Learning Process

by juliusmsanz

No, I’m not going to talk about education. I could talk a lot about it, but maybe I’ll save it for another time.

What I want to talk about is the learning curve in writing.

It’s a great feeling to have when you finish your story. Especially if it’s your very first one. But to think it is done, is to know nothing about writing.

Revising your work is not as easy as it seems and needs at least quite a few steps, mandatory steps I think, before you can say everything is done. If you are a bit of a perfectionist then the process can take quite a few months, revising tens of thousands of words is no easy task, let me tell you that.

Let’s assume you’ve done everything you could and the job is done. What’s next?

In a perfect world you’d walk into a publishing company and they ran to print it and paid you thousands of dollars. In the real world you need to consider some sort of representation, and look for a real editor to look into your work and find some cracks that you didn’t consider. Let me tell you this: one year ago I thought about starting an editing company that also dealt with publishing. I thought about it because I felt robbed, I was literally robbed as I was given a terrible deal, and felt bitter and angry. If you want your book to be printed you’ll just have to suck it up and get the few dollars they give you, because, like it or not, they want to make money. The deal I took was a print on demand that asked me to do pretty much everything, from formatting to advertising. They asked for a ridiculous amount of money just for putting the book on their website and printing it whenever people asked for it; and the royalties, oh the royalties. Now I considered the costs one year ago and the real setback was distribution, as making books is cheaper than you think. It requires a lot of time and hard work, but it’s fairly cheap. The problem was driving around and giving percentages to outlets.

Becoming well-versed in every single aspect is almost a necessity, unless you want to spend the big bucks and hire graphic designers for your covers, editors to review your work and all that jazz, but even that won’t guarantee that a company will pick it up, and even if they do it doesn’t mean it will sell well. Remember this: they control your work and they decide how much you’re going to get.

Now I don’t know if i’m talking like this because I still feel bitter, maybe I do, but if you wish to save some serious money, and I’m talking about thousands of dollars, you need to learn everything you can about the book-making business, the editing, everything. It’s not time you waste, it’s money you save and wisdom you gain. You’ll know better and consider contracts they offer you, you’ll decide if it’s worth it or not.

What I mean to say is this: don’t end things with your last revision and leave the rest to the professionals; you might not bring some quality material to the table after all is done, but you’ll grow and do better next time.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll talk more about publishing and editing and all that.

Have a nice day!