A couple of weeks back, I had an Options Review Session with someone who wanted to publish a book. He’s written the 12,000 word manuscript in a week. I asked how many revisions he did. Zero. I suggested he revise a time or two or three and then get professional editing. He said that his wife was an English major and “she looked at it and thought it was OK.”
I left the call thinking, “There is a recipe for disaster and heartbreak. It will not end well.” That fellow should read a recent post by Suw Charman-Anderson on the Forbes web site titled “Don’t Publish that Book.” Here’s a core quote:
“If there’s a common flaw in self-publishing, it’s that too many books are published too soon. Experienced voices across the publishing world continually advise self-publishers to get help with editing, and not just copyediting but story editing too. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to properly edit your own work. But the siren call of the Kindle store is often too seductive. The urge to finish your first draft, chuck it through a spellchecker and release it in to the wild is often far too strong for eager writers to resist.”
This is a great post, in part because Suw and a couple of other writers share what it feels like to see something that embarrasses you in print. I’ve had that experience. You don’t want to.
There are two important things you can do to prevent embarrassment.
1. Revise your writing when your ardor has cooled.
2. Get professional editing.
Remember that in today’s digital world, your writing lives forever. That means embarrassment can live forever, too, unless you prevent it.