Don’t Rush to Hit Publish! by Nikki Rodwell – Writing Tips
Don’t Rush to Hit Publish! by Nikki Rodwell – Writing Tips
Our new segment for 2022 is for new authors/writers and written by published authors, titled – Writing Tips. These posts will be shared with you every Wednesday. Our latest post is from author Nikki Rodwell on the subject ‘Don’t Rush to Hit Publish!’. This post contains affiliate links.
Don’t Rush to Hit Publish!
There is so much to do before the big day arrives and you finally hit the publish button on Amazon. If you are new to self-publishing like I was, please read on…your book is worth it!
When I self-published in July 2021 I was both nervous and excited. Being new to the whole world of writing, editing, cover design, etc, I had a lot to learn and spoke to others who had more experience.
There were sleepless nights and many tears as I approached my launch date. But looking back on things, it is clear to me why my experience towards the end became so stressful…
My book went to a fantastic editor who guided me through the process of improving it. At the same time, I was busy with a book cover design company who were taking care of my cover and formatting, as well as providing me with some great publicity material. All these things involve a lot of decision making, and a fair amount of money! This was all about six weeks before my launch date.
As soon as the editing was finished, bang! I was off. I felt an urgent need to get my beautiful new book out into the world. But I should have taken time to breathe – hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Four weeks before my launch day, I sent my edited and proof-read book to my ARC readers. There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on this ‘launch day’ and making sure I got as many reviews as quickly as possible so that Amazon gave me greater visibility.
Whilst my book was with the ARC readers, I began investigating book sites and social media spaces for free advertising. I spent hours doing research on keywords and categories in preparation for uploading my manuscript. I was also reading ‘Mailchimp Ninja’ and learning how to set up an automated email system for my all-important newsletter.
To add to this stress, I began organising a party in August with around 60 guests, even though my official launch date was July 19th.
So, as you can already tell, there was an awful lot going on. I was rushing from one thing to the next like a headless chicken!
Now, the order of things with writing a book should be… write, edit (numerous times), proof-read, book cover, format, and publish. At one point I was doing all the above in reverse!
It started with my launch readers. I was sending daily emails to involve them with the upcoming launch and ensuring they had finished reading my book. I was arranging a free book day so that they could all purchase the kindle version and scroll through.
Imagine my horror when my readers started to notice errors and I was only ten days away from my launch date. Despite having read and edited my book so many times, there were still typos, so I stayed up all night reading it yet again, and yes, there were too many errors to ignore.
I began toing and froing with the company who had formatted my book, who suggested I start again rather than keep sending amendments. I sent the manuscript to a proof-reader friend of mine and between us we did the best we could.
After re-sending the manuscript I ended up paying for the formatting a second time! A simple tip to avoid this? Make sure it has been properly proof-read before formatting. Don’t rely on your editor/proof-reader… read it once more yourself.
With one week to go, I uploaded my manuscript to Amazon with the book cover and blurb details. I accidentally hit publish (probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever done in my life) and had a frantic call with customer services to unpublish.
With the manuscript successfully loaded, I sent off for my ‘author copy’, excited to finally hold the paperback. It arrived the day before my launch. But how had I not noticed that my author bio was missing off the back cover? My photo was there, but no writing.
Hitting the launch button was a bit of an anti-climax, I was so stressed (and tired) by all my stupid mistakes, that it all felt like one big nightmare.
What advice would I give after my experience? Well, apart from finding a superb proof-reader, make sure you upload the manuscript and cover on Amazon with plenty of time to spare. Also, make sure you order your author copy with weeks to spare, not days. Have enough time to go through it with a fine-tooth comb and make any final changes; it reads very differently in paperback than it does on a screen! Only then, would I start contacting ARC readers and confirming a launch date on Amazon.
The final weeks were so stressful that I swore never again. Since then, I have become a fiction writer and am writing a series. Sucker! I am planning to release book one when both books one and two are edited, formatted, and ready to go. I will choose a launch date with plenty of time to prepare and start promoting on social media – possibly 6 months in advance.
At the end of the day, the launch is just a click of a button on Amazon and then it’s done – your work of art is out there for the whole world to see. After spending so many hours creating your masterpiece, and possibly a fair amount of cash for editing and cover design, I believe it is worth holding back; make sure you give attention to the final stages and do not rush to hit the publish button.
In the words of the Cadbury Caramel rabbit – take it easy. There is no race to the finish line.
About the Author
Nikki Rodwell is living the ‘country life’ in North Norfolk (England) with her husband and two dogs. She published her debut memoir ‘Catch Me if I Fall’ in 2021 and is currently working on her first series of fiction novels.
As an advocate for bringing awareness to the stigma surrounding mental health issues, Nikki is passionate to share her voice both in writing and speaking. Poetry and prose have helped her to develop her craft, but also to quietly heal, whilst helping others.
Publisher – Nixie Books
Pages – 289
Release Date – 19th July 2021
ISBN 13 – 978-1916398917
Format – ebook, paperback
‘What happened? ’was the question on friends’ and family’s lips…when Nikki Rodwell landed in hospital with a broken back and spinal cord injury during the summer of 2019. But neither she nor her husband could find the words to explain…
Nikki’s previous psychotic episodes had always been safely locked away under the guise of a nervous breakdown. She had lived her life in fear of the judgement of others, that they might think she was crazy. But this time was different. When a psychosis hit her out of the blue at the age of fifty-two, her hand would be forced; she would have to find a way to tell people what led to her tragic accident.
Tenacious, brave, but ultimately uplifting, Nikki’s honest account of her struggles addresses the stigmas of both mental health and disability. Nikki not only powers through adversity to prove the doctors wrong with their physical prognosis, but also addresses her mental health issues with an inner strength she never thought she had.