Have you ever heard of rapid releasing?
Rapid release is a book launch strategy for authors who are able to put out a lot of high-quality books in a hurry. The theory behind it is that if you can publish a book every time the last book you published starts to drop off in engagement (anywhere from 3o to 90 days after publication on Amazon), you’ll be able to maximize your sales.
Of course, just publishing books isn’t enough. Generally, people who follow this schedule will write “to market,” meaning they’ll pick a hot genre and write in that, and write series.
This is of course paired with excellent to-genre covers, great editing, and some other marketing strategies.
Basically, this strategy brings the Netflix-binging mentality of today’s readers to Amazon Kindle. That said, this basically only works for series of three or more—it can be a lot harder to implement with standalones.
Generally when people say “rapid release,” they mean putting out a book every three months or less. There are as many ways to do this as there are writers.
There are a lot of pros to rapid release—and just as many cons. It’s definitely not a strategy for everyone, and it’s feasible that it won’t be a long-lasting strategy, either.
However, for now, let’s just examine the pros and cons of rapid releasing novels. Note that this is not an exhaustive list, but I did my best to fairly examine all sides of the argument.
Pro: You have to learn to write fast.
This is a pro because writing fast will make you a better writer in the long term, and even if you don’t choose this strategy, you’ll want to learn how to do so. If you don’t finish novels, you will never be an author.
Con: Like, really fast.
For some people, the breakneck pace is too much to keep up. I can write a novel in a couple weeks or a month—most won’t want to.
Pro: Builds your backlist in a hurry.
Having a big backlist that readers can explore once they’ve finished and loved your latest novel is a big benefit as an author.
It’s confidence-building, gives you more attention from Amazon, and allows you more streams of revenue.
Con: Can be too much for some readers to keep up with.
Though these types of readers will not necessarily be your target demographics, for some genres, most readers tend toward the slower side. (More literary fiction-esque stories tend to lean this way.)
Pro: This strategy means writing a lot—which means your writing will improve.
Writing faster = writing more = practicing more. Practice makes perfect, as well all know, so practicing a lot means you get a lot more perfect with every book you finish!
Con: As you write fast, the quality of your first few novels may be discouragingly low.
Though in time you’ll probably start writing cleaner first drafts and finding editing to be a little easier, at first, this can be a downer.
Pro: This is an excellent strategy for people who only have a limited financial runway.
If you’re short on time before you need to be making it big (or moving on), it’s a good idea to get books out as quickly as possible.
Con: There are still no guarantees.
Every author journey is different, and it takes a long time to establish yourself nine times out of ten. You might run out of time without earning whatever it was you needed to earn.
Pro: If you want to write full time, this is a good way to get started with a bang.
Ready to just go for it? Well, this is the strategy for you.
Con: You have to write almost full time, unless you stock up quite a bit beforehand.
Though some people are able to keep up the breakneck speed, even writing a novel every few days and polishing it up to be published within a month, most people choose to write quite a few novels beforehand. This “private backlist” gives you something to publish even if you miss a day or two of writing and gives you a boost.
This strategy works well, but if you can’t stock up beforehand, then you’re s tuck to writing full time if you want to keep going.
Pro: For many authors, this has worked exceedingly well.
You only have to check out groups like 20Booksto50k or The Writing Gals (links below) to find hundreds of success stories from authors of all genres, backgrounds, and strategies, and it’s very encouraging.
Con: Because of the increasing number of people doing it, the market is almost over-flooded.
There are thousands of books published every day on Amazon alone. A lot of authors are using this strategy meaning the publication rates keep climbing. Simply putting a book out won’t do—it has to be a quality book, you have to get it in front of the eyes of your reader, and you have to stand out from the crowd.
Pro: Amazon algorithms may be in your favor with rapid release.
As mentioned above, Amazon does give a small boost to new releases, supposedly, and these drop-offs are speculated to be at at 30, 60, and 90 days.
Con: Sometimes Amazon is random and doesn’t work the way you want.
Especially since Amazon is a rapidly changing platform that doesn’t always care particularly about the people who use it.
Pro: If you’re writing a popular genre, this may be the way to make it work!
Genres like romance and mystery in particular do well. There are a lot of variances of these genres, though, and different subgenres and tropes do better than others.
Con: If you’re writing a less popular genre, this may not work as well.
Other genres just aren’t built for rapid release. You’ll have to do research to find out if your genre does well, and sometimes you may even need to use trial and error to figure it out.
Pro: You can do this with novellas or short stories, too.
Shorter novels are actually speculated to do better than longer ones in some genres (e.g. in the range of 40k-50k).
Con: This doesn’t seem to have as much success with stand-alone novels.
If you’re determined to write stand-alones, you might want to avoid this launch strategy unless you can find a unique way to make it work.
The Writing Gals:
Rapid Release: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MYJT332
Release Strategies: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SJHR39J/
What are your pros and cons for rapid release?
Thanks & have a splendiferous day, writers!
Reveries Co. Manager