I will have been published for 18 years on the 10th August. I'll talk about that more next week, but this week I wanted to talk about something that I feel not a lot of people do, and that's the regrets that come with publishing. I feel like a lot of the time, there's all the positivity and none of the lows that come with it. There can be negatives to publishing, and while I've talked about them before (found here) I really wanted to focus solely on those things that I regret about publishing the books I have.
It's one thing to make mistakes, of which I have made several, but another thing to look at the publishing path you took and think that if you could go back and do things differently, you would, in any number of ways. For me personally, I adore my début, but I wish that I'd waited to first publish until places like KDP were a thing. When I first looked into publishing, having queried as best I could in the days before places like Twitter and the like, I was in a very dark place. I was very sick, and the one thing I could think about was that I didn't want to die and leave all my stories behind. I wanted to be published even if it was just the one book, and even if I would have to go through a vanity press to do it.
Oh I told you I made mistakes, and that was a huge one. It's one that I made with the best of intentions, but do I wish I could take it back? Oh yes. It wasn't even that I, necessarily, had a bad experience with that publisher, it was just that I feel like a lot of the time, because I published through them, it kinda tainted how I saw myself as an author. It tainted how much I talked about my book, how much I promoted myself, because while it was the only way someone like me was going to get published while as sick as I was, it was a mistake to do it through them.
I know that I'm looking back with hindsight and obviously, I am still alive, but for a long time then I didn't think I'd see thirty, let along forty! I had people who tried to talk to me about my choice, and I had people who tried to steer me away from it, but in all honesty, I don't think it would've made a difference. I was set on my path and nothing was going to stop me, but I feel like it was something that has continued to alter my view of my start as an author, even after all this time.
While we're looking back to that time, I'll be honest and say that another thing I really regret is not pushing more when KDP and the like came out. I saw some success in the start, but because I made some newbie mistakes (bad covers, and formatting) I didn't really think about pushing those books, or getting the new covers sooner. If I'd done that I might no longer be the small fish that I am. I also wish I'd been more careful about promotion, and the choices I made. I wish I'd done more research into publishing itself, and what I could do to make the path all the more smoother for myself.
I could have done a lot differently, and while it's not something I can change now, it is something I think about when I see new writers and authors starting down their paths. Sometimes I see them make choices, and I want to be there to offer them some guidance, and I try to do so, but other times there's nothing to be done but to learn from our own mistakes, and think about our own regrets and keep moving forward, knowing that we can't change the past, but that doesn't mean that we can't learn from it. I do these pieces in the hope that others can learn from mine.
Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!
Monday 7 August 2023
Publishing Regrets - The Creative Process