What Not To Do (link)


Good morning, everyone. I hope last night treated you well. I was up way too late writing, but I have no regrets. My characters might, but I don’t.

Just wanted to share a quick link to something I found interesting. Nothing I hadn’t read before, but I like the way it’s presented, and the writer’s personal experience really fills out the information. Not information that all of you need, but I’m going to leave it care in case anyone wants to take a peek. 🙂

How Not to Publish a Novel in Seven Complicated Screw-Ups

What do you think? Would you debate any of these points? I can at least see the wisdom in all of them, though I know many writers do leave a lot of time between their first and second publications because of marketing pressures and stuff. I might try to have a second book almost ready before I publish the first one… if I decide to go that way, yadda yadda.

I’m going to leave you with this. Writing is fun, isn’t it?



About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. www.katesparkes.com www.tanithfrost.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

15 responses to “What Not To Do (link)

  • L. Marie

    Yes, I see the wisdom in all of them. But there are exceptions to every rule. (And I’m thinking about the first one on her list.) I’m not debating the aspect of making sure a book is publishable. And yes, perhaps, some books need to marinate a bit. But if you are an outstanding writer, maybe you can pull off publishing your first book.

    • katemsparkes

      I think you can (I certainly hope you can!), but it will definitely need work. I’m still working on making my first completed one good enough, two years after I finished the first draft. Putting it aside and writing something else before revising might not have been the worst idea.

      I actually liked this one; I think every other list like this I’ve read has said “lock your first novel in a drawer forever, never touch it again, it’s guaranteed to be irredeemable crap.” I respectfully disagree. No first draft will ever be perfect, but I see nothing wrong with learning as you go if a story has potential.

      How are you feeling?

  • ontyrepassages

    Good advice, thanks for sharing. Technically, this is my fifth book, not counting those that were aborted early on. The first four will never see the light of day. My present WIP will be the first published and there’s another first draft story that’s about 40% written. Two others have loose outlines.

  • Jack Woe

    1. This is the rule I don’t agree with. It depends on the talent of the writer and whether enough rewrites/editing goes into it to make it worthwhile.

    2. When you do this, check if it’s listed at Writer Beware and other such sites. Don’t be naive.

    3. This depends on a lot of things. It may definitely be worth it for nonfiction. For fiction, I believe it’s best to have at least some work in progress when the first one comes out.

    4. David Gaughran talks about this too in Let’s Get Digital. Sales can be improved by small things like changing the cover. But the book has to be discoverable somehow.

    5. I can’t agree more.

    6. I haven’t published anything yet, nor received bad criticism from beta readers and peer reviews; but I agree, it’s pointless.

    7. Do enough research to be able to filter the good advice from the bad ones. It’s not too difficult.

    • katemsparkes

      Thanks for your insightful comment! Glad you stopped by again. 🙂

      People seem to be responding to the first one like she’s saying you can’t publish your first book. She’s not saying that at all. She’s just saying that it needs work, and before you do that, you should set it aside and gain some more experience. You say it depends whether enough edits/rewrites go into it to make it worthwhile and I agree; I think she’s saying the same thing, just with a longer time frame. My first completed novel will probably be the first thing I publish, but it’s taken years to get it the way I want it, and I’ve done side-projects in the meantime to gain experience and perspective. Maybe the key words are “don’t rush out and publish,” whether it’s the first or fifteenth thing you’ve written. That, I’m fully on-board with.

      As I was saying to L. Marie up there, I can’t even count the number of published authors/agents who say to never even consider publishing your first novel. Ever. End of story, no matter how much you revise or edit, no matter how talented you are. Like, it seems that it’s all I read when they mention first novels. So I think advice to let it stew and come back with fresh eyes is far more encouraging. This is the first time I’ve ever read someone saying “Yes, it can be good if you have the talent and commitment, but it needs work.” You’re free to disagree, of course. I just wanted to clarify how I read it.

      I totally agree with you on #2; there are a few sites that will warn about scams. The problem is that new ones aren’t always listed; maybe we should add, “check there, and never assume that no news is good news!”

      Thanks again!

      • Jack Woe

        Yes, you’re reading me right. I am saying “it can be done with commitment and hard work.” Those who read a lot tend to pick up the storytelling and writing habits of what they read. But it still takes willingness to learn and improve to get the first story in a publishable form.

        Unless people just want to put it on one of the free story sites. I don’t judge people who post their first stories er even drafts there.

        I advice people who don’t find any news to write Writer Beware and ask. Sometimes they have information that’s not public.

  • Angela Kulig (@angelakulig)

    Hey guys, thanks for checking out the article! Don’t worry, never did I say you *can’t* publish your first novel–I just said don’t rush out and do it right away. Put it down for a while, look at something, anything else. Some people say never–I think if you are a talented story teller anything is possible.

    Also there is a huge difference in a reputable indie publisher (as in any pub separate from the big six) and the multitude of fly by night ebook publishing operations that spring up daily and don’t provide any services! Never give anyone money/share your money in this business unless they are providing a service to you can not do better for yourself.

  • A.M.B.

    I couldn’t agree more with #5. Not only do I dislike it when an author tweets excessively about her book, but I also dislike it when she blogs only about her book. I don’t want to follow an author who doesn’t have more to say than that, and when I stop following her, I forget about her and her work.

  • Alana Terry

    That’s funny, I came across that post yesterday and found it helpful too. I do think the publishing two books close together is a good idea, but like you said not always all that practical.

  • Jae

    I think too many people trade what they want most (success) for what they want right now (having a “published” book). I’ve seen a lot of stuff self-pubbed on Amazon way before it was ready. That’s not to say self-pub is negative, just that they put their unedited, early draft dribble on their before polishing it up. I found out a writing friend of mine is having her book self-pubbed. Her cover looks amateur, and I’ve read her story. It’s a great story, but the cake isn’t ready to be pulled out of the oven yet. I guess some people are happy with a few hundred sales, and I don’t disrespect that. It isn’t my journey, it’s theirs. But still, people should take their time. It’s harder to win readers over after they’ve already been disappointed by a first book that came out too soon, know what I mean?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Beth Camp

Writer of historical fiction and teller of tales . . .


An Aspiring Author's Adventure

TBN Media

Life, writing, books, dragons- not necessarily in that order. Home of USA Today bestselling Fantasy author Kate Sparkes.

Allie Potts Writes

Author, Writer, & Inventor of Worlds

Ultimately Useless Stories

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

The Wordy Rose

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Shan Jeniah's Lovely Chaos

Finding Yessings and Blessings in Lifes Messings!

Little Rittwolf's Book Blog

I thought having my own blog would help me....Squirrel!....stay more focused. I could be wrong.

The Sword of Air

Stunning new multitouch iBook by breakthrough author R.J Madigan


Read it! 📖 Spark it! ✨

Benjamin Wallace Books

Books written by Benjamin Wallace

Denise D. Young

Wild Magic. Wild Stories. Wild Souls.

chestnut book blog

Read. Recommend. Revel.

B E L I E V E 🦋Life is Never Fair

I gather strength from life’s storms -Jonathan L Huie


LGBT Book Reviews, Cover Reveals & More! We are a group designed to help promote and review LGBT et al books. We were created out of seeing a need and wanted to have that need filled. We pride ourseles of having opinionated reviews that are unique and helpful to the author. Welcome to a world of the best LGBT et al books out there!

Dionne Lister | USA Today Bestselling Author

I love sharing my stories, but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night.

Avid Reviews

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Reviews For Both Self-Published and Traditionally Published Books

Author Jen Wylie's Blog

Welcome to my mind... Blog for fantasty author Jen Wylie

%d bloggers like this: