Monday, May 14, 2012

We're Pedaling As Fast As We Can...

HALLIE EPHRON: So all of us Reds sat up and took notice of yesterday's New York Times front page Headline -- Writers Cramp: In the E-Reader Era, a Book a Year is Slacking.

And there's lovely Lisa Scotolline, standing there in a butterscotch leather jacket, leaning against a block of granite, cool as a cucumber and apparently without a care in the world. She says she's producing two books a year now because  "the culture is a great big hungry maw, and you have to feed it."

My reaction? In a word, Oy vey. Followed by a very loud and whiney: "Come on guys, I'm pedaling as fast as I can!"

I am so in awe of writers who can crank out more than one book a year. How do they do it?

LUCY BURDETTE: Yeah, we started this conversation by complimenting Debs on making a good show on the blog this past week--in spite of her big deadline. And then, Hallie points out how the NYT is telling us even the big, big, big authors are writing faster and faster and faster...

RHYS BOWEN: This reads like the story of my life these days! Two books a year and Penguin is releasing a short story/novella a month before the next Lady Georgie title. And St Martin's is suggesting I do another short story before the next Molly.

HALLIE: I've heard authors complain that they put up short stories on Kindle (free, mind you!) only to get a batch of one star reviews from readers complaining that they felt cheated because it wasn't a whole novel. Talk about biting the hand...

RHYS: Happened to me last year. All that whining about 'this isn't a whole book!' It's like going into the bakery and complaining because they are only giving away samples of the doughnut, not the whole thing. But I'm afraid too many Kindle readers are now spoiled by writers giving their works away and think this is normal. However some of us have to eat.

LUCY: I attended a conference yesterday for mostly romance writers. One woman I sat with churns out 4 books a year. And she has 4 kids...She said she works well under deadline: when she was in a bad pinch recently, she went to a motel alone for a weekend and wrote 12,000 words in ONE day. 20,000 for the weekend.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: 12000 in ONE day? Did they make any sense??

HALLIE: I once wrote 12,000 words in a day. The next day I deleted most of them.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I'm trying to write 2000 a day when 1000 to 1200 is a good day for me. Last Monday I think I wrote about 5000. I was so exhausted on Tuesday that I couldn't get off the sofa. I can do a few days like that right at the end of a book, but can't keep it up.

Are these super-achieving writers human?

HALLIE: I'm doing well if I hit 500 a day. Or I thought I was.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Well, everyone around here may have noticed I've been AWOL for the last several weeks. My book deadline was moved up, and for me to write at the speed required to meet it, I have to chuck everything else out the window: trips to the Y, social media, blogging, cooking, cleaning... (okay, I admit those last two aren't a big sacrifice.) I can do that for a month or two, when absolutely necessary, but to produce enough words to fuel two good books a year? I don't think I'd have any other life.

Writers, what's your word count? Could you produce two books a year? Three? And readers, do you really need two books per annum from your favorite writers? Believe me when I say the Reds want to know!


  1. Wow. I produced 10,000 words when I went away to a writers retreat center for a long weekend, but there were very few distractions. Usually I can get 1000 or so in a day, but I only do that day once a week.

    Of course I'd love more than one book a year from my favorite authors, but I can wait, too, especially if the quality would suffer.

  2. "So look, Vincent. We really like your paintings. They're selling very well. But in order for us to carry your work here, you'll have to produce more than one painting a week, do you understand?"
    "But this is my art. The pictures are good because I take time to do them well."
    "Well, this studio is a business. Two a week or nothing."

  3. Hi, Reds
    I do produce two books a year, one under each name (Kate Emerson writes non-mystery historicals and Kaitlyn Dunnett writes contemporary mysteries) but writing is just about all I do. If I didn't flat out refuse to do Facebook and Twitter and the rest I'd have no time for a personal life at all! On the other hand, for the first time in thirty years of writing novels, I'm actually making a living at it. How much longer can I keep up this pace? No idea. The only way I manage now is by giving myself a much earlier deadline than the real one for each book.

  4. As a reader, one good quality book a year is good for me as I have so many authors I want to read that I don't have the time to read.

    On the other hand, short stories are great in whetting my appetitie for the next full-length novel.

  5. I'm a reader, not a writer and more importantly, I'm NOT a user of social media or e-books. So my opinion is just that - my opinon only. Sure I'd love to see/read a new book from my favorite authors immediately after finishing the latest, but I respect and admire the effort required to produce a good book. Unlike most people today, I understand and accept the value in waiting for quality. I'm grateful for the books you write, the hours of enjoyment you give to me, but I fear I'm in the severe minority.

