If you have two books that you want to release at roughly the same time or two book ideas, you may be tempted to write them at the same time. While there are some good reasons to do this, there are also some downsides. Read more to learn if working on two books at the same time would be right for you.

Pros of Working on Two Books at the Same Time

There are a couple very valid reasons for working on two books at the same time. The biggest reason is that you’ll be able to control your release dates. If you want to release a book every two or three months, you can do that once you have multiple books finished, assuming you are self-publishing.



You’ll Be Able to Release the Books Faster and More Consistently Once You Finish

The biggest issue with self-publishing is the grueling publishing schedule that you have to adhere to once you start publishing, especially on Amazon. Amazon gives preferential treatment to new releases for 30 days. In order to always have preferential treatment as an author, you’ll want to publish every 30 to 45 days. Most authors can’t write that fast and churn out quality work that their readers will enjoy. A more comfortable schedule is publishing two to four books a year. In order to get ahead of your own publishing schedule and ensure that you always have something to publish is to write two or more books at once. Once those books are finished, you can stagger the releases, which gives you the time you need to write your next book.

If You get Stuck on One, You Can Switch to the Other

At some point in the writing process, most authors reach a spot in the work where they are just stuck. They’re not sure how to proceed, and they’re going to need some time to think about it. If the author is only working on one book, they’re probably not going to work on it again until they figure out what to do next. If you have two books in the works, you can easily switch to the second while you think about the issues you are facing in the first. This helps maintain your productivity by ensuring that you do not have any unforeseen downtime.

Cons of Working on Two Books at the Same Time

While working on two books at the same time can be good for your publishing schedule and good for your productivity, it does some with some pretty significant drawbacks.

You Have to remember Multiple Character Sets and Plots

In order to work on two books at the same time, you’re going to have to remember two different sets of characters and two different plots. If you can’t keep them separate, you may end up writing one book into the other unintentionally, which can result in longer editing times. In order to avert this problem, I recommend keeping detailed notes on each book and detailed notes every time you switch books so that you do not accidentally confuse yourself.

Each Book Is Going to Take You Longer to Complete

Since you are working on two books at the same time, each book is going to take you longer to complete. If you normally write and publish a book every three to four months, it might take you six months to completely finish and polish both books. The upside, however, is that if you regularly shelve books because you keep getting stuck, this process may allow you to finish them faster simply because you’re not completely foregoing writing every time you get lost on a book.

If you determine that this is not the right method for you, you can write your second, third or fourth book idea down in detail and pick it back up as soon as you finish your current book. Read how to accomplish this efficiently with How to Efficiently Handle Multiple Novel Ideas. If you determine that working on two books at the same time is something you can handle, make sure to write down detailed notes every time you stop and switch to the other book. This will allow you to rapidly pick up where you left off so that you do not lose any productivity when you switch.


Are you working on two books at the same time or thinking about it? Let everyone know in the comments.


Read More on Drafting Your Novel


  1. The Minimalist’s Way to Start a First Draft ...
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  4. How to Write the Fourth Draft of a Fiction Novel ...
  5. How to Write the Fifth and Final Draft of a Novel ...
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