When is the right time to publish?

The moment a literary agent says ‘yes’ to you!!!

IF you are that lucky! In all seriousness though a good amount of authors peddling their works are self published and that decision comes down to them. That said, one could make the argument that the author decides when to seek out an agent as well. So this piece goes out to everyone.

When to get started on publishing. Honestly, first things first…
-Do you have a completed manuscript?
– Yes, proceed to the next question.
– No, then finish your poem, novel, study, etc, before even thinking about it! You’re putting the cart before the horse!

Has your manuscript been edited?
-Yes, Proceed to the next question.
-No… Get at least three different people to edit the manuscript and then reread the final revision BEFORE doing anything                   else. Unpolished manuscripts are poison to your chances of an agent looking at you twice and are the absolute                         worst thing you can do if self-publishing. Even in professional works, mistakes can be found, but too many mistakes                 can turn readers off to your work.

Are YOU satisfied with it?
-Yes, LIAR!
-No. There shouldn’t be a single person who answered yes. I mean that. A good friend and coworker said to me once that                no artist is ever satisfied with their work. If you are… it may be time to take a step back and do some soul searching                  because to me, that indicates a lack of enthusiasm in said work. It’s like asking someone if they’re ready to say                        goodbye to their child when that child goes to school on the other side of the globe. NO ONE should be saying yes!

Is the story complete and can you be satisfied with it in it’s current form?
-Yes, you’re ready to begin publishing.
-No, do some soul searching. If you can improve your work, do it. If not, Ask yourself this question again.

I ask these questions, because this is what it all comes down to. Are you ready to part with your work? If not, then you should keep working until you’re ready to allow the proverbial baby to leave the nest. It’s always hard, especially if they’re character that you’ve been working with for a long time.


2 thoughts on “When is the right time to publish?

  1. K. Caffee says:

    What do you suggest if you get mixed comments back after it’s gone out? I’ve got one set of people telling me that the first half is boring, and an entirely different set telling me the first half is wonderful. Both sets agree the area under debate get into the character’s head, but it’s the depth of penetration that’s causing the friction. Torn between the two, and uncertain if I want to just leave as is, or push the revisions that I’m working on through. Talk about a severe case of tug-of-war on the mind. (And, the next book is already out with the first readers, with book 3 coming along fast.)


  2. StCyril says:

    Been there. The best thing I can say is to refer to my Author’s advice Pt. 1. Write for you, not for them. Reread it yourself. Are you satisfied with it? Does it make sense and is it something that you’d like to read over and over again?
    If the answer to those two questions is yes, then you’re good to go.
    If the answer is no, then go back, take what both sides say, try to come to some consensus on the criticism, perhaps there is a specific area where both sides say a little work can be done, then focus on that area.
    If you’re totally lost and there is no consensus, then perhaps see what removing one of the slow-moving scenes does to your story and build up some of the more action-packed areas. See how that works and then go from there.
    Only you can be certain that your work is perfect, and you probably never will be.


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