  6. I haven't read the article - or weighed in on this earlier - because I was just too busy. I spent most of Saturday at a Connecticut writer's conference, most of Sunday in my garden and after treating myself to an hour of Mad Men (yeah, yeah it's a timesuck) I started work at 11pm.
    That's actually my idea of a perfect day. It doesn't make for two books a year but I'm okay with that.

  7. Oh, this is a really tough one. Release dates for my favorite writers’ new books are ruthlessly tracked in the pages of my daily planner, and I am prepared to hit the bookstore at the opening bell on release day. E-books are admittedly easier as it’s just a few pushes of a virtual button and the book is mine, even if I’m still curled up under cozy bedcovers. I currently have almost 1,000 books on my e-reader and [as mentioned in the New York Times article] both Lisa Scottoline and Lee Child are among the authors represented there. Like most, I, too, am guilty of wishing for more --- I can whine with the best of them if Wednesday rolls around and Julia doesn’t post a Work-in-Progress piece on her Reader’s Space website. On the other hand, I am not necessarily a member of the “produce more” camp. No one wants drivel . . . and I have come across some pretty horrid e-book offerings.

    What is the solution? While nothing is perfect, I think Julia may have hit on a reasonable writer/reader compromise with her “Work-in-Progress Wednesday” website posting in which she shares a few paragraphs from the book we are all soooooo anxiously waiting to read. More work for the author? That’s guaranteed. A process for “hanging on” to readers and keeping them invested in the series [and the author] until the next release date? Quite probably.

    Publishers will undoubtedly demand more and more of their writers, especially with this new “short story in between books” mentality that seems to be growing at a clip equal to that of an avalanche roaring down the mountainside. And there is a market for it . . . I don’t know of a single disappointed reader when Julia gifted us with a series of original Christmas short stories about Clare and Russ.

    Speaking only for myself, I have a tendency to read, re-read, and then read again books that have made some impact on me as a reader. I can grouse with the best of them when the next book is almost a year away, but you know I’ll be re-reading, listening to my audio book version, checking out the mid-week website posts . . . and touting my favorite authors and books anywhere I can. And you can count me to be standing on the sidewalk waiting for the bookstore to open its door on release day.

  8. I am a slow writer. If I do 500 a day, I feel good about myself.

    I can't believe this trend can do anything for the quality of writing, BUT....some people are more prolific, and the good thing is that this is bringing back the short story.

    I had a house full of family yesterday and stayed away from the computer screen!

  9. Joan Emerson, we love you!

    Jack Getze - You are hilARious! We could do a whole series of these..
    So look, Fyodor...
    So look, Tutankhamen...

  10. But Jan, you can churn out a news story on deadline... So can I. Why is it so different?

  11. Hooray hooray for readers Dru, Amy, and Joan!

    The difference, Hallie, is that there are no facts in fiction. We have to make the darn stories up and work out all the characters, and the setting, etc etc. It just takes more time than a nonfiction piece.

  12. When I was at a writers colony for a month (no cell reception or internet) where meals were provided, as well as maid service, and all I had to do was work (and once a week do my own laundry), I was able to produce a phenomenal word count each day, mostly pretty good. However, that was a unique situation. How often can we run away from family and other daily obligations for a big chunk of time?

    The thing I find so terribly time-consuming yet so required is all of the promotion activities--social media, book tour, isolated signings, interviews, etc. How to be prolific and do a really good job of promotion at the same time is a problem I'm trying to figure out.

    I'm looking at the possibility of launching another series in the future and having to do two books a year. I want the quality to stay high, but at the same time, I worry that it will mean even more promo expected of me. I waver when I think of that. On the other hand, I'd like to start being able to support myself writing novels as Kathy/Kaitlynn does. Poverty sucks.

  13. Kathy, how do you manage to keep from doing the promotional stuff? Do you have some clause in your contracts so that your publisher does it for you? Does your publisher not require you to try to promote your work? Or have you just arrived at that pinnacle where enough people know your work that you can give it a pass? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Actually serious here. I'd love to know how you manage all this.

  14. As a devoted reader, I love it when my favorite authors (that's you Reds!) can write more than one books a year. However, I don't want to you to burn out or die of exhaustion; writing is hard work! I'm happy with one good book a year if that works for you. I also love those Kindle short stories. (I can't believe people complain they aren't full-length novels when they are clearly labeled short stories. Duh!)

