It’s a newb thing. Either the writer is afraid to publish or even find a beta reader, or, more commonly, they feel like they have to rush into publishing.
There’s an the erroneous belief that when you finish writing the first draft, you’ve written a book. Not so much. You’ve created a more or less rough outline of a book. You know that advice to put your book in a drawer for a month and go do something else that all the newbs ignore? You really have to do that. But while you do it, you have a shit-ton of work to do, otherwise you end up doing this:
ARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!! Just had a moment of unbearable humiliation recalling myself doing this.
Put the draft in a drawer. You need to be your own 1st reader. While it’s aging, make a marketing plan. That includes cover, blurb, tagline, promo. Pre-launch. Launch. Post launch. I’m going to write about all of it, hoping what I learned helps and encourages you and you find better ways than I have. (And tell me.)
You don’t have floors of editors
helping you perfect your book.
It’s going to suck even when a
lot of people like it.
Even when it’s good.
Those floors of editors
take out the suckage.
Here are some basics:
IT TAKES FIVE YEARS TO GET GOOD AT ANYTHING. Longer to write well, but right now we’re talking being a publisher. No one likes it. There are plenty of introverts among writers. You just get to work. Learn a bit at a time.
YOU’LL HAVE TO SPEND SOME MONEY. Not a lot, but some. It’s like acquiring any skill. You pay. For tools or supplies, for lessons. Same here. Find some money. Thirty dollars. We’ll find some free stuff. Mostly, you have to find time.
DON’T PUBLISH ON PAPER, YET. Just don’t. It becomes indelible. Slow. Down. That book you published everyone said all those nice things about? It’s not as good as you think. When you get to your 3rd book, you’ll look back at it and really wish you could fix it. If it’s an Amazon ebook, you can. Just make changes. You can even unpublish and re-launch.
I know — you want to feel like a “real author” and holding that book in your hands is a mystical experience. Go ahead. Put that version on Amazon but don’t launch it. Order your own copies. Have the thrill. Know what’ll happen when you read it? You’ll find forty-seven things you needed to fix.
Listen to me. You don’t have floors of editors helping you perfect your book. It’s going to suck even when a lot of people like it. Even when it’s good. Those floors of editors take out the suckage. Or you’re going to wish you could make it a series but you killed off Fred in that first book. We are inventing this, you know. Indie publishing. Take advantage.
IF YOU’RE WRITING A SERIES, have two done and the third well-begun before you launch #1. Yeah, I’m telling you that you have a first draft and probably won’t publish for at least 6 mos to a year. See DON’T PUBLISH ON PAPER, YET above.
This applies to you in exponentially reproducing spades. You are really going to wish you’d set up your universe or characters or something differently. The first book is going to look amateurish compared to the later ones. Your style will change and get radically better.
Unless you have a diagnosis that only gives you a few more months, slow down. Here’re a few links to get you started.
PHOTOSCAPE – You want this. Its’ free.