fountain pen and inkAlthough rules can and do change, if you are writing and publishing something you want it to be the best. In the spirit of this idea, over the years I have learned a few publishing points.
They are either something which I’ve learned about after reading several books on how to publish a book (I’ve used Self-Publishing Books 101  and it’s helped, also How to Blog a Book is a good one to read if you aren’t sure if blogging and writing can go hand in hand)

1) Always publish your best effort.

I know it is hard to do this especially on a blog, partly because it’s time sensitive and partly since you will eventually make some sort of earnings on it. In the end, you will need to look it over and do some extra work with it- optimizing your blog for your readers if you will. Some writers choose to write on a word document and then transfer it to a blog post. A blog is a starting point, and this is a great way to learn to write ‘fast’ and transfer this knowledge to a book.

Whatever works for you, just try your best, this is even more true when it’s your first few blog posts or a first draft of a book. This is a slow process and the more you work the better the writing becomes.  It’s number crunching and looking for what you can do with make your book better- this is more important when you self-publish a book.

2) For all those older drafts you might want to self-publish or publish one day:

Go back and fix them up: by this I mean edit them, editing can also mean correcting spelling mistakes.  No spell checkers will find “miss spelled” words when they are true word. Spend time looking these over, there is something to improve there.  If you have an idea where it was going get someone to look it over- not to critique but to suggest if it’s worth continuing.

Recently I found an older outline about time travel, and an outline about a character which didn’t fit into one of my books.  Looking them over, I could see that they had potential to work together.  I also could see this needed a lot of work, but it’s always good to have a few ideas when working on other writing.

paint brushes3) Publishing an e-book is good, publishing more than one over time is better: 

It is great to have a well written book, it is even better to have more than one over the course of a few years.  With e-books you aren’t needing to wait for a paperback version.  An e-book doesn’t have to be long and there are many authors who only self-publish e-books.

The problem is not so much publishing one, or one hundred, the problem is the keywords “over time.”  It might take six months for a e-book to come out and then another seven or eight for the next one, but this allows you to market your new book properly.

If you go to Amazon, you can go to an author’s page and see very quickly how many books they have published.  The more they publish, the more likely they have something which will interest you.  The market might be hitting a saturation point right now, but this isn’t stopping you from being creative.

4) Publish on a regular basis, but not a book: 

Sure you can publish a book, but there comes a time when you have to decide how to get more readers. This is where writing a blog post and publishing it and using social media correctly comes in handy.  Not only are you seen as someone who is out there, but you are ‘seen’ and by consequence so is your writing.

There were for many years people who would suggest writing on various online writing sites, and while I found those to be helpful, I also found over the years I would put more effort into being there instead of a blog or writing a book.  It’s best to choose what your focus is with care.

5) Have a plan:

It is great to simply sit down and type, but it is even more important to plan your goals out. You might think publishing a book might take about a year, but sometimes, things happen and it doesn’t work out the way you might have wanted it to go.  As a writer, there is a fine balance between what you do and how much time you have.

A goal is a start.  It’s also good to have a vision, and a number of people who are willing to make suggestions and help you out if you feel you can’t follow through with your plan.  Publishing a book is hard work, and even if you traditionally publish, there will still be a long road ahead to make your book a success.