Self-publishing is a wonderful thing.
It gives writers from all over the world an opportunity to live their dreams. It gives an end goal – something to work on and aspire to; to live beside wearing a smile. It gives freedom – the freedom to self-express and present creations to the world.
Yes, self-publishing is a wonderful thing. But it’s also full of bad.
That same freedom that grants it its status of triumph and wonder also has the ability to send it crashing down. Due to the nature of the beast, the public’s opinion of self-publishing is only as good as the books writers are putting out. Do you see where this is going? If writers are putting out pages and pages of utter garbage, self-publication’s rep will plummet. And most of the time, that’s the very reason people aren’t keen on it.
It’s freeing – sure. But so is wearing a diaper. And a lot of the time, the end result is usually the same.
(Wait a second, was that weird, uncouth potty humor? You bet.)
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Hold It Right There
This talk bad reputation and slushy mess of terrible books is the exact reason you should take your time with the self-publication process.
It goes without saying that there are no rules. You could literally print and sell (or at least attempt to sell) a book filled with page upon page of the word ‘poop’, each one varying in font size. Venturing out into a world that is so chaotically free comes with its downfalls.
There’s no real order and justice in the self-publication world. Your book doesn’t get scanned and proofread by a team of twenty error-hungry editors (unless you pay, of course), and it won’t be scanned by legal professionals to ensure you aren’t breaching any copyrights.
In most cases, whatever you put out there is put out exactly how you left it, and recklessness to these sorts of degrees could land you in the middle of a very nasty lawsuit. Or worse, an endless sea of one-star Amazon reviews.
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We know how it gets. You write a first draft, edit it roughly a couple times, and begin to burst with excitement because this book is the one, and you just can’t wait to get it out into the world. Only problem is… you have to. You have to wait.
You need to be patient enough to put in all the hours of work this book needs. You have to work late nights, endure early mornings, edit heroically and gather feedback like it’s paying your bills. You can’t just slap it together and send it for printing – not unless you want your writing career to plummet to its doom before it has even left the runway.
Make sure you polish the manuscript as best you can. And once you’ve done that, polish that sucker again. If you can afford it, hire an editor and have them do a couple edits on your work. Once you’ve acted on their feedback, send the manuscript to as many friends and family members as you can, and have them highlight any spelling or grammatical errors. The more eyes the better.
Once all that is done, maybe then you’re somewhere near a state of readiness. By that point, your work is going to be the best you can make it, and although it may not be up to everyone’s taste, at least you can sleep peacefully knowing that you’ve given your all, and have put out a perfectly polished manuscript that will make people smile.
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