Why Publish?

I really like receiving correspondence with my readers – either via email or in the comments section below. I enjoy hearing your opinions and thoughts. Plus it also helps me with blog ideas 🙂

I recently wrote about the stress involved in writing something in Vengeance Will Come  (book 1) that I might later regret in a subsequent book in the series. Essentially I was worried about painting myself into a corner.

“BMadTiger” wrote to me and suggested:

No one says you have to publish the first volume straight away… You could write the remaining volumes and then adjust the first book if necessary…

Firstly thanks, BMadTiger, for your correspondence and thought.What you have said is very true, of course. It is sound advice.

So, what would possess me to release the novel, locking myself in, rather than write the entire series first? There are several reasons:

Seeing an outcome. I’ve spent hundreds of hours over multiple years on it, and I want to see an outcome for that effort. Until the novel is available to the public (in some form) it’s not an outcome.

(Having said that, if I did go down the route of a traditional publisher I’ve read that it’s better to pitch at least two books in a series than one).

To Avoid the Endless Revision Loop. One of the main dangers for new authors is to get stuck in one story, endlessly revising. It doesn’t matter how many times I look at a paragraph, I can still find changes. Some of those changes improve the paragraph and some just make it different. (Some, unwittingly, make it worse).

Sometimes it is better to finish a story and move on to the next one, even if the first isn’t perfect.Finishing a story is important, because in finishing you learn things you can’t learn at other points of writing. Whether a finished story should ever be released/published is another question.

There’s a difficult balance to achieve knowing when something is ready for release and when it’s still too raw. I’m assuming that will only come with experience, and probably a few missteps along the way.

Perfection: the enemy of productivity. Again, there’s a balance between quality and quantity. Some authors want to churn out multiple books a year (I don’t know how). Others want to publish a book which adds richness to the study of literature. They don’t care if a single novel is their life’s work. While not being a churner, my goal is to be able to write more than one series.

Also, this is my first novel-length story. I have to accept it’s not going to be perfect. Practice makes perfect.

See what I made. There is a desire to show others my work. I’ve spent so long on the project that I want to share it with others. I understand not everyone will like it. Different strokes for different folks, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I hope someone gets enthused by it. I think it’s probably the goal of every author: to have a community of people who like their work; who think about the worlds they create, and who delve deeper into the story than a casual read. A lofty dream, but here’s hoping.

And back to editing for me…

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2 thoughts on “Why Publish?

  1. At some point you have to decide to ‘ship’, as Seth Godin writes. Who decides what is ‘perfect’ for your story anyway? Perfection meaning no typographical errors- yes – but story perfection? Not likely for any of us. As you know I too am STUCK in a less-than-perfect trap on my novel, but I have to keep going and eventually it will feel right. VWC is a great novel, Ben! You need to share it with the world. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ben, this is great. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. You tackled a big question and made some essential points. Writers want to see progress. It’s how we determine if the day was successful or not. It’s how we get things done. And when it comes to writing, a solo activity, finally sharing out work is a huge benchmark of progress (or, for many of us, success!). Great stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

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