After the Draft – Do I Have To?

After the Draft - Do I Have To?
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Joseph
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I’m browse over to Janice Hardy’s blog, Fiction University on occasion. This last Thursday she had Dario Ciriello at her site discussing the grueling hassles of marketing for the self-published author.

I have yet to publish a book, but the vision of what self marketing is going to be like once I do have a published manuscript has me wondering if I want to get that far. The daunting thought of all the work that goes into self marketing makes me cringe. Really! I find such enjoyment in the writing process. To even think I must put it on the back burner so that I can hopefully sell what I have published is something I think about with animosity.

Sure, the gratification of selling a book I toiled over for two plus years or so sounds marvelous. To be recognized for my accomplishment is going to be thrilling—I think. Will I be treated better by those who snub me now? Will I even care about such people when I hit that stage? Self publishing could assure me of a slice of this even though it may be small, right? All the same, is cutting the economic corners of publishing by doing it myself going to assure the goal of success? My probable answer is “no.”

I may not have gotten down the path far enough to experience all that goes on after that last draft, but I’ve read enough to know that it’ll be a time when I won’t be working in solitude. Even if I go by way of self-publishing, I know I’m not skilled in the work of making an Ebook or, certainly not, the cover for one. This doesn’t even touch on the turmoil of creating a traditional book with bindings. Even at that, if I do all of that right, if I didn’t write well enough to make the story come to life, all is lost and it can’t be undone.

None of this even has to do with the marketing that Dario Ciriello outlines so well. He talks about the time taken away for blurbs at social media sites, guest posting to get the chance to promote, and spending time looking at stats and  techniques for maximizing sales. For the Indie writer, all this is figured out and dealt with without the help of an agent or publisher.

With the Indie approach, I can be assured that my book will be published. There isn’t any doubt about it. Still, how much of the passion for writing do I lose in the process? I shudder to think on it. Maybe if I had a few books under my belt already, I’d be more willing to give the self-publishing route a try. After all, I’d have readers; I’d have some experience in the field of publishing; may even have experience doing my own PR work. I could avoid all that time it takes for a publishing house to get my manuscript through all of the runs, and avoid the terror of waiting to find out if my baby makes it all the way through.

However, for this first book, I want to know, without any doubts in my mind, the story I have created is worth the time and effort of a publishing house, no matter how small. It’s a check point that tells me I do have a talent in the art, the craft, the passion I love so dearly.

Did I hear the whisper of someone saying the fear is too great? Yes, the fear of realizing that I’ve been a complete idiot to think I could write anything worth reading is great—huge—humongous. But how else am I going to find out what the naked truth is about any ability I have or may not have in this craft? Listening to my friends isn’t going to do it. Even the ones who are writers are going to be bias. And if they aren’t, how long will I want them as friends if they’re telling me how inept I am? I can take criticism from friends, but only if I’m pretty sure they aren’t enjoying the telling. But blunt truth? I think I can take it from a stranger even if I end up in tears. I know I couldn’t take it from a friend giving it in the same manner.

§

Please friend, please do a little sugar-coating. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Just enough so I’m not gagging to death on the truth.

When I eventually get to that final draft of this book, I’ll be spending the time and stamp money (if necessary) to get my manuscript accepted at a publishing house.

§

People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it. – Harlan Ellison

 

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10 Replies to “After the Draft – Do I Have To?”

  1. Writing is so much work. I give you credit for the effort. I think if I were writing a longer work (longer than 1,000 words) I would lock myself in the attic. Either that or my wife would lock me in the basement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The basement sounds more like punishment to me too. Run to the attic before she pulls you down to the basement.

      All kidding aside, I think of you more as a columnist than a book writer. Sometimes I think I fit that category better too. But I’ve started this and I’m being persistent about finishing it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s interesting Glynis. When I was in graduate school, I wrote an op-ed column for the school newspaper. That is the only time I was ever “in print” and it suited me pretty well. I only wrote a few articles because I was a full time student and I was working full time. Keep going, persistence will pay off.

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  2. A lot of people self-pub for the very reasons you say you’re afraid of it: They want to share it with a small audience, not market, get back to writing. People like CreateSpace and Lulu do all the heavy lifting, give you a published book you can share with family, post on your blog and forget. I see lots of value in that for the right person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jacqui, my point is I want to see if I’m good enough to have my book on the shelf at some store, whether it be Walmart, Amazon, Barns and Noble, or wherever. Self-publishing isn’t as likely to give me the answer. As you said, I can decide how small the audience is and falsely believe I’m good at my craft. I want the people in the business of books to tell me if I’m adequate. Once I have a knowledgeable opinion on this, yes, seld-publishing will be more time efficient.

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      1. I find it a bit worrisome, Glynis, when you say that you want to see if you’re good enough to have your book on the shelf at some store. I know what you mean and I too have these same wishes but I am finding not to depend so much on a handful of people to decide whether my writing is good or not. It’s not easy and I have to keep telling myself that everybody has different tastes in writing. And there are trends. Today it’s the paranormal romance. Tomorrow it’s the historical western.
        We have to write what we like and I quite agree with you when you ask: Still, how much of the passion for writing do I lose in the process? But this is not only applicable to Indie but also in all the energy of trying to find a publisher.
        Goon Amazon on any bestseller and read the comments. There will always be someone giving it a one or two star. Does that mean that the writing is bad? On the opposite side of the spectrum have you ever not liked a book that everybody seems to be raving about?
        I do not know what your book writing is like but I do know that you write thought provoking and authentic blog posts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you so much for the lovely compliment about my posts, Carol. It means a lot to me. 😀 Maybe if my self-confidence was better I could go right to the Indie route but I have this need to know how good I am from “the professionals”. It’s a way of measuring my own worth, I guess.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe it might be easier if you didn’t worry about ALL the details about publishing and marketing all at once? I find all that overwhelming as well. Get the writing done and learn about the process along the way. I’m sure fellow bloggers, who can, won’t mind helping if you get stuck. Still, going through a publishing house does have a certain ‘stamp of approval’ that’s ultra satisfying, but even so, I understand the author is still expected to do almost as much as if she went indie. *sigh*

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tess, I’m not worrying about after the last draft yet. After all, I’m only on the second one. Yes, I’ll be pouncing on a few of my fellow bloggers to help (you’re one of them). So far I’m relaxed about what I’m doing. 🙂

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