A Playground for Authors Jason White and Michael Schutz-Ryan

Do You Really Want to Publish That?

Chris Tucker makes a valuable point in his blog post Are You Really Proud Of That Book You Put Out For The World To See? His post moved me to not only add to it, but to write an entire blog post of my own. I was originally going to just reblog his post, but found that my remarks were way too long.

One reason this topic moves me is that I’ve been at this writing thing for a long time. It is, in fact, the only thing I haven’t given up on. Having been through what I have, I have learned that authors need to cut their teeth before ever reaching the point where they have a novel that’s worth readers paying their hard earned cash to read. This cutting of the teeth involves a lot of pain and suffering on the writer’s part. Pain and suffering due to rejection and continuous failure.

The best teacher in the world is failure. I’ve been writing fiction for 14 years. I have no idea how many rejection slips I’ve collected over the years, but I can tell you that there are a lot of them. Some of these rejection letters were just plain mean and nearly made me quite writing altogether. Thankfully there were more great rejection letters that taught me the areas in my writing that needed improving.

Way back in the first five years of my writing, I thought I was creating some quality stuff. Had I gone and self-published any of those works would have been paralyzingly embarrassing today, knowing what I know now. And guess what? The learning never ends.

So, yes indeed. If you’re going to go the self-publishing route, do it professionally. Hire an editor, one that can help you improve on both story and grammar. To do otherwise could end up hurting you in the future.

A bit more advice? Don’t fear the pain of rejection and, if you’re really serious about writing, don’t let them, especially the mean ones, make you quit. The only way to truly fail is to quit. I believe that any writer who persists will eventually find some measure of success, depending on what your view on success is. But that is a whole other argument.

I agree with Chris on all points, especially that everyone who wants to write should write. But before you self-publish, make sure that your work is good. Self-publishing unprofessional work makes all writers look bad.


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