Using the rapid release strategy for your author business

What is Rapid Release?

Rapid release is a type of publishing, typically used by self published authors, where several books of a series are released very close together. (Usually anywhere from a few weeks to a few months apart). Authors usually draft an entire series and then release the books all at once.

Who Should Use a Rapid Release Strategy?

Rapid release is not for everyone. For authors who can only push out one or two books a year, this probably isn’t going to work. Writing such a small amount and then releasing them all at once doesn’t work as well as pumping out several stories, especially if that means there will be vast amounts of time between waves of releases. This method works best for authors who are writing several books a year. The more books you can push out (while maintaining quality), the better rapid release will work for you.

Advantages of Rapid Release

  1. It keeps the book fresh in readers’ minds.

Often readers will read a book, love it, get excited about the next in the series, and then completely forget that it exists just a few months later. Traditional publishers have vast marketing resources to make sure that their readers are kept informed about upcoming releases, receive news from their favorite authors, and have excitement building for months on end. But as an indie author it can be harder to keep our stories at the top of a reader’s mind. Rapid release helps negate some of that pressure because you have to keep the reader interested and engaged for a much shorter period of time while still getting solid read-through.

  1. It gets more books out in the world to be earning royalties while you write more.

If you want to rapid release you have to consistently be writing, and consistent writing leads to consistent new content for your readers. The more books you have out, the higher your earning potential. If you rapid release and really push the marketing for the first book, readers will gobble up the rest of the series. Some readers refuse to even START a series until the entire thing is finished and they know they will get a satisfying end. 

  1. It can get you established as an author in your genre.

If you want to make steady income as an author, you need to build a solid backlist. It’s easier to make more money if you have more books. A great resource for information regarding how to really grow with your backlist is the Facebook group 20booksto50k. Their general rule of thumb is that having 20 books published should bring in 50 thousand dollars in annual income. Of course there’s some wiggle room there, but generally, more books equals more money (assuming they’re well done).

Disadvantages of Rapid Release

  1. It can be difficult to execute without careful planning with editors and cover designers.

Rapid releasing does come with a few downfalls. The biggest of them being that it is a really difficult strategy to pull off if you don’t have a reliable, flexible, available editor and cover designer. As an indie author you absolutely should be having other people look through your book before it goes live, and you absolutely should be paying for your book covers (unless you are a design genius of course). If you want to have all the books coming out at once you’ll have to plan that around the schedules of your preferred freelancers.

  1. It can be a waste of time if the first book flops.

The other big downside to rapid release is that it can be a big waste of energy if the first book flops. Readers won’t read through the rest of the series if the first didn’t capture their interest. 

  1. It can tempt you to release books before they are truly ready. 

The hard truth is that it takes time and money to write and publish books. If you are rushing through the process to try and release them close together, you might be shooting yourself in the book. Readers don’t continue with poorly written, or poorly edited books, no matter how good the story might be. If you can only afford to release one at a time, that’s fine, but rapid release probably isn’t the best strategy for your author business. 


Using a rapid release strategy can be a powerful tool to grow your author business. But if it would reduce your quality or cause unneeded stress, it’s not worth it.

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