Guide to Self Publishing- Wednesday

So I am officially tired of fighting my software. I will go back and film these typed sections but I am tired of making you guys wait. Here it is!

Today we are going to be talking about what to do after you have completed your first draft.


A huge mistake that a lot of self published authors make is that they publish after they’ve completed the first draft of their book. That’s a no no. Because self published novels have the stigma of being poorly edited and formated, we have a responsibility to our readers and ourselves to put even more effort into polishing our work before it’s released.

When you first decide to enter the self publishing world, it can be kind of overwhelming. Perhaps you don’t know anyone that self publishes so you’re left to navigate the world all on your own. I mean, where do you go to get to know people and make connections? Where do you go to find unbiased opinions of your book before it’s released? And most importantly, where do you go to publish?

Let’s start with that last question. Almost everyone in the self publishing community go through Amazon to publish. Their Kindle Direct Publishing set up is incredibly easy to use. It’s so popular that there is actually a forum site set up for the authors that are active with publishing to go and share ideas, plots, covers, and all sorts of stuff. I will warn you by saying that there are a lot of trolls and rude people on there, but I think that’s kind of with any forum website. If you plan on visiting that forum, just be warned.

Another big site pretty common is Absolute Write. This is another fantastic forum site for selfpublishing and I think it’s a little more active than the Kindle Publishing Forum. A lot of authors use Absolute Write to hash out story ideas, discuss frustrations, share expirences and branch out. This along with SFWA (also known as Writer Beware) is a great resource for any would be or expirenced self publishing author.

I also bring up the forum sites because they are a great place to not only network, but to find beta readers, editors, cover artists, and more to help you refine your novel. Pretty sweet, right?

When you’ve completed your first draft, you inevitably will have to find people to read your book, and that’s where Beta Readers come in.

Beta Readers are important because they should be your right hand people. They’re the people you rely on to read your book before anyone else to help you make sure that it’s good and point out any flaws. Once you’ve written two or three novels, you get a little more expirence with who you enjoy working with and who you know will give you honest feed back. I suggest you take a look at my recent Vlog where I talk about scam beta readers, plus take a look at my blog posts Reviews Truths and Extortion and Self-pub Authors Beware! There are Scammers Afoot. I’m very outspoken about self published authors getting scammed, and I want to make sure I can help you start out on the right foot. If you’re worried about getting scammed, then talk to your friends and relatives, those you trust to be honest with you, to see who would be willing to read your book. Of course, I will be doing a more in depth video with the section, talking about the main types of scammers that you might come across, so please look out for that.

Now, you do want to ensure that you can trust your Betas. If you recruit someone you don’t know, you run the risk of having your work stolen, or even having it spoiled before it’s released. After having spoken with a lawyer, I was told that it is definitely a good idea to shell out a couple hundred dollars for a standard non disclosure/ non compete agreement to protect your work. I’ve been told that that idea is stupid and narcissistic, but let me ask you this. Is it better to shell out $300 for an NDA/NCA or spend thousands taking someone to court because they stole your work? Let me spell this out for some of the comments I know I’ll get for this. It does not mean that you are preventing someone for honestly reviewing your book. Once a book is released, the non disclosure part of that contract goes out the window because the work has been disclosed to the public. You protecting yourself from plagiarism and spoilers by having a lawyer write up a contract like that. But of course, if you don’t think your work is good enough to protect, why are you trying to publish in the first place?

I hope this part wasn’t too rambly, but I think I made a good bit of sense. If you have any questions, please be sure to leave a comment. Once I have my editing stuff back in working order, I will do a Q&A video. If you think I missed something, please be sure to let me know. Hope you guys enjoy it.


About Maegan Provan

I am an indie author and proud of it. I try to update as much as humanly possible, but I'm a busy bee.

Posted on October 22, 2014, in Guide to Self Publishing, Tips for self pub and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A lot of great information here! In regards to an NDA, I’ve never used this, but I only hand my book out to betas I know and really trust. Of course, this limits my number of betas. I don’t think you’ll get very many positive responses to the idea of an NDA because it simply isn’t “done.” It isn’t standard in the industry, but with the rising number of plagiarism incidents lately, some authors might either severely limit their betas, or they’ll consider using an NDA. I’m curious to see how things change in a year or two.

    Back to the original point of this point… Yes! Do not ever publish your first draft. The second probably sucks too. Fine tune that sucker before you set it loose on the world. It’ll save you lots of tears and bad reviews.

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