This week’s question, while intriguing, is sort of impossible to answer: Would you rather write one book that is hugely popular or many books with little recognition?
The issue with this question is that I pretty much have to default to option two, since I have already written and published three books. That isn’t many, but the fact remains that if one of them (presumably the first one) ever went stellar, by logic the other ones would soar as well.
I’m also defaulting to option two because, while three books isn’t ‘many’ by any stretch of the imagination, the ‘little recognition’ part is most definitely true. I’m still not rich, dammit!
Truth said, I do far too little work in promoting my work for that to ever really change, I think. This isn’t necessarily because I don’t want to put in the work, it’s more to do with the fact that with three years’ worth of hindsight, I feel that my first book may not be worth the effort. I love it like I’d love my firstborn, but critical me thinks it has too many flaws to ever be truly successful. Or if it did become successful, my writing skills would be derided to EL James levels.
Of course, I might at that point have money at EL James levels too, so quite probably I wouldn’t care.
Frankly, I’m not sure this is a question that anyone can answer properly. Unless one book is all you’ve ever written (or plan to write), option one just isn’t an actual option. If you have one successful book, and you’ve written others, people are bound to also buy those others. Books just aren’t the same as music in that regard.
The original post on this subject on Jay Dee’s blog can be found here.