Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Writerly Ways ~ How do You Know...

As an indie author, how do you know when it is time to publish? This is a toughie. There isn't just one answer. For me I could spend years tweaking sentences and never publish. So how do you know?

As a rule of thumb, my books will pass through six editing passes. It will go past six set of eyes at a minimum and critique group. It will be read aloud line for line, passed on to beta readers for content, and finally published. This process can be long or short depending on all of the parties involved, but still there will be some errors.

That's twelve pairs of eyes besides mine! With traditional publishing, that's how many hands your book will go through. So what's the difference? The people who view your book through professional eyes.

What does it take to have professional eyes, a degree in English, maybe. A slew of published books, maybe. Market savvy, maybe. Fortune tellers, ding,ding we have an answer. They foretell what the reader will be interested in reading 18 months to three years in the future. I don't know about you, but what I was interested in two years ago is nothing like what I am interested in now. And with traditional agents and publisher, they do it all in the first 50 - 250 words written.

Traditional publishers are also known as the gatekeeper. They dictated what the public reads. The indie authors have proved them wrong by appearing on the NYT best sellers list by storming the gate.

So how do you know when a book is finished? For me, it's when I think I've done everything I've done has worked. Will it be error free, probably not. But there's always the hope, that it is. Even the professionals aren't error free, but the author rarely hears about it as much as the indie published author. Someone in the publishing industry hears it first, maybe.

The indie author hears all. Readers expect perfection and hold the author to higher standards than the traditionally published author.  After all, they can put the blame on one person. It's simpler for the critics. All I can say is put your best foot forward as you possibly can, and hope for the best. It helps to have a thick skin too.  When you publish is up to you.  :o)

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

2 comments:

Deniz Bevan said...

You're right, it is a difficult process. If I ever go the self-publishing route, I'll need lots of help with the design and so on - I have no eye for that sort of thing! It takes so many people to put the finishing touches on a book, doesn't it?

J.L. Murphey said...

Whether you self-publish or traditionally publish their a lot of hands to go through.