Sunday, June 23, 2013

When is it Done? Some Random Thoughts for the Self-Published..

I'm about to release Book Six in the PROJECT series, The Nostradamus File. There is a predictable process for understanding when a book is ready for publication.

How do you know when your epic is done? You've been through it a dozen times or more, editing, revising things, moving things around, tweaking descriptions, etc. etc. You have corrected spelling errors, and not just with spell check. You have eliminated unnecessary spaces, at least the ones you can find. You've eliminated typos, the ones you can find. You have made sure the formatting is consistent.

You HAVE been through it a dozen times or more, haven't you? Because if not, you are definitely NOT done. Revision is the key to any decent read, much less a good one. You must revise until you would cheerfully throw your monitor, your computer and possibly your mother into the ocean, or if you don't live near an ocean, off the nearest cliff. If you don't live near a cliff, I pity you because you probably don't have enough visual stimulation around you to make your scenic descriptions interesting.

But I digress.

Okay, you have done your dozen or more revisions. You have added in a few things to round out the story for your readers. You have considered how your market readers think, what they want from you and your book. You have incorporated any appropriate feedback from your Beta readers (you have Beta readers, right?). You have reached the point of  changing a phrase here, a word there. Not often. The changes you make aren't doing much for you, in your story-teller's mind. They leave you with a ho-hum feeling. In fact, you find yourself changing something and then you change it back.

Are you done? Yes, you say. Then something in your mind says "NO YOU'RE NOT!"

That part of your mind will never, ever, believe you are done.

You have to do two things:
  1. quell the urge to get the book out there as fast as possible so you don't have to think about it anymore
  2. trust yourself to know when the time has come to quit messing with it.

Doing the first thing leads to the second. Simple.

1 comment:

  1. Great series on the project Alex, now that The Guardians have revealed themselves, how long would you guess before the next adventure will be ready?


Comments are always welcome. Tell me what you think! I've had some difficulty getting comments to show publicly on this blog, but I'll get back to you, even so...