Tuesday 25 June 2013

When Should You Publish

You have finally written The End. Should you have the book up and available the next day? The answer is a big resounding NO.
    If you were writing for a major publisher you would understand this. You finish the book, they look at it, it could be months before the public can buy it. Just because indie authors CAN put their books out whenever they wish it doesn't mean they SHOULD.
    Why not? I hear you cry.
    The answer is simple - quality. Even the finest authors check and maybe re-write several times before being published. For indie authors this is even more important. If you cannot afford an editor it is essential you close the file and not look at it again for at least a week. You will surprised at how many typing mistakes have slipped into your work. Word shows lots of squiggly red lines for spelling mistakes and even squiggly blue ones for words out of context (I never look for the green ones for grammar, I turn that off. Word and I have a different concept of grammar!). But even with these aids there are still the odd typos that slip through, errors in punctuation, speech marks that are the wrong way around because a space has slipped into the text.
    Then after that week of rest when re-reading your work you might suddenly think of something to add, something that will improve the story, develop the characters a little more. You might spot a major flaw you had missed because you were so tied up with putting the story into your computer, forgetting that you know things in your head that you haven't told the reader.
    When editing for other people I have come across characters that have had their names changed halfway through  a story.  References to people or events that haven't appeared/happened yet. These are all things that jump out at you after a break.
    When should you announce your new book? I firmly believe - not until you are completely satisfied and have put it up for sale. You can talk about it if you wish. Some say advanced publicity is good, builds up anticipation in your audience. My personal opinion is that too much talk before the action is available has the opposite effect to what is desired. I'm probably wrong but where indie authors are concerned, if a book is not available immediately I hear about it, I soon forget it because there are so many others from which to choose. I have heard authors promoting  books they haven't even written yet and others who have set a launch date before they have finished writing!
    It makes very little difference to anyone, apart maybe the author, what date a book is launched. Picking an anniversary might be meaningful to the author but no one else will care. Launching a book on a certain date without due attention to what you have done could well result in a book that seems rushed and unpolished. 
    So take your time and make indie authors a force to be reckoned with in quality.