Why “Productive”?

Why have “productive” in The Productive Indie Fiction Writer?

There are a zillion productivity blogs, books, courses, support groups.  I know that because I follow an awful lot of them myself.  My library is jammed with productivity books and advice–some of which I even follow.

In relationship to indie fiction writing, though, “productive” has a unique meaning and it is in that context that I use the word.

It also has a business-related meaning, which I will come to.

Productivity and the Indie Fiction Writer.

This year is the tenth anniversary of the release of the first Amazon Kindle eReader, which most people mark as the beginning of indie publishing.  It’s a good date to hang your hat on.

In the ten years since, the industry has matured.

Indie fiction authors who have been in the industry for a while, who have built their platforms and learned the ins and outs, have come to realize that one of the key strategies for stimulating sales and keeping their business moving forward is to publish often.

Amazon algorithms favor authors who release a title every 30 days or less, and that is the current benchmark.  To get ahead–or at the very least, not roll backwards–you, the indie fiction author, must publish every 30 days.

I have been indie publishing since March 2011 and I can see the effect of publishing every 30 days on my own sales records.  In two words:  it works.

Most authors groan when they hear they must produce and ship every 30 days.  Yet the rate is quite easy to maintain, once you have yourself organized.

Another word used for publishing often is prolific.

I actually prefer “prolific” and “prolificacy” because they very specifically mean “to write a lot”.  However, most resources, authors and search engines prefer “productive” instead.

That works well for this site, because there is a secondary type of productivity that indie fiction authors must deal with.

The Other Meaning of Productive

There is, frankly, a shit-ton of “stuff” that indie authors must take care of.

A short list, straight from my brain to my fingers, includes:

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Production
  • Packaging
  • Formatting
  • Accounts & Bookkeeping
  • Taxes
  • Marketing
  • Networking
  • Advertising
  • Promotion
  • Business Planning
  • Finances
  • Contractors
  • Training and development
  • Public Relations
  • Legal affairs

Corporations have entire departments taking care of just one of these areas.

Indie writers are small business people, and if they don’t do the work themselves, they must hire contractors to handle matters…which requires management of the contractors and attending paperwork.

A couple of days ago, Kristine Kathryn Rusch posted a blog about sustainability, along with the observation that “The big topic among successful indie writers in the last six months of 2017 is the possibility of burnout.”

This “everything-else-but-writing” area is where having good systems set up to help you cope with the load is critical.

Hence the secondary application of “productive” in regards to indie fiction writers.


This site, the resources it points to, the experts who speak here, are all designed to help the average indie fiction author develop and maintain good productive habits, not to achieve a mythical work-life balance, but simply to survive.

How overwhelmed do you feel these days?

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