Some of the best things yet to come are behind schedule.
There’s a term I like from the video game industry; the game will be released … when it’s done.
It can be hard as a self-publisher to realize your deadlines are self imposed. Now I’m not against deadlines. Deadlines help to push us, to test our limits, and can often be the fire in which great work is forged, etc.
But we’re in charge of when we hit publish.
On the one hand it’s great. We don’t have to wait 60 days or a quarter for our finished galley to turn into printed page. We can finish a work and have it up for all to see in the blink of an eye.
Or we can wait and wait and wait and never hit the button.
When do we hit the button? When it’s done!
Let me speak by way of example. Brian (of Brian D. Buckley) is taking time away from designing the AI that will eventually bring about the destruction of mankind to beta read my book (if I keep writing books we’ll all be safe). He’s the triple threat of programmer, writer, and OCD (no, you can’t have him, though I guess I’ll share him with his wife), and he’s got some good feedback. Now I was thinking of locking the draft so I could get the book into the different formats (the little red haired girl’s been doing a great job of cleaning up my words). I want this work out there so I can share it with all of you, and move to my next project.
So should I ignore his comments?
NO. No no. Nuh-uh. Not if it makes the draft better. I mean as always I have final discretion … blah blah blah … but he’s seeing some great things that will make the book clearer and more worthwhile to the people who will buy it. That’s a win-win. People will enjoy the work that I (and others) have worked so hard on, and I won’t feel like I rushed it, that I pushed the project out just so I could be done.
We have the rare opportunity as self-publishers to be in more control of the process than ever before. Now I’m not saying not to finish things. Eventually even if tiny tweeks can make it better, a book needs to be published if anybody’s gonna read it. But don’t rush, take a breath. And for heaven’s sake don’t stress yourself out if you miss a deadline. Reassess the work you have left to do and set a new one.
BTW, the fractal book is nearing completion and should be available on Amazon and Bundle Dragon sometime soon. When you ask?
WHEN IT’S DONE!