Should I post my book to Amazon even though I know it’s not quite “done”?

Answer:

 

Sure, if your goal is to watch the wreckage of your career go down in flames before having a chance at life.

 

Amazon has MILLIONS of books. Asking someone to read part of yours, or read the “almost finished” edition not only guarantees you’ll make few sales, but that anyone who DOES read your work will absolutely never look at you as a possible reading experience ever again ever ever ever.

 

I put this last because it’s serious. If you’re an indie author, you already face an uphill battle since a lot of people assume that if you’re an indie you weren’t “good enough” to get a traditional publishing contract – an assumption that is all-too-often correct. So if you’re indie and you want to actually have a shot at selling your book, it has to be not *just as good* as the traditionally-published works out there, but better.

 

Why should someone read Michaelbrent Collings if Stephen King is sitting right next to it? It’s absolutely *not* because they have some need to see what a second-rate writer is capable of. My fans read my work because it’s their favorite.

 

The average self-pub author sells (and this is true) around ten copies. TOTAL. Mostly to family and the few unlucky friends the author sees every day and who will feel guilty until they plunk down their three or five dollars (or whatever it is). If that’s your audience, you could write the word “dumb” a hundred times and probably sell the books to them, so quality isn’t a real high priority.

 

If you want to write for a general audience, you put your best work out there. And if your best work isn’t up to snuff, then you WAIT UNTIL IT IS. A good rule of thumb is that your first million words are terrible. My opinion is that by the end of the second million, you’re probably getting ready to be publishable – and that’s been born out by a lot of the experiences of my friends and colleagues who are successful to ridiculously-successful in this business.

 

Last thing: if you go up to someone and dump your second-rate/unfinished work on them, that’s not writing professionally – that’s a therapy session. That’s you saying, “Here’s what I care about. Talk to me about it.”

 

You know what all therapy sessions have in common? Answer: YOU PAY THE THERAPIST, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

 

Do your best work. Then throw it away and do even better work. Then keep on doing that until you’re not just an “okay” writer, but one who will command attention, admiration… and an audience.