A common – and rather large – mistake a lot of indie authors make is clicking the Publish Now button before they’re ready. A long time before they’re ready. The reasons for this are easy to understand – excitement and impatience. Excitement because their book/short story is now finished. Impatience because the world deserves to see their work as soon as possible.
Unfortunately excitement needs to be tempered, and patience nurtured. Before you click the shiny and tempting button are you sure your work is ready? 100% sure? Completely and utterly sure? Really? Well, just to be safe, check it again.
Let’s be honest – most of us can’t afford to use professional services, especially for short stories and novellas where any return will only be a small percentage of an already small selling price. But, this is NOT an excuse. There are plenty of free resources available – friends and family for spelling and punctuation errors – beta readers for grammar, pacing and plot advice – software such as ProWritingAid to highlight many other issues such as too often repeated words/phrases, sentence/paragraph length, adverbs, initial pronouns and so on. Yes, this all takes time, yes this is all boring and mundane; yes this is essential, hence the need for less excitement and more patience.
And after saying all that – guess who is guilty of ignoring his own advice? Yes, that’s right. Me, that’s who.
So for the past week or so I’ve been re-editing (and rewriting parts of) my short horror story ‘Watcher’. I was too impatient. I was too excited. The world needed to read my short story NOW! I clicked the ‘Publish Now’ button and sat back smugly.
It’s bugged me ever since. I knew it wasn’t right, I knew it needed improving. Don’t get me wrong, the story has been well received – 31 reviews on Amazon (.com and .co.uk) so far, 17 of them Five Stars, the other 14 Four Stars. And I appreciated each and every one of them – a good review makes a writer’s day, week, month. It makes it all worthwhile.
But at the same time I didn’t feel right about saying to people “yes, I have a story on Amazon, I’ll love you forever if you buy a copy and give it a good review”, when I knew deep down it wasn’t as good as it could have been.
I have now rectified the situation. I’ve rewritten the parts I wasn’t happy with (the story is now about 600 words longer), tidied up the writing style and trawled through the entire text doing my best to eliminate any spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. If some still exist then they are deliberate… well no, not really. They are entirely my own fault and I apologise immensely.
Watcher – A Short Story Of Terror is available for purchase through Amazon Kindle. If you feel so inclined why not head on over and get yourself a copy. If you do, and you like it, maybe take a few minutes to leave a review? I promise to love you forever if you do…