Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group...

Or, as we all know it, IWSG! This is THE hop for lots of us bloggers, because lots of us are writers and we're all insecure. Even though we put up a very good front. Alex J. Cavanaugh is the person responsible for this. I think it's the best thing out there! And we all post on the first Wednesday of every month. Here is a link to the list, if you'd like to join, there's no time like the present.

So this is the first post of not only a new month, but a brand, spanking New Year! Hope you have all recuperated from your party hangovers. If not, allow me to turn up the volume...

Aww, would I do that?

Well, okay. Yes. I would. But you didn't have to agree.

I suppose this time around I am going to bypass the whining and go straight for the panicking, wailing, beating the walls...

No, not really. I am going to go the direction of some advice. There are lots of authors/writers out there who have chosen to take the path of the Self Published/Indie Author route. For a myriad of reasons, of which there are far too many to list, I'm sure, this decision was made. Some were determined from the moment they typed out that first sentence to go down this path, others felt forced down it and even more had been burned far too many times.

No matter what made you move down this trepidatious (yes, I know I used a big word...I even had to look the damn thing up on the dictionary website because it's saying I spelled it wrong. Pah!) path there are still lots of things to remember.

1) HIRE AN EDITOR!!!!! Or at the very least, let others look it over for you and try to help you out. Polish that sucker up, people.

2) Which brings me to this: Make it look professional. From the inside, out, the outside, in... do the freakin' hokey pokey if you have to. Make it shine! (I've put down lots of books for these two reasons alone.)

3) Move on.

I want to focus on numero tres. Simply because it was the hardest thing for me to do after going the route of The-Publisher-Who-Will-No-Longer-Be-Named. I've posted about that nightmare before and don't want to keep hashing over it. The biggest thing I had to do was move on. I didn't even consider myself a published author because of them. But now that my book is finally out with Hellfire Publishing and I have sold 3 times as many books already (not that big a thing, trust me...) I can finally do something I've waited almost 7 years to do.

Write. Book. Two.

I can finally freakin' breathe! I can move on to the rest of the story that people have been waiting for right along with me. But even if your first book has typos or issues, the beauty of being self published is that you can go back and fix some of those issues. However, once the MAJOR bits are fixed.

Leave. It. Alone. Don't go back to it. This isn't your ex we're talking about here, you know the one you used to keep going back to only to get dumped on all over again. Make a clean break and move on. This is a book, not a friend with benefits...


There are some books where I wish the author would go back and fix the problems that made me chuck the book aside and never look back. But then there are some who might get hung up on fixing every little issue. Well, just make some major corrections and be done with it. Once the rest of your books are out there, people may go back to the others. But give them a reason to. Even if you offer up the first one for free all over again if they buy the next. Once all three of my books are out, I am going to work on a compilation of all three in a set. Maybe add in a few extra scenes to make it fresh and new. Who knows.

Right now, I just need to focus on selling this first one and that, my dear friends, will be the next IWSG post. If I make it 'til then!

What's made you put down a book? Does it matter if they are an indie author or traditionally published? Got any helpful advice?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just say no!
Glad you can finally tackle the second book, Mel. That is a long time to wait.

Charity Bradford said...

Amen to hiring an editor! I've put down several self-pubbed books because of the major things that would have been easy fixes. I can get over a few (a few!) typos and slip ups if the story is really good. However, when you have 10 main characters with similar names who don't act anywhere near their age--that's my biggest pet peeve. I don't even care what the story is about.

Sorry, can you tell I'm reading one of those right now.

I'm with you on that second book as well. I've got two half way finished. One is a sequel, the other something new. Here's to getting them finished, beta read, revised, edited, and polished this year!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Editing is so important. I used to follow a blogger who admitted she just threw any rubbish onto Kindle because if it was cheap someone would buy it... I didn't follow her for long. I am a perfectionist, and I want my work to be the best it can be, each and every time. So my most helpful advice would be, don't be in a hurry, make sure it really is your best!

randi lee said...

I'll admit it---I did not hire an editor for my first self publish and I regret it. It's ripped off the shelves these days, but I look back at my younger self and wonder just what I was thinking. Great advice!

Julie Flanders said...

Just stopping by from the IWSG as I'm glad to learn of your book, sounds great and I'm definitely putting it on my TBR list!

Allison said...

I am always wary of indie publishing because anything can be published, so it is just less likely that it will be good than if I went with a traditional publisher. That being said, I have read some great indie books, that have been beautifully written.

