Left to my own devices, in a good year with no major disruptions (which, alas, don't come along as often as I'd like) I can write around 200-240,000 words of finished fiction — a pair of 330 page novels or one big doorstep plus a novella. This assumes I'm working on lightweight novels that flow easily, or that my drill sergeant muse is standing on my shoulder shouting "gimme chapters, worm!" in my ear through a megaphone. ...Read the whole thing, especially if you want all of Stross' nuances about what it takes to get a book from your word processor into readers' hands. Myself, I'm not a traditional publishing snob. The advent of the Kindle has meant that some worthy writers who've gotten the short end of the publishing stick now have audiences. I like that. I like it a lot. In the end, though, the whole discussion comes back to core competencies. I'm glad some folks can wear multiple hats, but I'm not one of them. Give me my Microsoft Word, three inches of scratch paper, and an inexhaustible supply of pencils. With such I will content myself. (Picture: CC 2010 by pretendtious; Hat Tip: @JRVogt)
The specialist SF trade fiction publishers I know have a production ratio of roughly 6 novels/year for direct employed members of staff. That is: Baen (10 folks) produce 60-odd novels, Tor (50 folks) produce 300-odd books. ...
So, I estimate a book takes roughly 2 months of publishing company employee labour to produce. Plus another 4 weeks of author eyeball time (which is that part of the publisher workflow the author undertakes — see previous paragraph).
When you add it all up: if I'm as efficient as a trade publisher, it would take me roughly 3 months to produce a book that also took me 6 months to write.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Over at his blog, Charles Stross (Accelerando) discusses why he doesn't self-publish. Excerpts:
Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013