It happened again today. An author sent me a note, apologizing for taking so long to edit her book. She stopped the editing process a few weeks ago in order to concentrate on promoting her book…her UNFINISHED book.
At BookLocker, we don’t have deadlines for submitting your final manuscript. We understand many authors are still editing, rewriting, and even obtaining beta reader quotes to feature on the cover, or on the first page of the book. After an author signs up with BookLocker, they can take as long as they want to get their file back to us for formatting.
In the author’s email, she explained she’s been very busy promoting her (future) book on social media, starting an ad campaign, and more. The problem is…she’s spending FAR more time promoting (a book that doesn’t yet exist) than she is finishing the actual book.
Now, I do agree that authors needs to do some market research before they even start writing their book. But, to waste writing and editing time to skip ahead a few steps in the process means wasting valuable production time and perhaps even money later. The faster you get your book on the market, the faster you can start selling copies. And, the faster it starts selling, the faster you’ll recoup your investment. Imagine putting your book aside for three to six months to concentrate on promotion. That’s three to six months of getting zero sales!
But, hey, I get it. I really can understand how tempting this might be. Authors work on a book for months, or (for some) even years. They get tired of it. They just want to do something else. Anything else. So, more often than not, before the book is even complete, they start thinking about promotional activities.
That’s all well and good – thinking about promotion, and even writing out some plans for that. But, some authors have so much fun with promotion that they forget they must FINISH the book in order to SELL it!
WHY THIS IS A BAD IDEA
I have a loooooong list of authors who have signed up to publish, were gung-ho about their books…and then never submitted their final manuscripts. The reason? They got bored with the writing and editing process, and took some time off from that to do some preliminary book promotion.
Some authors let themselves got so caught up in promoting an unpublished book that they then got tired of promotion. Why? Because nobody was buying their book. Why? Because the book didn’t yet exist. Why? Because they were too busy promoting that non-existent book!
When you do a lot of promotion with no positive reinforcement (no sales), book promotion can start to be boring as well. And, some of these authors assume, since they’re getting little to no feedback (on a book that nobody can yet buy), that they were wrong about the market for their book. And, they may give up altogether. Sadly, the book then never gets published at all.
It’s frustrating for a publisher to watch this scenario replay itself over and over again. Imagine, as a book lover, seeing an online mention about a book that looks really interesting, but that you can’t find for sale anywhere. You might make a note to yourself about it (or you might not). If you read about the book on a certain website, newsletter or blog, you’ll probably just wait for them to someday tell you when the book is available. Of course, life will intervene and you’ll probably forget all about it in the meantime. And, if the author never finishes the book, you’ll definitely never hear about it again.
My fellow authors, if this is something you are doing, or are considering doing, or may be tempted to do, you should bite the bullet, and finish that book first! Only then, while you’re waiting for the book to be published, should you start prepping for your online promotional activities.
Promoting something that doesn’t yet exist can be a complete waste of time because, if someone can’t click to buy your book today, right when they’re reading about it, they’re very likely going to forget all about it before dinnertime tonight. Worse, if you get bored with writing and editing, and then get mired down in unsuccessful promotion, you might abandon your book altogether.
I repeat – I’ve seen this happen to new authors time and time again.
So, authors, WRITE and EDIT your book NOW. Promote LATER. Don’t waste valuable writing and editing time promoting something that doesn’t yet exist. I know it’s tempting to move on to another activity but doing so can eventually lead to the death of your book and, of course, hundreds of hours of wasted time…and zero sales.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela.
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