Random Thoughts of a Romance Blogger: Quality vs Quantity

Posted August 25, 2017 by Francesca in Random Thoughts, Under the Covers / 12 Comments

QUALITY VS QUANTITY

This is a topic of conversation between a lot of my reader friends lately.  Maybe the past year or so, as we’ve seen so many authors start to put out a lot of books per year.  A lot more than we would’ve ever thought possible years back.  Some of that is just the ease of self publishing that has given authors the ability to get their stories to the masses much quicker by streamlining the process in some cases.  But we always circle back to one general thing… Do we feel the books they are writing now have the same quality standard than before?  Or are we seeing a lack of quality because they are striving to hit that magical number of yearly releases (whatever they feel that is in their mind)?

For this example, I’m talking about authors that have ramped up their release schedules in recent years from what they used to release years ago.  I cannot begin to tell you how many of them I’ve stopped reading that used to be 5 star reads (or close to) for me.  Some are still very popular in the market and once in a while I’ll say to myself “maybe you should give it another shot” only to be disappointed all over again.  Recycled stories, weak plots, weak character development, or even just following in with trope trends and recycling that.  It makes me a little angry because underneath all that I can still sense a good story that just needed a little more love.  I’m not saying lack of quality due to spelling mistakes.  I mean, plot and character growth, and depth.  The things that pull me in and boost a story from just ok to wow!  I think a lot of these things could been addressed spending a little more time on crafting that book, and when I say it makes me a little angry is because this happens so often with authors I like lately.  Same thing has been happening to most of my friends I’ve talked to about this topic.  So now I want to hear from you!

For me, it’s all about the quality.  If that author average rating starts sliding down into a 3 star average because the stories could’ve been so much better had the author sat with the plot and the characters a bit more, dug a little deeper, and gave us an all around better story, then you’ve lost me.  There are so many books out there to read that I just don’t want to spend time reading something that turned into a disappointment (and yes, that is because of my expectations).

Are there authors that can put out 4+ books a year and craft an enjoyable story?  Yes, absolutely!  Maybe even excellent stories and I can’t get my hands on them fast enough.  So I’m definitely making a general statement that has some (very few) exceptions.  To me, those authors are the minority.  I think as readers, basically consumers, we are the ones driving the market and that comes with a responsibility.  We are the ones demanding quantity and the authors are just giving us what we seem to be asking for.  I probably have higher expectations than some, I get that, but I think we should be asking for better quality and not be so concerned with the quantity of books we get by any author and how long our wait time is between releases.  It’s hard to make the decision to give up reading authors that used to be such a staple of my reading time, but it’s something I’ve started doing.   What are your thoughts and experiences on this?

 

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Francesca

Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m a 30 something sun lover living in the Big Apple (read New York).I’m a book and coffee addict and lover of all things elephants.

I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!

I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.
Francesca
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MalloryKelleyTimitraTanya @ Rantings of a Reading AddictNicki S Recent comment authors
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Angela @ Angel's Guilty Pleasures
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Angela @ Angel's Guilty Pleasures

Great topic. Ya, I seen the same thing you have in the past year or so. I prefer Quality over Quantity. I’ve dropped some authors because they where just putting out to many books and those books where starting to all read the same. I NEED quality and I’m happy to wait a year or two between books.. Though two years is a long time, but I’ve done it, because that author was worth my time and money to wait.

Lynnette
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Lynnette

I agree I prefer quantity over quality! I do not follow many authors and the ones I do are not putting out lots of books a year. I do not agree with the self publishing comment as one author I follow is putting out more books this year than normal though so far no loss in quality and she does both traditional and self published now. Her increase is since she started traditional publishing. I think they are succumbing to perceived pressure from readers that we want more but also self publishing has opened up the market and for some… Read more »

Kathleen Bylsma
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Kathleen Bylsma

I thought it was just me thinking there were a LOT more books coming out. I agree with you.
Just read a favourite author’s latest and it was not up to snuff: less character development, faulty story line etc. Sad.

Amy R
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Amy R

I do prefer quality, I listened to the audiobooks of a 6 book series that were all published in 2016 and the inconsistencies were horrible. It became more about figuring out all the mistakes than about the actual book and story. I checked these out via my library, I wouldn’t have paid money for these.

Ang
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Ang

Agree(!!!)
I prefer quality. I’m quite amazed how some authors can be pushing that publish button once a week on Amazon. And I see it more and more through the blog, I have high expectations. I am happy to wait a year for a new story from my fav authors. I see if more in the self pub, though it could happen more in Trad pub, but we all follow different readers, each of us have different clicks that we are all in. Great topic Fran x

Kathy Valentine
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Kathy Valentine

Shared on my socials!!! I so agree!!! Too many great writers with awesome books to waste my time on a writer that just chances places,changes names but basic keeps using the same themes and storylines!!! Some of my fave author’s put maybe one or two books out a year!!!

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Well said! I’ve stopped reading some authors that were an autobuy for me. It really is disappointing. If you need to take a bit longer to write a good book, take the time. I would much rather wait and read quality work.

Nicki S
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Nicki S

It’s definitely a trend lately for traditionally published authors to publish more frequently in order to compete with the glut of self-published authors releasing poor quality books and making money on them. Too many readers praise mediocrity; they award high ratings to undeserving books, and even their written reviews are full of “except for this” and “I didn’t like that”. I think they should then knock off a star or two so the rating matches the actual review. Readers need to up the bar and if writers can’t reach it, indicate that in the stars given. Not every book out… Read more »

Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict
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Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict

Definitely prefer the quality over the quantity. Besides the fact that if I’m still reading them, I’m falling desperately behind because I can’t keep up, but that may also because they’ve become slower reads because I’m less interested in the book itself.

Timitra
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Timitra

I swear you’re in my brain I feel the same way Francesca

Kelley
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Kelley

I agree 100% with quality books–and I’m a published author! Everyone has advice for authors when it comes to their books. When to write, how much to write, where to publish, how often to publish, etc. etc. “Write every day!” “Write book 2 while you wait for edits on book 1!” “Five months between books, MAX!” “Readers want the next book right away!” blah blah blah. The pressure to not lose momentum so you don’t get “forgotten” is what pushes them to do it. So it’s no wonder why authors churn out books at a staggering rate. Quite frankly? I… Read more »

Mallory
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Mallory

I apologize for being late to the party, Francesca. I couldn’t agree more with you. My biggest complaint is the multiple volumes to tell a story. I simply do not buy into the premise that it takes 1,000 – 1,250 pages to tell a story. I am not talking about the series that have a common background; I’m talking about a three/four/five -book series with the same characters in the same setting in the same predicament. To me that smacks of hitting some pre-established quota rather than being concerned with putting out a quality product. I have absolutely nothing but… Read more »