Monday, 15 April 2013

Publishing Isn't A Race

(WOW! It's been nearly a MONTH since I posted. Double wow. HI EVERYONE. I'M HERE!)

First up, I've noticed a lot of spam-ey comments. And I'm all for freedom of speech, but I'm tired of spam-ey things. So I've turned on the word verification for a little while because I think spammers think I'm an easy target. Sorry if it's a little annoying!

So a while ago I think I mentioned a competition for 13-17 year olds. The prize was a £2000 advance and a chance to be published in e-book format by Random House.

I didn't enter. (Let's analyze me! I have a fear of faliure! I'm a perfectionist!)

 Recently I read this post on Teens Can Write, Too! It's all about being published as a teen writer. And it said something which got to me:

"Age does not matter."

Publishing isn't a race.

It would be silly to try and make it one because.... well... everything happens so slowly in publishing anyway.

So how does this relate to me not entering that competition? Well, someone I know also entered, and when I questioned the terms and conditions of the competition, she said "I don't care. I just want to be published."

And I realized my goal is not "to just get published."

It would be GREAT, sure. I would LOVE to be published right now. But I was staring at my manuscript and I thought to myself "WHAT IF I WON?" (I hope this doesn't sound big-headed. But I figure that if you enter a competition, you have to believe you're in for a chance of winning.) And as I was contemplating winning, I had this sinking feeling. The winners are announced in July. The writer has two weeks to make edits. The book is published in e-book format in July.

My book, the way it is now, is not at its best. I'm proud of the beginning. I'm okay about the middle. The end is a little suckey.

So my goal is to one day be published, and for me to be PROUD of what I'd published.

If I'd have sent my novel in, and if I'd have been so lucky as to have won... I wouldn't be proud of it the way it is now. It can still get better.

 There will be other competitions. There's always something more. I've spent so long on this book, and to rush to get it published doesn't feel right.

And if I actually passed up the only opportunity this book will ever have to be published?


I would cry. A lot. And eat a lot of chocolate and cheese (not together because ew.) But I'd rather be unpublished than be published with something I know could have been better.

What do you guys think? Did I make the right choice? (I once saw a comment from someone saying that at 17 they passed up the chance to sign with an agent because they weren't ready. I always thought AGENT! WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT? But I think I sort of get it.)


  1. No you wee right. You know your book and while no book is ever quite done you know when you are ready to let it go. Besides once published you are on deadlines. Also now I have this overwhelming need to try chocolate and cheese together

    1. Tell me if it's any good :D (And yay, I feel a lot better about it now.)

  2. Sounds like you absolutely made the right choice. If you know in your gut that you can make this ms really sing, then listen to that instinct. Polish, polish, polish,and when you think you're done...polish some more. :)

  3. I get this, and I definitely think you made the right choice. If you do not feel that your manuscript is ready to be published, then you should just wait. Even if that means sacrificing some potential opportunities. As much as I want to be published, I don't want my book to be published until I know that it is as good as I can make it. I know it's never going to be perfect, but I also know that there are still a lot of improvements I can make.

    1. Thanks, Heather (and thanks for not telling everyone HOW FAR from being polished it actually is... shhhhh :D :D D)

  4. Awesome decision!

    Good for you, Ravena. So many people are rushing, I think you are so wise to wait and feel finished. Your art is too important - it's too meaningful - to be chasing anything other than touching other people's hearts and mind with it. I'm so impressed that you see the window dressing for what it is!

    And there is no way this is the last chance for you to be published - for one thing, that isn't a problem anymore, you can always self-publish. But I am sure the Universe will bring you the right opportunities at the right time. :)

    1. YES. I forgot about the Universe helping me :D

  5. I completely agree with you on all your points. Too many people view publishing as a race, and let's face it, there are some sucky self-pubbed novels out there. And because, like you, I knew I had more to learn, I didn't pursue publishing opportunities I had with my first two novels. I waited until I was really sure I was ready. (And it worked out awesome as you can see in my this week's post!)
    Don't be in a hurry to publish, just aim to be the best you can be and publishing will come! :-)

    1. EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *Races over to post*

  6. It's definitely not a race. Be 100 percent sure before you set yourself out there. Especially since you have plenty of writing years ahead of you. (But you are well on your way.)

    Good luck

  7. Good for you, Ravena! Can you IMAGINE the horror if you did get it published and there it was... a permanent unpolished representation of you?

    Keep at it and you'll have something to be proud of :)

    P.S. Cheese & Chocolate combo is an absolute triumph.


      Thanks for the advice! And that's so true... everything in publishing is written in permanent ink (my new year's resolution of sounding wise and failing is now complete. WHOO! :D)