    Keep writing at your own pace, ladies. We'll wait in anticipation.

    Cathy AJ

  15. Oh, Linda, a writer's colony...I've always wanted to do that, but there has always been the issue of being away from home for another month after trips to England for research and promotional touring.... Where did you go?

    And two books a year? I've written fourteen--almost fifteen now--in twenty years. My goal is to actually make my book-a-year deadline, which I did the first few years when my books were half the length.

    I'd have #15 finished if it wasn't for the touring for the last book, but I wouldn't have missed the places I went and the people (both readers and other writers) I met for anything.

    So I'll just keep juggling as best I can.

  16. I can usually write 1,000 words a day, sometimes more if I'm on a roll, but then there's all the editing and research, too. I can't imagine writing more than one novel a year.

    I love the comments from readers Jack, Dru, Amy, and Joan. So glad you guys are understanding.

    Writers need lives away from the keyboard, too.

  17. Debs, I went to Ragdale right outside of Chicago, one of the oldest and most respected in the country. Most of the others in that old, respected category are back East. For my poetry, I won a big award that included a free month at Ragdale plus $4,000. While there, I wrote the entire first draft of a new book of poems and I completely revised EVERY LAST SECRET and sent it out for the first time.

    You would be surprised what you can do when everyone is there to support and respect your creative work. All around there are signs that read, "Quiet! Artists at work." Each night, you meet with the other residents (artists and writers) for dinner and talk about your work with each other. It's a nice push to keep working when you know you've got that evening meal in community coming up. Beautiful surroundings and an understanding that just sitting and staring out the window or walking in the prairie or reading or napping or whatever also constitutes a part of creative process.

    You don't have to go for a whole month, though. Ragdale's usual residency length is 2 weeks--very cheap if you don't have a fellowship as I did, like about $4-500 for 2 weeks with all food, maid service, everything provided.

    There are writers' residencies all over the country and abroad, though. Look at the Alliance of Artist Communities website,, for places near you and for tips on applying. (I know Texas has several.)

    I think mystery writers don't take advantage of these writers colonies as much as they could. Yeah, some have been elitist, but most are trying to move into the 21st century and diversify.

    Incidentally, Ragdale is hosting a reading and book signing for my mystery at the end of June. so they support my more commercial writing, as well.

  18. And here I thought that all of you authors were doing one book every TWO years! I don't mind if it takes you longer to produce something of good quality. I don't want my favorite authors to say "I could have done a better job if only I had had enough time." And I sure do NOT want any of you jeopardizing your well-being just to meet a ridiculous deadline. Of COURSE I would love to see one book a year from my favorite authors; I would also like to take one really relaxing and luxurious vacation per year and eat one or two hot fudge sundaes per day. This is all unrealistic.

    The general public has this mind set of "I want what I want as soon as I want it". It's not just in the literary world but in all aspects of society.

    As long as I know that my favorite authors are alive and writing, I can wait for the next book!

    Rhys...I saw the ridiculous comments about your lovely short story being "too short". I was just shaking my head. How can someone even THINK something like that?

    I work in an office that administers benefit programs for people with low incomes. My coworkers and I do all the application paperwork, including entering the information into the computer. Most cases require a minimum of two diferent sorts of applications, with many requiring four or more, depending on how many programs for which a person qualifies. Every week there are a couple of people who complain about how long it takes for us to fill out the forms and check to see if they are eligible for aid, instead of thanking us for helping them to save money. These are most likely the same kinds of people who complain that a free short story is too short or who expect a couple of high quality books per year from an author.

  19. SO glad to read this, especially because from fiction writers. I write NF and it takes me years to write a book and that's working seven days a week.

    Maybe readers (and publishers) will get what they apparently want? Crap?

  20. A really good essay from thriller writer, JT Ellison, on this whole question

  21. Oh, man. Sorry, but I can't see myself ever doing more than a book a year. Well, 11 months, really: 9 to get it to my editor and 2 to improve it with that editor's help (she's brilliant, bless her). In August, I treat myself to a collapse that is hard to distinguish from a nervous breakdown.

  22. I could easily read two books a year by my favorite authors, but that would leave no time for discovering new authors.

    I've been wondering about setting a daily word goal, but after reading this I think I'm doing okay with my family-negotiated time for writing.

