How Many Books Are Too Many?

by Michelle Griep, @MichelleGriep

Which would you rather have your favorite author do . . .

Pump out three books a year, maybe a little lighter in content, the characters not quite as complex, and the plot is a bit predictable.

— or —

Write one book in a year with multi-faceted characters, a twisty-turny plot, and a theme that makes you wonder about life’s big meanings.

Your choice? And no, you can’t have it both ways, not consistently. So pick one. Go ahead. I won’t judge you . . . leastwise not on this issue. Shoes are an altogether different topic.

Personally, I like a meaty, heavy-fisted book that whacks me upside the head. But that’s just me. If you answered differently, then more power to you, Scooter, because here’s the deal . . . there are two distinct types of readers:

  • Those who devour books like there’s no tomorrow, who are satisfied with an entertaining story that’s not necessarily profound. 
  • Those who like to dig into the what if’s and how come’s of life in a story format.

And you know what? That’s great news for you, writer, because it gives guilt the big beat down. You need no longer feel pressure to either ramp up or down your writing speed.

Writers are psychotic little mammals, all worried about if they’re putting out enough books in a certain amount of time or if what they’re putting out is too fluffy. Yet in light of reader diversity, open your arms wide writer, because there’s a place at the readerly table for you.

If you’re a writer who loves to pound out words at high speed and have so many plot ideas you could type your little fingers to nubbies, then do it and quit fretting about not having themes that vibrate a reader’s heartstrings for months afterward.

Or if you’re a writer who’s slow but sure, anguishing about word placement and choice, and the thought of finishing two books in a year is not only exhausting but devastating, then listen to this round of applause. It’s okay to not work at lightspeed.

Newsflash: there is no magic number of how many books you need to put out in a year, despite what marketing gurus say, because readers are as diverse a group as writers.

Guilt about what you create and how you create it will suck the joy right out of your bones—and ain’t nobody got time for that.

How Many Books Are Too Many? by Michelle Griep (Click to Tweet)


12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Imprisoned unjustly, BENJAMIN LANE wants nothing more than freedom and a second chance to claim the woman he loves—but how can CLARA CHAPMAN possibly believe in the man who stole her family’s fortune and abandoned her at the altar? Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters . . . and what matters most is love.

Author Michelle Griep
Michelle Griep’s
been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is
the author of historical romances: The
Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s
Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent
but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the
zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying
. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.