Allison (Geek Banter)

Tony Laplume said...

What bothers me about any book I can't finish reading is that the author always loses their own trail. They forget what was supposed to make the book interesting and instead just keep writing and are clearly no longer inspired. You have to treat the whole story the way you treat the original idea of the story.

Mel Chesley said...

@ Alex ~ I am so excited to be moving on to book two! And yes, no is going to be a big word for me this year.

@ Charity ~ I know, right!? They need to have fresh eyes on that stuff! And woohoo to book two! You go girl!

@ Analisa ~ Wow. May have to tell me who that was so I can avoid them... but yes, I want people to like my stuff, not think it is cheap crap.

@ Randi ~ But you learned from this, right? That's the most important thing!

@ Julie ~ Thanks for stopping by! And THANKS for adding my humble little book to your TBR. :D

@ Allison ~ I've read both indie and traditional pubbed authors and find issues in both, sometimes. I really have to pay attention to the reviews, though.

@ Tony ~ I agree! They have to keep that fire, or you can tell right when they lose it. If they lose interest, you betcha your reader will too.

Thanks for dropping by everyone!

Ciara said...

I can so relate, but that is all I'm saying. Great advice. I totally agree, hire an editor!!

Mel Chesley said...

'Nuff said. ;)

Unknown said...

Great advice! I'll read anything. I don't care if it's indie, big house, or small house, just as long as I'm hooked on the first page. If not, well, that's the kiss of death. I'll put the book down and walk away. I think a lot of writers make the mistake of trying to spill a whole bunch of info. in the first chapter, info. that could be left to unfold as the story progresses. I don't need to know how tall, how cute, or how smart the protag is in the very first paragraph. I don't want to be told these things. I want to be shown these things at a nice pace. Okay, I'm done blabbing! Happy New Year and Happy writing on that second book! :) Thanks for the great post!

Unknown said...

Editing is so very important. I hate when I invest in a book and find inconsistencies, problems, etc.

Terrific post with great advice. happy New Year!!

Unknown said...

Poor/lack of editing is usually what makes me put down a book. It irritates me that it feels like the author never got anyone to look at the book before it was published (more often than not these are self published works, which is why I stopped reading self published).

You're right about not going back and rehashing older novels. George Lucas did that with his films, and look where it got us. Ewoks with eyelids and that infamous Darth Vader "Noooooooooooo!"


Charmaine Clancy said...

Editing is the big thing that needs addressing, not just with grammar, structure, but I read many books that seem like a great start but just needed to be tightened to be really fantastic. This is not just self-pubbed books, I had to put down a John Grisham book just last week (unfinished) because it read like a first draft. Writers have a great supportive community, we need to make the most of that and accept help to produce the best work we can.
Happy 2013 -- Year of the Writer!

Anonymous said...

I stop reading poorly disguised fan fiction and hate it when I get the feeling that I'm reading someone's sexual fantasies. But as for poor editing ,my tolerance varies according to how gripping the story is. If it's a real romp-along tale I'm much more inclined to be forgiving.

Interesting post. I've never considered self publishing because I know I need editorial back up and I'm utter pants at marketing. :)

Hart Johnson said...

Man, such a tricky thing, eh? I totally agree on hiring an editor. I really think we do ourselves a disservice letting anything OUT THERE when it still has pretty big problems. And if we've done it, then we CAN let it go once it's gone... I have several MSs though, that still need work. I just keep writing, and even through I technically spend more time editing, it takes even MORE time to edit ENOUGH. I rotate through projects and still it seems like nothing is quite done.

Glad your Hellfire experience is going a lot better!

Jessica Salyer said...

Glad you're writing the second book. Good luck. I agree with the first one. Nothing bugs me more than a sloppy book.

Mel Chesley said...

@ Jamie ~ Lol! I know, right? Leave well enough alone!

@ Charmaine ~ Wow, a Grisham book? Incredible! But I agree, we do have such a support, we need to use it no matter what!

@ Elingregory ~ Wow, I will never look at fanfic the same way again. But you're right, there is no excuse for poor editing. Even if you're broke, you can work something out.

@ Hart ~ It is tricky. And editing is such a long process with just one MS, I can't imagine several at once. But I bet I'll be in that spot some day and I'll have to remember to rotate them out like you do. Good plan!

sjp said...

I have been reading a string of free ebooks, most self published, and its infuriating how many grammatical and spelling errors got through the gate, so good advice.