One of my #Row80 goals for this round is to prepare my WIP for self-publication. Part of that goal was to participate in a manuscript swap before it goes to the editor. The swap (?) mentioned several flaws that I had not noticed before. Structural flaws with the plot and characters. It wasn’t all bad, there were positive points as well. But let’s be real, it’s the negative ones that sends us to the freezer for Blue Bell.
I spent the rest of the day and night, thinking about these flaws and wondering if I should put off publishing. Is it self-doubt or healthy evaluation?
According to the dictionary:
Self-doubt- a lack of confidence
evaluation – assessment, judging the value of something
Hmmmmm. My WIP is the first full length novel I have written. That in itself is probably reason to bury it in the bottom drawer. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t emotionally attached to this book. I am and I know it. I also know there are some great characters and scenes. I’m not blind to the flaws.
The thing about self-publishing is, anyone can publish anything. It’s cheap and easy. You want to publish your manifesto, you can. It doesn’t mean you should. This is true of all writers not just the self-published.
My goal as an indie author is to publish the best work I can. Edit the crap out of it and have other people critique it and edit again. And again. Repeat as often as necessary. The hard part is knowing when it’s ready. Not everyone will like what we write, that’s OK.
Do I have cold feet about publishing a novel? Possibly. It’s a huge investment hiring an editor and cover artist. I have to know the book is ready. And after this critique I’m not sure. I have too many questions of my own. In honesty, that’s not new. I’ve made a lot of changes to that book. The best course of action, at the moment, is to set the book aside and let it rest. All I have done since NaNoWriMo is critique and edit. I’m going to work on writing something new. Something I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I think a change in activity is what I need.
I’m not putting off self-publishing for long. I have two short stories in the pipeline. I need time to make important decisions about my WIP.
How do you know when it’s ready for publication?