    I hate to see writing novels become less of an art and more of a craft for the sake of money, alone. It was easy to see when a couple of my favorite writers went into "production mode" and seemed to be cutting and pasting new books together from old. Sad... just very sad... . And, in the case of one, it seemed like he wasn't writing his own books anymore. I'm not a desperate reader.

  23. What I don't understand is ... why. Just because the public "wants" it, doesn't mean the public has to have it - nor does it mean that the public won't eventually get overfull, or, well, even MORE demanding.

    I understand why writers struggling to make a living feel they have to churn out books, but why do writers at the level of Lisa Scottoline and Lee Child go along with it?

    Why don't they just say no?

  24. Of course I want more than one book a year! I also want world peace, to look and feel like I did at twenty-two(but, be as smart as I am now so I would really appreciate it .)
    I do not see that happening.
    Julia, you know I really want a new Miller's Kill book every month. I am also old enough to know my "wants" won't hurt me. I am a reader. I want good books to read. Do you see all the "I want's" in this comment? That is what is wrong with the thinking behind yesterday's article. Instant gratification.
    You folks just continue to write your wonderful books that bring us such pleasure. I don't know if I am alone in this, but when I just can't stand another second without your characters I just start re-reading. I find something new and delicious every time I read them. I may be the only person who re-reads mysteries.
    So keep writing, maybe let us hear from you when you can, and I promise you I will read the nextClare, Molly, Hannah ...etc book when it is released. I always pre-order ;-)

  25. I'd be thrilled to have more than one book a year from my favorites - but the good news is that in my "waiting time" I've discovered all number of new books. In that process, many have joined my favorites list. I think that this is what is called a win/win! I also must say that the source of many of the new finds has been from this blog...

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  27. Answer to Linda about refusing to do Facebook, etc:
    I just told my editor and the publicist at Simon and Schuster, through my agent, that I thought social media would be a waste of time better spent researching and writing my Tudor historicals. I have, I do a blog tour of historical sites for a new book and I'm happy to do online interviews. They stopped nagging. My mystery publisher, Kensington, hasn't pushed at all. FYI, I don't do much in the way of signings, either. Not much point in rural Maine. I'm 64 years old, eccentric, and pushing toward curmudgeon status. If not doing Facebook costs me future contracts, so be it. I can still write.g

  28. I'm a poet and short story writer/editor who hopes to write novels someday. I was also a fan of the prolific Robert B. Parker. Parker ramped up production from 1997 on. His usual five pages per day went to ten, from one book a year to three. I did feel the quality dipped, but Parker claimed he didn't get better with revision.

    My thinking is if the particular writer is comfortable ramping up the pace, go for it. The challenge can yield good results in some cases. Then again, if the writer feels totally stressed by the pace, chances are it won't end well.

    I empathize to a point with readers who, in their just-finished-book euphoria, want to read the next one ASAP, but if I read too much of one author over too short a time, the books blur together. I prefer to appreciate each book fully on its own.

    To answer Sara's question, I think even writers of the highest level see and take the opportunity to make more money. I can't blame them. And though quality control may suffer, publishers may think it a small price to pay for the chance to have more material overall to sell.

  29. Thanks to all for the thoughtful comments. Gerald and Sara, I don't think it's just a question of whether the big guys can make more money. I think there's a sense of franticness in the publishing business right now because everything's in flux. No contract is certain and no one wants to be pushed out, left out, left behind. I believe a lot of agents and editors feel the same undercurrent and squeeze writers a little harder than they would have in the past. JMHO, of course.

  30. ps, so far this has turned into an 800 word day and none of them came easy. I'm trying a couple of productivity techniques I heard from Peter Andrews over the weekend--use a combination of typing and word recognition software. (Yikes, that needs a lot of refining--if I hadn't just said the words myself, I'd have no idea what they were!)

    And second, I'll do tonight--plan out what and how much I'm going to write tomorrow.

  31. I'm only on my second book, but already I've discovered there's only so much I can do. No blood from a stone and all that.

    Since January I've been head-down at my computer when I'm not at my day job. Probably five of seven days each week I can get 1,200 words down (each day). I took last week off in order to finish my draft (and I did, YAY!), and in 4.5 days, I wrote the last 20,000 draft words. (What's sad is that in the next month, I'll go back and delete at least that many from the draft.)

