Sunday, May 18, 2014

Rush to self-publish? It's hard not to, but I'm waiting.

I’ve noticed that people who self-publish often impose on themselves “launch dates” for their books without allowing (what I would consider) enough time to properly prepare their books. I blogged about this a while ago in more detail, so I’ll try not to repeat myself here.

When we self-publish, we have no one looking over our shoulder to offer advice or pull back on the reins if we’re rushing headlong into launching a book that looks less than professional, whether that’s because it lacks a well-crafted cover, it contains formatting problems, or it reads as though we’ve never been introduced to an editor—let alone spell check. Everything is up to us.

I’m getting ready to self-publish my first book (third novel written, first to throw out there to the world), and it’s incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking. I’m beginning to understand why people rush. I can’t wait to go to Amazon and search for my name and have my book pop up, ready to buy. I can’t wait to read the reviews. I’m chomping at the bit, anticipating how many people will discover my book—people I’ve never met and may never meet.

And no one is telling me, “Sharon, first you need to do this, and then you need to do this, and then you HAVE to do that.” If I wanted to upload my book today, I could do it and the waiting would be over. I would soon know how many people will find it, and how many people will like it.

But my book’s not ready. Not yet.

For one thing, my cover isn’t done. I’m so excited by the concept my brother has shown me, and I’ll likely get a chance to see the first draft of it this week. If I sign off on it, he tells me it won’t take him long to finish it. I could create something else quicker, using CreateSpace’s cover designer, but it wouldn’t be as good, and it wouldn’t have my brother’s input. It’s worth it to wait.

My formatting isn’t quite done either, but it’s close. I basically need to double-check (and I’ll probably triple-check) the guidelines to ensure I haven’t missed anything. I don’t HAVE to do this, but I know it’s wise to take my time. I know (as an editor) how easy it is to miss the little things. Would these little things impact the readability of my book at this point? Probably not. But if I can find them and fix them, why shouldn’t I?

I also want to spend some time here on my blog introducing you to the history behind my novel The Dragon’s Daughter. I have some chapters to share here to give you a little insight into where these people came from and why they are the way they are. I hope by doing this that I’ll be building in you some interest to read the book. I hope these backstories will make you curious about their world and their lives and that you’ll want to pick up The Dragon’s Daughter after reading these little chapters. It’s not quite time to share those, but it’s getting close. And I definitely don’t want to publish my book until I’ve done this.

We live in a world where we want everything now, now, now. And for the most part, we can get just about anything now, now, now (or close to it). I just don’t think that’s always a good thing.

I understand, now better than ever, the desire to rush to publish. But my book will get only one introduction to the world. I want it to the best introduction it can get, and that, to me, is worth the wait.

I don’t have to rush.

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