Though this novel, name to be determined, isn’t the first one I’ve written, it is the first one that I am attempting to self-publish. I have a tendency to fiddle with words and take too long to edit. There is something innately horrifying about people reading an imperfect manuscript, and, of course, all manuscripts are by nature imperfect.
Despite all of this angst, earlier this year I decided to bite the bullet and commit to publishing my next manuscript. I’ve given myself a short turnaround time in order to see what happens when I don’t have months to edit the work into oblivion.
I’ve written about a third of the novel and plan to write at least 20,000 words for each of the next two months. Then I’ll spend the October and November ripping the manuscript apart, stitching it back together, and editing it. With luck, elbow grease, and more than a few finger cramps, I hope to publish the book in December as a Christmas present to myself. Depending on what publisher I use, the book may not actually be available for purchase until January or February.
This is not a timeline that would work for publishing through traditional avenues. When publishers receive a manuscript, they send it through several rounds of revision, it undergoes design work, it has to be put through the production stream, and it involves both the author and the publisher marketing the book to reviewers and potential buyers. These steps all take time, and it isn’t rare for a manuscript to be in production for 2-3 years before it is published. I respect and appreciate the hard work that goes into publishing a novel via these means, but for the sake of this experiment, I will be self-publishing, which, one a manuscript is in its final form, can take as little as 2-4 weeks.
I’m still in the early stages of managing this novel, but it looks like it will be quite the learning process. I’m more than ready to see how this little experiment will turn out.