Divas On Writing
Instant Gratification: What’s the Hurry?
Instant gratification, oh what a lovely thing to have with just about anything. Am I right? Hawaii? Let’s go. A new car? Why not. The new issue of People magazine? Snatched that up. Instant gratification can happen with so many things.
For me, I would love to buy a new Coach purse NOW. But do I really need this? Is this the purse for me? What would I do with the money I would have used to buy this purse? What will my husband say if I came home with this overpriced purse? Is it bad to want a new purse? No. But I don’t need it, and I don’t have the money to spare of such things that would only inflate my materialistic cravings.
How does this relate to writing. It’s simple: Some authors will bend to instant gratification in their need to hit the publish button. It’s the quick draw effect. It’s just like me with the purse, I itch to buy the handbag the same way authors want to start selling their books—it’s often because we aren’t thinking from the most professional standpoint and are fueled by other more altruistic reasons.
I have seen this happen so much in independent publishing. Authors write something quickly, edit it even quicker, and then publish it. Their books are riddled with mistakes, there are plot issues, inconsistencies, poor development, and it reflects poorly on the author. Essentially, these types of authors aren’t giving themselves enough time to put out a quality product. They are doing a disservice, not only to their brand, but to their readers. They feed on the gratification of reviews, sales, and adoration from their loyal readers. Granted, they can sell tons of books or garner rave reviews, but do you take them seriously as a professional author?
A lot of the times, no. They are quick service authors. They fill, not only their own instant gratification, but the readers. They don’t grow as writers and don’t learn from their mistakes. Because their attitude is why fix anything if it’s not broke, right?
Can you imagine the readership they can’t reach with this mentality? Authors need to think of the bigger picture, a quality product doesn’t come from this type of writing and publishing. It’s instant gratification publishing.
So what to do about combating instant gratification? First, you have to realize that it’s what you’re doing. Are you releasing books so quickly and leaving not enough time to polish your manuscripts? Are you scratching your head because of your negative reviews? Then you have an instant gratification problem. The fix is so easy.
Take time. Take tons of it. And then take some more time.
I tell my authors that you can never stop revising your work. Knowing you’re putting the best work you can do out there is when you can sit back and hit publish.
Here’s some helpful advice.
- Don’t set your publishing date until you have a full manuscript finished. This is after you’ve already made your revisions, edits, rewrites, and pre-reads.
- Give yourself enough time to edit. Many authors who choose to use an editing service will know that this step will take some time. It depends on what type of edit you use but typically editing should take between 1-3 months for independent authors. Not days or weeks, but months. This should cover the author’s revisions, editor’s recommendations, more revisions, and proofreading. And then time to do it all over again.
- Don’t set your publishing date until you are in the editing process, usually after the first stage of editing. You can be rest assured that you can make your date because not only is your editing well underway, but you can judge if you can make your self-imposed publishing date. You can then promote your date and feel confident about it.
- Learn to not appease your readers but yourself. Many times authors will cater to what their readers or reviewers will say or ask of them. It’s not necessary. You’re writing for yourself foremost.
- You’re not in it to sell but to write. Remind yourself why you became a writer in the first place. To write.
Stop hurrying so much and take more time to put your best foot forward. You will come to find that putting a stop to instant gratification publishing will not only show in your work but in your sales.