So you wrote a book! First step is to immediately sit down, plant a big dumb grin on your face, and drink a bottle or two of wine (or the non-alcoholic beverage of your choice, if you don’t imbibe.)
You get close to the end, and you’re thinking, “I just want to be DONE!” Every word you type is one word closer to accomplishing something you’ve dreamed about, well, FOREVER. Then you finally type that last sentence, and a feeling of total elation washes over you like a wave on a Hawaiian beach.
Then, as you sit back, basking in your own glory, it hits you: “BUT NOW WHAT?!?”
First off – and forgive me if this seems rudimentary – do NOT try to publish yet, if you have only completed one draft. I know, I know… you’re brilliant… you’re the biggest undiscovered talent since… EVER! Still, just trust me on this one. Revise, revise, revise (after taking a break from it for a while), and then give it to an editor, or at least several well-educated beta readers, and revise some more. And that’s all I’m going to say about that one, because I’m just going to assume that you’re intelligent enough that you really knew this already.
Now comes the big decision: self-publishing (also called “indie publishing”), or traditional publishing. You may have thought about this while you were writing. Some people will only ever consider themselves “published” with the approval of an agent and/or publishing house. And that’s totally fine. Others may just want to feel their book in their hands, see it for sale on Amazon, and know that at least a few people are reading (and hopefully enjoying) it. Some writers, like me, are control freaks, and want to have the final say on EVERYTHING to do with their book. Some look at the higher royalty rates in self-publishing, and figure that they may sell less books, but end up with more to show for it in the end, anyway. For others, the decision isn’t so easy. I’ve talked about my decision at length, many times, so I won’t go over it again (you can read it for yourself, though), but only you – the author – can decide what’s best for you, and what’s best for your book.
Once you’ve made your decision, the really hard stuff starts. Seriously. You might think that writing the book is the hard part, but most authors will tell you that despite all of the blood, sweat, and caffeinated beverages of your choice that you leave on the pages, that in the end the writing is the easy part.
And now for the “Choose Your Own Adventure” part of the post:
If you choose traditional publishing, click here.
If you choose self-publishing, click here.
If, after reading the above, you’ve now decided that this publishing thing just sounds TOO HARD, well… at least you’re being honest with yourself! Feel free to close this post and go look at some cute cats on Instagram. That should make you feel a little better (unless you don’t like cats… then I can’t help you…)