Don’t Push That Button

imagesAnne R. Allen’s writes:

Forgoing the traditional imprimatur of agents or editors, authors who self-publish become the ones responsible for judging the quality of their work. The problem is that after passing through the creative maelstrom required to write a novel, the author’s judgment about the quality of their story is likely to be flawed.  Rightly or wrongly, the author may be convinced that her story is:

A. So wonderful it would make Hemingway weep

B. So dreadful it’s not worth even a penny

C. Probably good enough

A and C are by far the most dangerous choices, because they are likely to result in premature publication.

On the other hand, if the conclusion is B, and the writer overcomes her discouragement, she may then begin to look for ways to improve the story.

So, how do you improve the story?

Here are a couple of my strategies:

Put it away for a couple of months, work on something else, then come back to it.

Print out some Createspace copies and hand them around to friends. Make sure that they’re friends who like to read and who like to read the kind of genre you’re working in. Listen to what they have to say. Don’t get defensive. 

Read the book out loud to yourself. 

Got any others?

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