Don’t get me wrong, when I write, I have the TV off, noise cancelling headphones on, and I won’t talk to anyone. But that’s just one part of the process…the largest part.
The other part is feedback. I need it to help me strengthen my writing, to know what works and what doesn’t. Plus, they can help proofread pages that my eyes skim over (I’ve read a section one thousand times, I know what it’s supposed to say…that doesn’t mean it says that).
Sometimes we are afraid of feedback. I mean, what if no one likes it? Well, it’s probably better to know that and fix the problems than think your writing is the best ever. Or not. (I prefer to think my writing is the best ever [confidence is a good thing…right?].)
And that’s the pitfall of self-publishing. You get so caught up in whether or not you could, you don’t stop to think if you should (Ian Malcom, Jurassic Park …in case you missed it). That’s why we need reviews and feedback.
If I published the first draft or even the second draft, it wouldn’t be nearly as good as the third or fourth drafts, assuming I received feedback.
Self-publishing is a lot like traditional publishing. Don’t throw anything and everything out there hoping something will stick (it’s not regular strength Tylenol). Polish you work to perfection then send it out. If it’s a good story, people will pick up on that and want to read it, desire to read it, tell their friends about it.
The only difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is that the author gets a larger percentage of the royalties–depending on the site–and you don’t need to solicit agents or publishing houses. You don’t need someone else’s approval or permission. It’s freeing.
Perhaps that why there’s such a boom in the e-book trade right now. Authors hope to get rich quick with a one-hit wonder. Is that why there are so many books with grammatical errors and bad syntax (wait, Dan Brown wasn’t self-published…)? But there are some gems among the self-published. Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to find a new author that astounds (esp. at Amazon prices or during free Kindle days […if only I had a Kindle]). You just need to wade through the slush pile (is this how agents feel?).
But the hard part is getting reviews. No matter the stage, previews, first draft, final draft, published manuscript, blogging; the hardest thing to find is willing readers.
If you’re interested in love stories, this one might be right up your alley. And it’s self-published (not by me). Plus, it’s a better love story than Twilight (Gollum and the Ring of Power are a better love story…Sam and Frodo are a better love story…Alderaan and the Death Star…[sorry, Twi-hards]).
Addendum: I have this problem. I’ll write and edit then craft a query letter and send it out. Only to write and edit once I get a response (
automated rejection a form letter is a response). I never let it sit and marinate.