This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
There comes a time on an author’s journey when you have to let go of your book. Your own novel is like a child, and it’s hard to relinquish control and let others in. That’s what I’ve had to do with Don’t Tell the Groom, now that it is being traditionally published.
Having been a self-published author I’m used to wearing different hats and controlling all aspects of my book, editing, marketing and cover design. Yet with a traditional publisher I knew I had to give up that control.
As I’d already released it as a self-published title, I’d already made decisions about the cover and the blurb etc. I wondered how I’d cope when these were changed. My publishers have decided to keep the same cover – which is perfect as I always loved it. So it only really hit when I started to read the new blurb that this wasn’t just my baby anymore. It was really different to what I’d written on Amazon and it was strange to read what aspects of the story someone else focused on. I had to tell myself that one of the reasons I wanted to go with a traditional publisher was for their experience. They write blurbs day in day out and they know how to write them much better than me.
The other element that’s been great but daunting is working with an editor. Unlike when you work with a freelance editor where you can choose to ignore what they’ve said, with an editor who is publishing your book you’re more obliged to listen to them. It’s easy to be stubborn as a writer, after all if you had envisaged something happening a certain way in your book then you would have written it that way in the first place. But when you let an editor on board you open your book up to direction, praise and criticism, and you have to remember their trying to make the final book the best it can be.
As the novel had already been out on Amazon for five months I wasn’t too sure how much I’d have to rewrite before the re-release of the ebook and the print version. My editor suggested that I rewrite the first five chapters, moving the action along quicker. My friends and family who I told about this asked me what I thought of that, and my honest reply was that I was happy to do it. Don’t get me wrong it was hard to do as I’d read those chapters so many times and I loved a lot of elements of it, but if I was going to fully embrace the publishing deal I had to trust what my editor had to say. It was definitely a good suggestion and now I notice a huge difference in pace at the beginning in the novel.
I think it’s going to take me a while to get used to being traditionally published, but it’s been easier since I let go of the ownership of my book and started to trust others.
What do authors think – do you find it easier to let go of your work with each published book? Or do you feel yourself trying to assert your control more with each book you publish?