For the writers out there, I thought I’d put together a post on a recent analysis I did on my writing speed. For the past couple of years, I’ve been working hard on the systems I use to write a book. I’ve been trying to boost the speed I can write and publish books, along with improving their quality.
However, in my previous analysis of my writing, I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on how fast I write and not how fast I publish. It sounds like the two should be related, but they’re not directly.
I’ve published 12 books so far, but for this analysis I eliminated the first two because I wasn’t tracking things properly on them. I can guess at the pre-tracking figures, but I hadn’t worked out my process properly by them anyway, so it won’t be all that relevant.
Instead, I took all my solo books and divided the amount of words published by the hours it took me to write them. That gave me this table:
|The Bite of Monsters||799|
|The Bite of the Cult||605|
|Hard Vacuum 1||474|
|The Bite of Justice||446|
|The Bite of Death||544|
|Hard Vacuum 2||414|
|The Bite of Forest Dark||611|
|The Bite of Rust||766|
|The Bite of a King||746|
The higher the number, the better, as it shows the amount of words published per hour of work. First draft words average over 2,500 words per hour, but that doesn’t count as much as the final published tally.
What it shows is that enthusiasm has a massive influence on my publishing speed. The Bite of Monsters was the second book I published, a novella. It was soon after I’d published my first ever book and had gotten positive reviews. So my enthusiasm was sky high.
I should mention, before delving deeper, that the enthusiasm and the efficiency have nothing to do with the finished book. Part of the reason books I’m less enthusiastic about take longer, is that I spend longer getting them up to my standards for publishing. The figures above have no reflection in the ratings on Amazon or Goodreads.
Also, when I talk about my enthusiasm being sky high, I mean that it was all-consuming to an unhealthy level. You can’t write every second you’re awake for years at a time.
The Bite of Cult dips a little, since the first rush of positive reviews had worn off. Then Hard Vacuum 1 was another dip. I enjoyed writing those books, but I wasn’t tearing through them.
My speed doubled for the Anonymous title there. Anonymous is just the substitute title I’ve put here for my erotica novella. It was an experiment to dip my toe in the world of erotica. To date, it’s sold three copies in nearly two years. So it’s not profitable, but it was fast to write.
However, after that book is where it gets interesting. Since the tearing rush of writing and publishing for the first time had well and truly worn off, I then started really narrowing in on systems that would make writing faster. From The Bite of Death onward, the figures keep climbing (and hopefully will continue to climb).
So what does all this mean? Well, in my opinion, being in a tearing hurry to get things published can help a great deal in publishing speed initially. However, you can’t maintain that overwhelming urgency forever and that’s when skill and precision come in.
Get Into The Action
For a limited time, I'm giving away the first two books in the Bytarend Fantasy series and the Hard Vacuum science fiction series for free.
Bytarend is fast, fun fantasy that'll have you on the edge of your seat. Hard Vacuum is hard-talking, violent science fiction and my tribute to 80s action movies.
Grab all four books for free: