Monday, 19 May 2014

The Write Path Blogfest

Good morning! Today it is the How I Found The Write Path bloghop, created by the lovely Carrie Butler!

The idea for this bloghop is to create a free ebook to help new self-publishers on their journey to publication. This is a genius idea - I wish I'd had something like this when I started out!

The details:

Please write a letter/note to yourself when you first started writing toward publication. The only thing I ask is that you keep it under 800 words, including as many (or as few) of these elements as you like:
   - A lesson you learned the hard way
   - Something you didn’t expect about the industry (positive/negative)
   - A writing-related resource you could never do without now
   - One thing you’d change about your journey
   - One thing you’re glad you did
   - Your number one tip for pursuing publication
   - Anything else you feel is worth passing on
INFORMATION: 
   - The name you wish to be credited as
   - The title (if any) you wish to follow your name, i.e. author of the series
   - One major link where people can find you, i.e. website, blog, Twitter, etc.
PLEASE INCLUDE:
   - Whether or not you give me permission to use your entry in the e-book compilation. Don’t feel bad if you don’t want in. We’d still love to read what you have to say!
 
Okay, so I thought long and hard about this, but here is my advice to all new self-publishers! (And yes, please use this entry in the ebook!)
 
**
 
Slow down.
If there was one thing I wish someone had told me before I hit "Publish" on my first novel, it's that there is no rush. It's easy to let excitement take over once you've decided to self-publish, and your book is complete, and it's edited and you've found your book cover. I'd built up such a buzz around my first book, I couldn't wait to get it out into the world. 

The truth of the matter is, the book wasn't ready. Yes, I had it checked for errors, and I'd read it myself a million times to be sure I was happy, but there is one major thing I didn't do. I didn't take a time out. I was too close to it to see the flaws. The best thing for any writer on completion of a book is to take a step back. Wait a few weeks before the final re-read. Make changes. Wait a bit longer. 

If I had done these things, I wouldn't have had to re-release a second edition of my book with the issues ironed out. And did I mention, that book has had FOUR cover changes. If I had just stopped and taken a little extra time, I would have saved myself a lot of extra work. I learned my lesson the hard way - and now I always take my time.

So, when your book is finished, stop. Step away. Come back to it with a clear head, and you will be SO much happier with the final result, no matter how long it takes. 

Kyra Lennon, author of the Game On series


41 comments:

  1. That's good advice. Actually I read somewhere that self-publishers SHOULD keep changing their cover - although I'm not sure I totally agree for the reasons they gave. Basically, to get more sales - but how many people would buy it again thinking it was a different book?

    Your changes were much more considered, and helped it to fit in with the developing series.

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  2. That's definitely a temptation that comes along with self-publishing. Sometimes it's hard to see past the excitement!

    Great advice! :)

    And thank you so much for participating! *hugs*

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  3. Totally true. I'm definitely one that needs a bit of time to step away. And it's not like it has to be months and months, but even just a few weeks. Cause really, what is 2 more weeks in publishing time? Nothing. :)

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  4. Such good advice! And what a cool blog hop!

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  5. I've found with any work I create, it's best to step away from it after typing "The End." When you come back with fresh eyes, you always find things you want to change! Although with self-published books, you can make corrections and republish it, right?

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  6. Excellent advice, Kyra! Whether it's an article or a book, I always allow myself enough time to file that draft for awhile. After a few days, weeks or months, I'll look at it again with fresh eyes. I've never regretted this system.

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  7. Great post and great advice! It's always a good idea to set a draft aside when you've finished and come back to it later with fresh eyes. Even better, get others' opinions on it, too. :)

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  8. Ooh, yeah, goos lesson, take your time! I rushed certain things early on, and my students want to get published yesterday!

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  9. Amen sister! I am about to finish off a book and I am feeling that pull to get my work out faster, but I think you're right. I will keep my pace slow. People work hard for their money and I don't want them to feel they wasted it on my book.

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  10. Now you know! And your other releases have benefited.

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  11. Excellent advice. It's so hard, but so so helpful to just wait and be patient.

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  12. SO true, Kyra. It's SO easy to let excitement take over and just ACT… but in such a slow industry, we need to get used to just WAITING and taking a breather… very, very, VERY hard to do!!!!

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  13. Taking some time out from our writing certainly helps achieve perspective and helps you spot errors much easier. Excellent advice.

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  14. Great advice, especially for indies.
    Kudos, Kyra!

