Procrastination, lacks confidence, or what?

Sharing my experiences with my fellow writers:

About a decade ago, I settled down in November and bashed out 2500-3,500 words a day, having read about NaNoWriMo, before going on a booked holiday, which provided a deadline. I had a complete basic manuscript, ready for the next step. The advice is to put it away for about 6 weeks and come back to it, with fresh eyes, to begin re-writing, editing, honing and improving.

The trouble is, over the years I kept doing that intermittently with increasingly long gaps, and it didn’t progress any further. My beta readers had given me good feedback, and most of all they liked the story and encouraged me, which is good and I am grateful. But lacking confidence, it still lingered on my hard drive with a couple of printed versions in folders under the desk. Just sitting there.

Next I embarked on learning and research about creative writing theory and was thrilled when my manuscript fitted ‘models’ for successful writing. I’d reached a stage where I had to consider how to send it out into the world, if I want a career as a writer.

That put me on an even greater learning journey—publishing. I knew I wanted to go down the self-publishing route, because I know it’s exceedingly difficult to go down the traditional publishing path and its infamous Slush Pile. The advice seemed to be that ‘with self-publishing you retain control’. Sounded good to me!

What I didn’t want to do was to pay just to get a print run done, which means a box of books sits under my desk just to sign and give away. I’ve witnessed that and there’s no point. This is often disparagingly dismissed as ‘vanity publishing’ and, to me, it’s a bit of an ego trip. Not me at all.

I wanted a physical book and an ebook. Where to begin? I started researching and eventually I chose to ask a publishing service to help with the paperback, and I’d deal with the ebook myself.

With hindsight, although the company did a good job (and I was really chuffed to hold a physical copy of My Book) it was for a huge fee and literally just formatting my manuscript for printing, and it’s a myth that I would ‘retain control’. In truth, modern day vanity publishing. I would still have to pay them an annual fee to collect my (so far) barely non-existent royalties. I don’t suppose, unless I’m very lucky, that I will ever replace what I’ve outlaid, for one thing or another, so far. And I am still responsible for marketing.

I dealt with the ebook versions myself, hoping it might help and broaden my options. Last month, I re-published the paperback version myself, which is what I should have done in the first place (I chickened out when I first looked, and I really wish I hadn’t.)

And I still have to learn marketing – it’s by far the hardest thing.

A Charming Bequest
For more info:

So, fellow authors, from my experience my advice is to have faith in your abilities, you can do it yourself, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it’s a huge satisfying learning process, and worth it.

Good luck!

About Caroline Scott Collins

Writer - Creates believable escapism Caroline dreamed of writing and publishing and finally, in 2021, she achieved her goal by publishing her debut novel, A Charming Bequest. She believes it’s important to offer her readers enjoyment and believable escapism with her stories, which she sincerely hopes she does.
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