frantically pounding out manuscripts, going, "I have to release a new novel every month or all my readers will disappear!" No. They release a novel every year, sometimes every few years, and their readers return.
True, but their readers return because of the fact that they know a new book is out. Those writers have enough clout to make it obvious to the general public when something new has been released.

I should clarify that I did not mean to say that you should be "pounding out manuscripts." Rather, I believe the question should be "How do I contact my readers to tell them of a new release?" not "How fast do I have to write to keep readers?"
 

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Kim Sheard said:
True, but their readers return because of the fact that they know a new book is out. Those writers have enough clout to make it obvious to the general public when something new has been released.

I should clarify that I did not mean to say that you should be "pounding out manuscripts." Rather, I believe the question should be "How do I contact my readers to tell them of a new release?" not "How fast do I have to write to keep readers?"
I agree with that. Those authors have a huge marketing machine behind them that tells everyone and their mother when they release a new novel. I've never read a Harry Potter book, but I knew about the last book release months in advance just by watching TV and reading the newspaper.

Like I said, I've been encouraging my readers how to follow me more easily by putting my Amazon author page, blog, and email address at the end of my books. The email list is the most effective way to keep readers updated, but some might be reluctant to sign up. I'd be interested to hear other ways authors have been keeping their readers informed of new releases.
 

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Once I finish this MS, it's gonna be another 5 years before I finish the next one (unless the first one sells enough for me to quit -- I ain't holding my breath), so I'm not worried about it. If your books are timeless, then there will be new generations that come along and read them, and I certainly remember books I read 20 years ago. Maybe not in great detail, but I remember whether I liked them or not. I wouldn't even have a problem picking up a continuation. Asimov went a long time before he came back to The Foundation with the Prelude. There are examples of it happenning. The hard part is, making the book good enough in the first place to make it memorable.
 

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Nigel Mitchell said:
...JK Rowling...
Funny enough, I lost interest in the Harry Potter series around the time she got pregnant and delayed the release of the next book. Time does matter, because other things pop up that could be either more important or more interesting.
 

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I think Nigel and Kim are both right. It's about building a brand that people will remember. But few of us have that on a large scale (so far). Still, there are ways to get the word out about upcoming books. If a writer had a website for readers to check on, the writer could post updates like, "First draft of upcoming novel, The Monster Hunters, due for completion March 31st." Then post a tentative schedule for future drafts, cover creation and so on, so that readers know when it will be available.
Good thread!
 

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Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' said:
Diana Gabaldon every four years and every time I swear it's the last one I'll ever read ... until the next one comes out.
Same here. It all depends on how memorable your characters are. Some books I forget before I get around to writing a review, some linger in my mind for a very long time.

I just released the sequel to a book I published in July 2011. At the time I had no intention of writing a sequel but I kept getting requests so I finally did. So far it is doing pretty well (it's only been out 2 weeks) so we shall see what happen (plus, I'm working on Volume 3).
 

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Keeping readers is my worry too. I foolishly started writing two trilogies at the same time, so my readers have double the length of time to wait for each new book. I alternate and and am finally writing the third of each. I know I would've sold an awful lot more books and had more satisfied readers if I'd written one trilogy at a time. Oh well, I'm learning as I go...
 

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Shalini Boland said:
Keeping readers is my worry too. I foolishly started writing two trilogies at the same time, so my readers have double the length of time to wait for each new book. I alternate and and am finally writing the third of each. I know I would've sold an awful lot more books and had more satisfied readers if I'd written one trilogy at a time. Oh well, I'm learning as I go...
Some of us will wait, Shalini, we're sat at the bottom of your garden, frothing at the mouth, just waiting for Outside book three...
 

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I'm forcing myself to slow down- one book every two  months. Primarily because it's silly to churn out a lot of product when I haven't found readers yet. Ads haven't worked or social  networking. I'm considering dowsing next...
 

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CEMartin2 said:
I'm forcing myself to slow down- one book every two months. Primarily because it's silly to churn out a lot of product when I haven't found readers yet. Ads haven't worked or social networking. I'm considering dowsing next...
If you can keep it up at that pace - why the hell not?!

I love nothing more than finding a new author I've discovered has an extensive back catalogue for me to peruse at my leisure...
 

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Andrea Harding said:
If you can keep it up at that pace - why the hell not?!

I love nothing more than finding a new author I've discovered has an extensive back catalogue for me to peruse at my leisure...
Well, my kids have been complaining that I am not spending enough time with them. When I countered I was writing FOR them, for money to do some extra trips, etc, they wanted to know where said money was. So now when i get my monthly 10 or $20 from Amazon I give it to them, but I sense they are frustrated with my lack of progress thus far...

Yeah, writing pulp is a breeze. Back in the 30s they cranked out one book a month. It's really not that hard if you outline it and keep that same frenetic pace.
 
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