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  15. Time is an excellent tool for building distance between oneself and a manuscript. I've had the ultimate in time away from a lot of my books, since they were trapped on obsolete file formats on disks for a decade. It was like reading them all over again when I finally learnt how to convert and reformat them.

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  16. I love this, Kyra. So many times, we don't remember to take a step back and not to force our stories. There are so many things I wish I would have started to do before I published my first children's book; however, the most important thing we must always remember to do is not to rush our writing. I'm experiencing this right now with my adult novel. The ending just isn't getting finalized and I have realized it's because my mind isn't there yet. I will get it done though but I would rather let it happen than force it. Thanks for reminding us of this=) I'm happy to be a part of this wonderful blogfest!

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  17. This is great, Kyra. I don't know how many times I got caught up in the bubbly goodness of the love for a story. I would get frustrated because nothing was happening and I wanted to move so fast. It's so true that you must step back and let it sit. Patience. Something I needed to learn to get. It's still gets jumpy but I know how to control it better. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Good advice, Kyra. That's where a lot of us fall down. Not putting enough time and distance between what we see as the final go round and publication.

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  19. Kyra: I was sooooo fortunate to have a couple of great supporters who kept reminding me to take a breath and let things chill. Still, I jumped the gun with my editor and did a lot of extra work and backtracks to keep the her great work from being lost in the revisions after her work.

    If it's good enough for the readers to enjoy it today, they'll love it all that much more tomorrow, right?

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  20. Great advice! I think I might suffer from the opposite problem though, lol. Part of me is impatient and wants to get work out there, but a larger part hangs back and wants to go over things exhaustively to the point where nothing's really getting done. There must be a middle ground somewhere!

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  21. Awesome advice. I constantly tell myself the same thing, but that urge to get it out there is feisty!

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  22. Great advice. Stepping away makes a big difference. We need that space to be able to look on the manuscript with fresh eyes.

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  23. Kyra, I love this advice!! It's so true, when we're in the middle of it we just want to gogogogo and rush through! I've done it too, and this is seriously the BEST advice. Slow down! :D

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  24. Man those are good tips for everyone!! And wow, lots of cover changes. Man. That's intense.

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  25. I can see how self-pub can cause problems like that. I guess that's the upside of the gatekeepers.

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  26. Excellent advice. I think it applies to any writing. You have to put some space between you and your baby so you can clearly discern its dimples from its diapers. ;)

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  27. Slowing down is a major theme on this hop - I wrote the same thing!! We're all so excited and hopeful and naive...sometimes I think there should be a mandatory three month waiting period when you think you've finished your book. For all of us. Three months after that final draft, and we have to reread before we're allowed to publish or query. Because every single time, we'll find a mess of stuff that has to be changed!

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  28. Slowing down is very important. I remember when I wanted to be published as a teen and I sent out queries. Then I learned my book wasn't ready and it still wasn't after years of edits and revisions. It is now though. haha

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  29. Yes! Awesome advice. I wish I had heard it/followed it/lived by it for my first novel. :)

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  30. This is really great advice! Nice post, this is a great blogfest.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  31. Slow and steady wins the race as they say. Great advice=)

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  32. I've seen the 'slow down' thing as a theme with several of these posts. I just hope the newbie writers are taking this excellent advice to heart!!

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  33. I love this! I totally would tell myself to slow down too -- to enjoy the first draft highs and the process it takes to develop a really fantastic end product. Great advice!

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  34. Love this, Kyra! And love how you mention there is no rush! Once you start there is a lot to do to keep up! You're amazing! Thanks for the great advice!

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  35. Great advice. I step away as well. It's great you re-released it feeling better about the book.

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  36. I completely agree! There is no rush, even though we often feel it. I wish I had taken more time with some of my earlier publications.

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  37. Stop and step away. That is excellent advice!

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  38. I find time out, time to step back and return with fresh eyes, a vital part of the process. I finally clicked "Publish" last week, and that novel was over seven years in the making. While it's important to be patient, it's also important to decide when enough is enough and actually click that button!

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  39. We are rather impatient. I agree.

    Great post.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Heather

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  40. Great idea for a bloghop! I will definitely be using this resource. I hope to get my first book out at the end of this year. I love the advice about not being impatient, I'll try to remember that.

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  41. Great advice that is so hard to see in the moment. This was a really candid reminder. And congrats on the awesome review over at Cassie Mae's. ;)

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