(The Lustre is set to release Thursday!!! Please get back to me by Wednesday, you last-minute-ers, if you want to get in on the Launch Party action!)
I can’t say that I know exactly how TO publish a novel but I definitely know some things you shouldn’t do:
- Don’t write your novel/short story/poetry collection, edit it, release it and THEN publicize (blogging, online communities, networking). Do publicize as soon as you decide you are going to finish it and publish. If you are psychic or have been given a peek into the future and find you might want to publish someday, start promoting right away. Even if you are planning on going the “traditional publishing route”, you should publicize. You will have to do it anyway.
- Don’t write one book and expect it to take off on its own and make you rich within months. That would be a Holy Miracle. Do expect to make chump change for quite a while unless you know more than me. Legend has it that authors used to make it big by self-publishing back in “the day” before everyone realized how easy it was. It isn’t that way now. Sorry.
- Don’t expect that you are professional enough to produce quality work as an editor for your own work unless you are an editor, and even then, don’t. Also, don’t expect your Uncle Joe is either unless he is certified or has worked in that capacity for years. Do have lots of people read your book to make sure other people understand what you are saying. Do hire/employ a professional editor if you want a quality work.
- Don’t try to follow every bit of marketing advice you see online. It won’t all work for you and it isn’t all right for what you are promoting. Do follow the advice that works for you and focus on that so that you have time to write.
- Don’t try to avoid other authors and push them aside thinking they are your competition. Other writers are your biggest audience and resource. Do treat them as you would like to be treated.
- Don’t think that self-publishing will be the easier route. It is just a different kind of work. Do expect to learn a lot and do a ton of work.
I am working on my first novel. This is great advice! Thanks for writing this.