When it comes to writing a novel, you’re not expected to do it right. Doing it at all is the important thing. First drafts are expected to be terrible. When it comes to publishing a book, however, you’ve got to do it right.
It’s key to check out a publisher’s books before you submit, both so you know what they like and what quality their books are, but it’s even more important to keep an eye on quality if you plan to self publish. As a self publisher, you are already being judged on a much harsher scale than anyone who’s made it past the gates of a traditional or even an ebook publisher. You need to be twice as sure that you’re producing a professional product nobody can laugh at.
How do you do this? If you’re lucky—and it’s actually a fairly common experience these days—you’ll be able to figure most of it out between you and your friends. They’ll give you feedback on your work and help you edit, agree to help promote it and maybe one will be capable of designing a great book cover. I’ve certainly known people that have self published using only their friends and family to help design and format it and had beautiful books without spending much money at all.
But what if you don’t have close friends or family who can help you design it? Sometimes you need to buckle in and pay for the service. If you try and discover you can’t do it on your own or within your friend group, it’s time to pay someone to edit and format your book. The last thing you need is a terribly formatted book with leftover typos all over the internet—and the world. A prematurely published book can and often will ruin your career, especially in these days of instant access. Your reputation could easily be ruined in just a few days.
Which brings me to an announcement: I’d love to release The 10 Commandments of a Serious Writer right now, but I can’t. It needs to be properly formatted into an ebook first. It needs to look professional, which means I need to pay for it to be professionally done. I’ve tried it and I simply can’t get my head around the process. Which, essentially, means it will be much longer than I thought before it’s published, as right now I simply don’t have the funds.
My goal is to find a way to pay for formatting and editing for my larger ebook, which will contain the 10 Commandments of a Serious Writer as its first section. I’m always on the lookout for new freelance clients and I’m also considering starting a Kickstarter campaign to get it done, though the video aspect of it is somewhat intimidating. Still, one way or another I will find a way to do this properly, because if I don’t do it properly, it’s not worth doing at all.
And now please share your thoughts—have you ever considered self-publishing a book? Would you be willing to pay for editing and formatting services in order to create the best product possible? Would you donate to a Kickstarter for a book(mine or anyone else’s)?