Sunday, June 7, 2015

Learning From My Mistakes

So while talking with my editor the other day online, we talked about my journey with publishing Heir of the Blood King.

I wrote an article after I first published it and I complained that it was making me pull my hair out.  There is a reason it was so difficult for me.  I was doing it wrong because I not only missed steps, but I got them in the wrong order.

My editor clarified for me that the steps should be:

  1. Writing
  2. Developmental
  3. Copy Edits
  4. Proofreading
  5. Format
  6. Cover
  7. Publish
I have a lot of excuses for doing things the way that I did, but that is just what I have, a bunch of excuses. The main reason, to be honest, was that I didn't believe in myself enough to make an investment into myself.  I cut corners and I did everything the hard way.  Here are the steps that I took in the wrong order:

  1. Writing
  2. Four Revisions by my wife and I with no professional input
  3. Format
  4. Publish
  5. Proofreading
  6. Cover
  7. Copy Edit
As it turns out though, there were a few things that I did do correctly.  As I was writing, I didn't attempt to edit, so it made the creative process must faster.  After I finished the first draft, I did a read through to check pacing.  I wanted it to be fast and I had the result I was looking for. As we worked on drafts 2 through 4, my wife and I took turns reading out loud to catch any errors.

So, when I release book 2, I fully intend on following my editor's advice.  You can call what I do a hobby and there are many people who invest thousands of dollars into their hobby with no hope of recovering any of their investments.  I should be ashamed for not spending the money that I should have spent on my hobby because I am creating works that will still be making returns on my investment long after I am dead for my children and grandchildren.  Very few hobbies offer that kind of potential return.

I also discovered a few more things:  

  1. It pays to be patient because it will cost you not only more money, but opportunities to connect to readers if you rush through the process.
  2. When writing a series, be sure to have at least a couple of installments ready before you begin the release process. No one wants a one book series and you never know what can happen to you before you have a chance to write it.
  3. Reviews are for readers, not authors.
  4. When you get a bad review, never, EVER start a discussion about it no matter the justification.  Let it be.  Find something constructive and work on your craft.
  5. Always trust your editor. They know what they are doing.
  6. Connect with your readers one on one.  Yes, it is a slow process, but in the end, you are building loyal relationships and nothing will boost your opportunities like word of mouth conversations about your work.

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