    But I can't do this forever. Having been this focused (I read books and go grocery shopping, and have one dinner out with friends/family a month, but that's it) for this many months is about to kill me. I'll have my version of Steve's breakdown come June 16, after my deadline.... Certainly I'm only going to be able to handle one book a year, at least while I have the day job.

  32. I think this becomes a case of what works for each writer--as in the case of all writing techniques and practice.

    Kathy, I'm surprised that your publishers were willing to just take no for an answer. Obviously, publishers (or editors) with some real sense when it comes to creative work!

  33. Linda, like Kathy, I don't do social media either, mostly because I've never been able to figure out how to fit it all in with my other responsibilities. My editors have been very accepting so far.

  34. Definitely would prefer 1 great book to several mediocare............but, when I finish my time warp machine, we'll be able to have a book a month from these lovely authors, plus they'll have more free time than they know what to do with...........maybe then we can all rent a huge house on a lake in Adirondacks and chill for the summer!
    Happy Writing AND Living Ladies !!!

  35. Except for the genius' out there who can up their output AND maintain quality, what we'll start seeing is crappy storytelling and crappy writing becoming the new norm.

    A commenter above mentioned that no one wants drivel...but I'm beginning to wonder if the publishers don't care so much about that as long as they have more product getting out there to the masses, more often. I'm beginning to wonder what agents are looking for these days too.

    Are we in the midst of a literary dumbing down? Of a new-millenia equivalent of the dark ages for the written word?

    Feeling a wee bit cynical today, but jeez. Once a year is already a tight schedule for so many writers, added to which there's evermore self-promo responsibilites heaped on authors.

    Authors as indentured servants to the publishers? As indentured servants to the very people we hope to entertain?

  36. My post-deadline breakdown, aka vacation, is scheduled for August 15. :) Wish I could figure out how to make it last a full month!

    And thanks to the writers here for their honesty on this subject, the readers for their tremendous enthusiasm, and all of you for your support and encouragement for writers everywhere!

  37. Sara--you nailed it! Just because the public wants it, are we required to comply. The trouble is that if the public wants it the publisher wants it and if the publisher says jump, we jump. (Or they may decide not to renew the contract...)

  38. I second Leslie in thanking all you readers for your enthusiasm and support. You can't imagine how encouraging it is to know that our hard work is appreciated.

    I would not want to say we're seeing a "dumbing down" in material overall--it seems to me that I come across more good books every day than I can possibly read (some of this is due to our very own Jungle Red:-)) and I can't imagine that readers won't tire of shoddy work.

    Most of all, I'd hate to see writers lose pleasure in their storytelling, because that's what translates to the reader.

    Oh, but Lucy, when you're up next, could you tell us a little bit about your productivity seminar???

  39. Yes, I'd love to hear more about the productivity seminar too!

  40. Lucy - me, too! I would also love to hear about the productivity seminar!

    -- Okay, I just got the weirdest captcha ever: earbra Matesear

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  42. Running in... Yeah, it is interesting that reporters can bank out a story in no time,--but I agree, we don't have to make anything up!

    There's some kind of a thing that happens, to me at least, that my brain is used up at a certain point. I can sit there at the computer, but its not worth it anymore. Except, sometimes I get a second wind...

    Like Tammy, I also fear the crash. But right now I say--Just keep swimming, use keep swimming.

    The days that are good are SO good, right?

  43. And, at some point it's the goose that laid the golden egg, right? Because when writers are told to HURRY HURRY HURRY--the quality has got to diminish, inevitably, right?

    I like Steve's timetable. I can do that. And my day job. As long as I don't take a vacation. I'm fine with that. Because as I said--the good days are SO good.

  44. I'd rather have one very good book every 18 months than two not-so-great, rushed books a year. Most of my favorite authors take a bit longer to write their books - but they're worth reading over and over. Characters are richer and evolve over time. Faster authors tend to write flatter characters with more repetition from book to book.

  45. I was shocked when I saw the article. I tried to imagine myself climbing a mountain in double time. Without being out of breath. Nightmare.

    How could the solution be to "lean" on the Muse? That doesn't work with art.

    But wait a minute -- Remember the rumors that reading would soon be dying out, presumably eclipsed by other activities and entertainment (TV, radio, movies, computer games, web streaming, even your smart phone)? Perhaps this new wrinkle is the publishing world getting excited about a surge in readership. (= > profits)

    Tomorrow's market may bring a drive for shorter works (our conditioned short attention span, especially in the U.S.). It may very well mean a big push is coming for the short story form, or something related like serialized stories.

