Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Confronting the Post-NaNoWriMo Temptation To Publish

by Deren Hansen

If you're too impatient to take Bruce's excellent suggestion that you should work through your NaNoWriMo manuscript and prepare to workshop it at WIFYR next summer, then you should at least consider the six questions Laekan Zea Kemp poses, in a guest post on The Read Room, for anyone who wants to self-publish. Here's a sample:

"Despite the fact that every person and their dog thinks that they can write a book, living the life of a writer is not for the faint of heart. And whether you choose to publish through a traditional route or independently, the road to success isn’t an easy one.

"There’s a misconception about self-publishing that it’s somehow easier. And the draw for a lot of people is this ignorant idea that going indie means you get to skip all of the hard parts. But I’m here to tell you that, not only do you still have to suffer through all of the revisions and rejections and self-doubt, but you have to go through these things alone.


"2.  What are your intentions? ... If building a career is truly your intention, don’t rush into self-publishing. And more importantly don’t rush your story for the sake of putting it on sale as fast as possible.

"3.  Do you have the stamina? If you’ve only written one book in your entire life, you’re not ready to self-publish. Now, remember, this is just my opinion and I’m only speaking to self-publishers looking to become career authors, BUT knowing that you have the will-power and the desire to FINISH is extremely important. And when I say finish, I don’t mean one book. I mean finish what you start, each and every time. I didn’t self-publish my first book until I was halfway through the first draft of my third. Why? Because I wanted to be strategic about when I published and I wanted to prove to my readers that I was in this for the long haul. Careers aren’t built on just one book (and don’t give me some one in a million example of an author who did just that *cough* Harper Lee *cough*) they’re built on hard work and consistency. So before you even think about self-publishing, focus on building a backlist that will prove to you and readers out there that you’ve got what it takes to be a career author."

Read the entire article here. And then come back and tell us what you're going to do with your NaNoWriMo manuscript.

Deren Hansen is the author of the Dunlith Hill Writers Guides. This article is from Sustainable Creativity: How to Enjoy a Committed, Long-term Relationship with your Muse. Learn more at

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