My possible plans for A Simple Guide

27 Jun

I have spent  a lot of time thinking about A Simple Guide to Self-Publishing. I haven’t worked on the marketing of it as I should, there has been something holding me back. Just a niggle, but it has been there.

So what is this niggle?

It wasn’t something I was fully aware of at first, I thought it was self-publishing nerves, the doubts that we all inevitably have. What if our work isn’t well received, what if (and you know how I feel about them) you get poor reviews?

It wasn’t nerves.

When I spoke about the guide, I found myself having to explain the book more in-depth than I feel  necessary. Was it that I hadn’t nailed the blurb enough to create a short explanation? Did the fault lay with me?

Nope, not that either.

As I read blogs, and chat on twitter, I find myself (hopefully) advising people on the steps that they can take to make their own self-publishing experience a little easier. There is something very strange about what I am telling people, IT ISN’T IN THE BOOK.

And that’s the problem.

My guide isn’t as comprehensive as my knowledge. It certainly takes you through the basic steps, and I can, quite happily, hold my head up and say my guide does exactly what I set out to do.  It is great for all of those who want to consider self-publishing that haven’t already got a blog – for those truly at the beginning of their long journey. I know this because I have spoken to many people who are at that very stage. I think as ‘bloggers’ we fail to realise the amount of knowledge we gain from one another about various areas of the industry. I am not even convinced when we sign up for our blogs we know what the purpose of that blog will eventually be.

So I’m thinking…

I interact with writers on a daily basis, each at different stages of their career, each with their own goal. The one thing they all have in common is that they have already done the hard part, they have opened up to the world that they write. they want to have their work read. So the question I am now left with is, what can I do for them?

I have 'borrowed' this image. Click on it if you want to know where it came from. (The site itself doesn't provide the source and I am totally confused by the proper way of doing this image thing!)

I have several options;

* Write ‘A Guide to Self-Publishing’

* Forget about the writing a book thing and just continue to throw out advice as and when someone asks

* Update the existing guide, filling it with everything. It will intrinsically make it less ‘simple’, but it will certainly answer all the questions.

So what do you think? I have to say I am slightly stumped by what to do. My gut tells me to make ‘A Simple Guide’ free, once I have written a more comprehensive one. The idea being you will download the first one, like my interpretation of the process, and then buy the new one. However, I really like being free with my information, and I love helping people. At the end of the day, self-publishing is the one industry that says ‘hey, look at me, im free’ but when you take a closer look, free it definitely isn’t.

The problem with writing a more in-depth guide is I know it will be extremely time-consuming. On such a tight schedule, can I afford to undertake a further project? Sure, I say I have more to add, but I would never add the information without checking it several times first. I would say my writing tends to be 90% research, that is a LOT of time.

As writers we are always seeking perfection. Our last draft is never final in our minds (even if it is on the shelves of Waterstone’s). I don’t think my doubts are that. I want to be proud of what I have done, and I am, I just think I could do more.

Am I rambling? I would love to know your thoughts. Oh and yes, this is self-doubt. (For the record I am afraid of  writers that do not show self-doubt, there is something icky about them!)

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8 Responses to “My possible plans for A Simple Guide”

  1. Ellie June 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Thankyou to you all for your advice – and apologies I am not replying to each of you individually.

    I shall keep this guide as it is. The long term plan will be to write a more advanced guide. On reflection, I shall now start keeping notes of the advice I pass on and know that it is not included in the simple guide. This shall provide me with a useful tool for seeing where those further along their journey are struggling.

    I say in the long term becuase my current WIP is coming along slowly. Not for lack of inspiration, more lack of time. To bring another item to the table at this time probably isn’t the most sensible idea.

    As to where do i want to be as a writer? Well, earning enough for me to be able to make it a career – I guess I just join the back of the queue then!

    • Laney July 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      I’m standing back there with you;)

      • Ellie July 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

        Awww, nothing better than having a friend standing in line with you!

  2. Laney June 29, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    Hm. First, what’s going on with your WIP? Second, what does your heart tell you?

    A second ‘Guide’ would be useful and perhaps fill the void that you seem to feel with the first. With everyone self-publishing, it is a useful tool and could get you and your writing farther out there. IF that is a goal you’re looking to attain.

    At the end of the day, where do you want to be as a writer? There’s your answer.

  3. Candice L Davis June 28, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    My vote is that you write a separate guide. You could give this one away as free to subscribers, this building your email list (if that’s one of your goals). Of course, you continue to build relationships by answering questions for folks on Twitter and such.

    But if you’re not interested in writing another book on the subject, you could certainly let this one stand.

    Good luck with whatever you choose!

  4. Charlotte June 28, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    I think keeping the two separate is a good idea – the simple guide is great as it is, but there’s definitely room for a more advanced guide too.

    Just remember there’s no need to rush through producing a second book. It would be great to do it, but it doesn’t have to be a huge pressure – just get through it as and when you have time.

    And take pride in the one you’ve completed, in the meantime!

  5. FIFALDE June 28, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    Speaking as an interested but non-writer I agree with the previous comment. You’ve written a “Simple Guide” (and it’s worth the money !!). If you want to write a Comprehensive/Advanced Guide you’ll have to rebuild the first – a bit like finding ‘A’ level exams are the same as ‘O’ but in much more detail, some people only want or need ‘O’ level! I hope this makes sense.

  6. Nicole Basaraba June 28, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    This is a hard one. I think if you’ve finished something like the Simple Guide, then you’ve finished it. If you have more to add, to me that sounds like Book 2. It might take a while to write, but I think it might be easier to start building on where you left off and creating a new product with a new name, rather than struggling to revise again.

    I don’t know if this is the best advice, but I think it is a good idea to have a simple (starter) guide and a more advanced one.

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