To save you all the trouble (and hopefully amuse you non-writers out there), I've decided to share with you my list of things NOT TO DO when you decide to publish a novel. Because I'm sweet and helpful like that.
#1 Write Only ONE Book
|One Book to rule them all, One Book to find them, One Book to bring them all, and in the Darkness bind them.|
Real Tip: Always, always keep writing. I don't care if it is your sequel, a short story, a secret diary post, a haiku or a blog post. Just keep writing. It's super difficult not to get caught up in the daily drudgery of editing and the excitement of getting your first novel into print. But the best way to become a successful writer: Have things people can read. And I mean thingssssssss. One book is great, and a terrific start. But the more little links you have next to your name, the more people can read, and the better of a chance you have of people falling in love with your writing style.
#2 Read One TERRIBLE Article on Formatting
|No, Buster. No one would ever do that.|
JD's Thought: Hey, this article seems like it knows what it is talking about. And the internet is always truthful! I'll follow this Joe-Schmoe's advice!
Real Tip: Get advice. And lots of it. Find a community of writers, email any one you know, ask questions on Facebook. Whatever you do, talk to someone who has done this before. And get real, honest advice, before you spend all your time formatting a book incorrectly. Because believe me, having to go back and fix all the mistakes you made the first time is time consuming and will make you crazy. (Helpful formatting book here. Thanks Hannah!)
#3 Expect Things to Happen Quickly
JD's Thought: 12 hour review periods? Pah! I spit on your bourgeois ideas of waiting. As soon as I hit the publishing button, my work will magically appear on the internet!
Real Tip: Always factor in extra time. For writing, for editing, for publishing. When CreateSpace and KDP tell you there will be a 12-24 hour review period, they may be exaggerating. But they also MAY be telling the truth. Especially that first review period: It will take the longest. So the real tip: Pick a release date for your book, and then tell everyone your book will be out 2-3 days AFTER that date. Because something will go wrong. (Probably ... maybe it's just me?)
#4 Wait for your Success, You deserve it!
|I'm pretty fetch.|
JD's Thought: My book is super awesome. I'm kind of a big deal. Everyone is obviously going to buy my book. I mean look at that "INSERT BOOK HERE" series. It isn't even THAT good. I'll be famous. :sits back and watches her sales:
Real Tip: Independent publishing is scary, hard, and success isn't going to come from it overnight. I'm sorry. It upsets me too. You will have to research ways to get your book noticed, work really hard ... and even then, success isn't guaranteed. It sucks big time. But if you are doing this for the money, then maybe think of a different profession. Do I want to be successful enough at this so I can do it full time? HELL YES! Have a quit my day job? Sadly no. As much as overnight success would be amazing, 99.99% of the time, it isn't going to happen.
So, to come full circle: Back to the first tip.
We all have stories inside of us that we desperately want to tell. And as much as we want people to read them, our job is to write them, do our best to get them out there so people can find them ... and then write the next story.
This isn't an easy job, being a writer. And sometimes, even though I love it always, it's not so fun. And it can be discouraging. But if you truly love it, you'll be able to 'keep on swimming.'
Those stories inside of us? They deserve to be told.
Love you all, you can do it!