Tip 2: Learn to love the red pencil.
The Business of Self-Publishing Series is a series that I'll be posting once a month in the middle of the month. You can find the first post by following this link: The Business of Self-Publishing, Part 1.
The tip from the first post was simply: Set aside at least one full year to research self-publishing. Comments on that post are no longer live, so if you would like to discuss that post, please send me an e-mail.
The second lesson I learned from my self-publishing journey is that it is almost impossible to edit all the errors out of a book, but that does not mean I shouldn't try to edit all the errors out.
With my first novel, Champion in the Darkness, I had a tech issue. My laptop died with my latest copy-edited draft two weeks before my self-appointed deadline. I had a blog tour set up and ready to go. I had blasted my tiny portion of the web-waves with "upcoming release day" posts. And, I didn't have my latest copy-edited draft.
So, actually, this post has an extra tip for all writers. BACK UP WRITING EVERY DAY or EVERY WEEK. It's necessary. Sorry for shouting in bold, but the reality is, I had the biggest stress of my writing journey over an automatic backup error combined with a pc meltdown.
And, after that meltdown, I made a hugely foolish decision. I thought I could quickly re-copy-edit my book in two weeks and have it completely ready. I worked at it for hours. I had notes for all my mistakes. I thought I caught them all. I didn't. In fact, in my haste, I think I added a few.
So, the second time around, my novel was beta read and proofread three months before the publish date. I went over it again and again. I had my sister-in-law read it aloud to her husband. I checked and re-checked it.
The red pencil, or at least the "red review comments" via word, became my friend.
So, my simple and obvious tips today are: back up your work always (and check the backup system), don't let a self-imposed deadline put you in a bad corner, and finally, learn to love that red pencil!
Readers deserve your best, and your long-term writing career deserves your best.
So, do you love the red pencil?
Of course, like I said before, it's nearly impossible to get all the mistakes out of a book. Last month, I found a missing quotation mark typo the day before a book signing. AGH!