    I think we already make use of creative ways the public can hear from their favorite authors more often than once a year (or two). Interviews/articles, appearances, web talk (social media), even an e-novella or short story can fill this gap.

    I suggest someone start illustrating ebooks so publishers can bring out the Illustrated Edition of existing books. Or some such revenue idea for increasing the bottomline.

    IMHO, the strategy should be to give our treasured authors time so the Work can get done. Hug the Muse. Go you Reds.

  46. Lucy wrote:

    I think there's a sense of franticness in the publishing business right now because everything's in flux. No contract is certain and no one wants to be pushed out, left out, left behind.

    Point well taken. Poetry is in danger of being left behind in the age of ebooks because the standard HTML code for line breaks and paragraph breaks in prose can't be applied to poetic line breaks and stanza breaks.

    Poetic lines as written run over the margins of print books as often as not. Runover text continues on the next line of the page with an indentation showing that the line as written hasn't ended, only the physical margin has been reached. Here's a picture of how I duplicate the indentation in my poetry ebooks using CSS.

    The more unconventional a poet's style, the more limiting the margins are, but margins must be accounted for in both print and ebooks. Poets and prose writers alike have to adapt to different formats or, tragically, their work won't be read.

  47. Love Lucy's comment about fiction taking longer than nonfiction because you have to make it up. Good one! I found nonfiction takes about 3 - 5 hours of research to one hour writing to make sure the facts are correct. Fiction because you have to make it up, Bwahahahahaha.

  48. True quality takes time.

    We can all hit the keys quickly enough to write 5k a day, but that doesn't produce quality--plot, character, dialogue, and then there's prose. Prose in itself is a huge time suck...when you do it well, in your own style utilizing craft.

    Now, we get past the simple daily word count and we get into edits and revision.

    I guess, for me, writing is a craft. An art. Everyone who has ever attempted an artistic endeavor understands that it takes years to become a proficient artist. Many more to become accomplished. Even more to become an expert.

    And becoming an expert in an art doesn't equate to becoming faster. Art is art, it takes as long as it takes to become what the artist envisioned.

    Which is where it all comes back to the author -- what is your vision? How much time do you need to put out the level of product that is your vision?

    Tough call when you're getting pushed from all sides...readers, editors, agents, bill collectors and yourself.

    Right now my word count fluctuates depending on where I'm at in my story and what's happening in my daily life. But I feel I'm able to put out a quality book in 6 months while working 3 days a week a the day job. Of course, I have NO other life. None. Completely out of balance.

    If I wanted a balanced life, I could quit my job and produce a book every 9 months. That would produce my quality vision and allow me to have a life.


  49. I have all the time in the world to write these days; kids are grown; haven't gone to business in twenty years. But my stamina isn't what it was, nor my mind as quick.
    And when I was writing two books a year, working between 5 AM and 7 every morning, the second book in the contract was never quite what it might have been. Or should have been.
    It's not for everybody, the two-book-a-year thing.

  50. I am a reader, with the Kindle app on my tablet, on which I have more than 600 books. I find that a lot of ebooks are relatively short; I can easily read one in a day. I enjoy free books and accept they will be short stories or novellas. jWith free ebooks, I have discovered authors that I might never had the pleasure of reading. When I really like an author I hunt for earlier works or wait for another story and I am always willing to pay for successive ebooks. Ebooks make finding older stories easy, especially if a hard copy book is out of print. I still purchase hard copy books and accept that my most favorite authors only generate one or two books in a year. The times in between those books allows me to find more amazing authors and stories.

  51. Chiming in late as usual...

    I would rather have this communication with you authors than extra books.

    Without being rude or disrespectful, Lee Child is the only one of those writers that I still read. I've found that the quality has indeed suffered. I'm sure those authors are crying all the way to the bank but still...

    And I don't pay for their books. Why should I? I can pick them up at the library and every story is the same.

    But I bought Julia's last book, as I have all of them. And I would have bought Deborah's if I hadn't won it :) go with the rest of my collection. And I have all of Jan's, Hailee's, Rosemary's and my mom has all of Rhys'.

    Because sometimes, theres nothing like being in the mood for a certain type of story, and sitting down and re-reading the whole series.

    I do not own one James Patterson.

    And I find the short stories unsatisfying. I want a nice long book with a plot, and lots on characters that I have to concentrate so I can keep track.

    So take your time, ladies. I'll wait.