This post received a lot of eyeballs over on Indies Unlimited earlier this week, I thought I would share it in this space as well. Having just published my Christmas novel, So This is Christmas, I’d like to write about some of the things you shouldn’t do when publishing your book.
- If you are publishing a Christmas book, don’t think that picking it up in August to revise and edit is enough time. Aaaaaaagh. I wrote the book last year with the thinking that I could put it out for December 2012. Hah! I shelved it and brought it back out for revisions and editing in August. All of the sudden—it was Thanksgiving.
- Don’t assume that a 25,000-word novel takes less to edit, revise, distribute to beta readers and everything else, than a 60,000- to 90,000-word novel. I waaaay underestimated this one. It doesn’t matter how long your novel is, it still has to be perfect to publish—and that takes a lot of time. Meanwhile, some of the tasks associated with publishing take the same amount of time regardless as to the size of the novel—cover art, blurb, synopsis, product description … should I go on?
- Don’t decide at the last minute that you are going to get cute with formatting. Yeah, I know, you think that the pretty little addition will make your book. That is, until you realize that you now have an eBook that needs to be compatible with about seven different Kindle formats, including the nearly obsolete devices (as in my personal Kindle.)
- Don’t forget to put a footer in each version of your manuscript, indicating which editing round you are on. What, you don’t have multiple rounds of editing? I must be doing something wrong.
- Don’t forget to take OUT the footer indicating which editing round you are on in the final formatted version for upload. See #4.
- Don’t publish a book at or near a holiday. If you are like me, a holiday junkie, this will be a disaster. There’s way too much pressure to get the book out early and when you finally get it published, all you want to do is pimp, promote, and check Amazon (of course!) In my case, I didn’t pimp, promote or check Amazon (that part is a good thing.) However, you only have one launch and I didn’t do anything in advance. There are a ton of articles on Indies Unlimited about how to do this the right way; you should pay attention to those. It was so bad; someone else posted my new novel on my OWN Facebook page before I did.
- Don’t invite relatives to stay with you during a book launch that lands on a holiday. Oh, wait, I didn’t invite them. That about sums up everything above. I’m supposed to go on with my merry holiday and pretend to not agonize about the birth of my new book.
Jim Devitt is the author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling Young Adult novel, The Card. He's also a healthcare consultant specializing in helping healthcare companies and practices develop a social media marketing platform, and maximize cash flow. You can find him posting weekly to Indies Unlimited and occasionally as a contributor on Yahoo!