Friday, September 30, 2011

New Book Release: 3 Things I Wish I Had Done

We all have regrets. This post is not about that. I do NOT regret publishing CANCELLED one bit. The feedback has been great, though I know the less-than-stellar feedback is going to have its own season. This is about sharing the knowledge I learned from my two-weeks of being a published author and what I wish I could have done differently for a better release.

1. I Wish I Had Trusted My Resolve

Book reviewers schedule month in advance. They have to. It takes so much work to volunteer to review book, even free ones. There's time invested in reading, writing the review, uploading the review, running the blog, and promoting the post. For this alone, even if I ever get a bad review, I will NEVER be anything less than eternally grateful to anyone who takes the time to review my book.

I didn't 100% trust myself that I would make my deadline. I wish I had. If I had known without a doubt I was going to publish in September, I would have scheduled my book reviews in August to make October. Right now I'm struggling to get dates in October and a few popular places can't review my book until January! But I'm turning that lemon into lemonade by promising to have a sneak peek at my next book for those reviews (I'm releasing PAST DUE in February). Here's the thing, I could have even scheduled my blog tour a month past my release date, giving myself a month cushion. Now I know I'm a writer that can push myself to kick a deadline's butt; I will be less fearful about making commitments.

2. I Wish I Had Read and Reviewed More

Writing my first book, for 6 months I took an almost complete break from reading other fiction. Why? I was afraid I would inadvertently, sub-consciously lift situations or phrasing from another book. I didn't trust my mind and voice. There is a somewhat famous episode of Helen Keller accidentally plagiarizing a book she read years ago. This was a little silly on my part. For one, I've read tons of material in my 29 years of life, and taking a short sabbatical from reading would NOT save me from sub-consciously pulling from those influences.

I wish I had read more books and reviewed them in Goodreads (a taxing process and another reason I admire the work book reviewers do). This would have fleshed out my reader site far more than it is right now.

3. I Wish I Had Worked More on My Second Novel

I am finalizing the outline for my second book this weekend. While writing CANCELLED, I worried that if I worked on other projects, I would never finish. This is another area I've learned about my writing strength. Here's the thing: if you have time to write, write. Times where I could write but wasn't in the mood to work on CANCELLED, I had Jill (my next main character) telling me her story. I ignored her. I took a few notes, but basically told her to "Shut up. Wait your turn!" Bad plan... I could be much closer to releasing that novel if I had worked on it. When I wasn't in the mood to write on CANCELLED, but also didn't write anything for PAST DUE, guess what? I didn't write anything. That means HAD I worked on PAST DUE, it would not have affected my release of CANCELLED one bit!

So those are three wishes I'd ask of the Novel Writing Wishing Well. What wish or wishes would YOU ask for? Feel free to share, we can all learn!

A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby. CANCELLED is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords WIP: PAST DUE A nurse, crippled by debt, takes a part-time job in medical investigation only to find the man she's dating is a fraud!  (status: outlining)


  1. Love the premise for your new book. :-)

    This is great advice. When you're self-pubbing, you have complete control over your launch date, so you can schedule yourself to suit your marketing plan. I have the problem of being with a small press that moved my launch date up two months--fantastic for building momentum for Christmas sales--but it kind of blindsided me when I was in the middle of a work project and now I'm scrambling.

    And yes, I wish I'd reviewed a lot more books and built a rapport with other reviewers. We all need to network more.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Anne! What you talk about is one of the main reasons I chose to self-publish. I wanted to KNOW what I was made of before I asked others to count on me to produce. I'm sure if you take it one small piece at a time, you'll make that deadline!

    I guess I'll add another wish for you. Sometimes I wish there was a way to lock myself away from distractions, including the Internet, and NOT have the ability to override it. LOL. :)

  3. We live and we learn. That's the positive side to even negative experiences. Wishing you success with Cancelled!