Rookie Self-Publishing Mistake
I would like for you all to meet someone. His name is Barin and he and a few other people have been living in my head for a couple of years now.
It almost never takes me that long to write a book. Well, not quite true. My first one took 35 years, but after that, the writing went fairly quickly.
The problem with this one was that I planned an open ended series. I had the story arc for this book and the over-arching arc for the series planned out in a week. Once I have that, I can usually sit down and bang out a first draft. But, this time that wasn’t the case. Instead of setting the book in a familiar place, I had to invent the universe from whole-cloth.
I’ve loved sci-fi since I was a kid so thought I was perfectly qualified to write it. That idea led to me just making a rookie mistake that I seriously do not apologize for–though I might when the one-stars come flooding in.
Inventing a universal power structure (government, business hierarchy, and religions), monetary system, and technologies is tougher than I thought it would be. Go figure.
Finally, I got all that to a place I was happy with, edited the book to include all the pertinent information, hints at upcoming struggles, etc. and was happy with the results. Then I put a PDF copy on my reMarkable for the last read through. And almost broke into tears. Something was very wrong. By the time I hit chapter three, it was smooth sailing and I loved the story all the way through to the end. It took a lot of thought to realize what the issue was…
I hadn’t developed the characters very well in the beginning of the book. I mean, they’re well developed to me. They’ve lived in my head for two years; fighting with each other, laughing (and not laughing) at each other’s jokes, and banding together to get the bad guys. I didn’t develop them well for the reader.
That’s where an even bigger problem came in. I am so *&#$ sick of this book that I can’t imagine ever going back and doing another rewrite–ever. I want to move on.
If anyone had suggested they were about to do what I did, I would have spend every bit of my energy trying to talk them out of it. But, I rarely take my own advice. The book was formatted and published by midnight.
There was an incident that was alluded to in the book that happened two years earlier. It partly caused the main conflict. I decided to write a novella covering that story, put it up for .99 and call it Book 0.5, letting it give a better character introduction.
Hopefully that will work. But, it is just another example of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’
I’m a hypocrite–but one with a two-year weight off his shoulders. Oy.