Monday, August 19, 2013

Books are like kids

For a disclaimer, I have three kids--all of which are still at home.  My oldest is a 9th grader and the other two are in elementary school (we have no middle school in our district, and if we did, one would be there).

So, how are books like kids?

Prior to sending it out into the world, either traditional publishing or self-publishing, you pour over the first draft, then edit it so many times, getting it just right.  The same with children.  You give them all they need (shelter, food, clothing, guidance), and then, when they reach that age, you send them out into the world.  Maybe, as teenagers, we give them a bit more freedom.  The same with a book.  We let a few choice readers go over it and give an honest critique.

Depending on the type of parents you have, most don't interfere too much in your life nor do they contact you several times a day.  They give you immense freedom.  I mean, how often should parents be in contact with their middle-aged children anyways?

The same with book publishing.  Once they're out on book shelves or in electronic readers (i.e. Amazon Kindle, iPad, Nook), how often do you see how much progress they're making?  Depends on what type of author you are.  How often do you check the Amazon ranking?  How often do you read the reviews?

Me?  There was a time where I was checking the Amazon ranking for Beholder's Eye every few hours.  I was excited when, after being out for two days, I started getting sales.

But I need to move on.  I need to continue writing.  And so do you.  Obsessing every single hour about where the ranking is will only distract you from doing what you need to do: write.  Write another story.  Put it out there.  Then write another.

Like a parent, you need to trust that the story is written well-enough and will handle itself.  Now, you do need to be marketing the book--I will not deny that--but make that part of your writing process.  Take the time to market it.

Then write.

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