The fortune cookie read, “you will find success this year.” Where will success be found? When will I find it? Will I find this “success” before the predicted end of the world next December? I don’t buy it. Any success worth finding is worth earning. This goes for all of us here at selfpublishing.com and it goes for all of the author/publishers that we’ll serve this year … and the next … and the next.
We learn at an early age that it takes trial and error to balance those wooden blocks to form the tower we imagine in our minds. It takes patience to mix just the right amount of sand with water to build the sand castle walls to protect the kingdom at the beach. Blocks fall. Waves crash. It’s not the end of the world.
Publishing your own book is not so dissimilar to building a wonderful sand castle for passersby to enjoy, take their picture by, and maybe even give you an attaboy or attagirl. But there will be waves.
It’s important to have the clearest picture of what you want your book to be when you start your publishing process. Some people check out our pricing matrix and—before typing a single word of their great American novel—start comparing printing prices on a book of 256 pages vs. a 400-page epic tome. Some folks take our Self Publishing Quiz http://www.selfpublishing.com/type/quiz/ and go over the possible budgets, before settling on which of their great ideas they want to flesh out into a book.
Good Advice from Aunt Ann and Uncle Steve
A few articles back I wrote about Robin Williams’ book on intermediate word processing. We’re all about providing you with educational resources and tools to help make your publishing experience easier on the sanity and hairline. Here are a couple of other great books to help those of you just getting started.
Ann LaMott’s Bird by Bird is a great roadmap to help any writer develop their routine and creativity. Ann suggests writing “a sh*tty first draft,” before getting too serious in the editing, tweaking and tuning of your manuscript. You have to have some idea where you’re going and the first draft can provide a first glance at how much—or how little—work there is to follow as you prepare to publish your work.
You can learn a lot from successful authors. Stephen King makes it’s easier than most by providing the keys to his method and madness in his half-memoir/half-instruction manual, On Writing. If you ever wondered how someone could be so prolific and never seem to run out of imaginative ideas, you’ll want to put On Writing on your winter reading list. What have you got to lose, except just about every plotting and outlining technique you’ve ever clung to?
To help you continue your education about all things writing and publishing, we’ll be running a couple of series related to the writing process over the next couple months. Watch too for great marketing tips and peer-to-peer columns.
As you prepare to publish your first … or seventh book … set your eyes on the prize and continue to learn and test and challenge yourself. Plots will fall like blocks. Drafts will wash away as your manuscript evolves into your published, printed book. We are here to help at every step of the process.