Thursday, May 20, 2010


by Dave White


Take a deeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath.

Are you a published author? Are you someone who wants to be a published author? Do you have an idea, a concept, an outline, fifty typed pages? Do you know every in and out of the publishing world, the promotional ideas, and what you're going to do when you get that book deal?


Forget it all. Take all that stuff about a changing world and put in your back pocket and save it for later.


Write the book.

Bury your head in the sand. Forget what all the blogs are talking about (EVEN THIS ONE) and write you book. Write the best damn book you can. Revise it until your eyes bleed. Revise until your fingers are numb.

Worry about what's in the book. Are you writing what you want to read? Good.

What gets lost in all these blogs on the publishing industry that writers read is the book itself. It is so easy to put the cart before the horse. Yeah, when you HAVE A BOOK DONE you want to figure out the best way to get it in front of an audience. You want to know if there are going to be publishers out there to put it in front of readers.

But remember, at this stage of the game, YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE A FINISHED BOOK. You have an idea, some pages, and a "favorite places" list full of blog posts.

Write your book. Enjoy the process.



Unknown said...

Excellent advice, Dave. And so very easy to lose sight of what should be - but isn't alwyas - an obvious fact.

Love this site and appreciate what you've got going here, so I've linked it on my blog.


Unknown said...

Ps. For the record, I know how to spell 'always'! :)

Ron Earl Phillips said...

How'd you know I was putting the cart before the horse? Are you watching me?

Yes the fundamental rule of writing a book is to finish it. But it's so much easier to think ahead and otherwise.

This post had nothing to do with eBooks. (:{]

Chuck said...


Richard R. said...

Huh? You mean those vanity publishers don't provide the text, too?

Jarrett Rush said...

Excellent advice, and something that I keep saying to some of the people in a writers' group I meet with.

And, Col, I got the boot from my school spelling bee in the fourth grade for goofing up 'against.' First kid out. I have never messed up that word again.

SueH said...

Dave - a timely reminder to 'create' the product before you try to market it!
I've been having a bit of an affair with flash-fiction for a little while and sorta ignored the ongoing project - but I've just forced myself to get back to the 'big' WIP - and thoroughly enjoying rediscoving the passion of it!

Will follow Col's example and link you on my blog!

Erin said...

I recently saw someone say that the only things remaining constant are the authors and the readers. Everything between them is changing (and becoming more efficient). Overall, I think it's going to be better for both authors and readers in the long run.

Karel said...

What what if the question really is:

Should I write a 30 page book or a 300 page book?

What if the game has changed and the distribution has actually transformed the product?

Just asking.

Jarrett Rush said...

You still have to write those 30 pages, Karel. But it's a very interesting question.

Dave White said...

Thanks for the comments. Clearly, if publishing changes to the point where they're only taking short stories and calling them novels, you're going to have to pay attention to that. But beyond that just write your book and worry about the rest later. I have tried to be blissfully ignorant about publishing and it worked when I wrote my first two books. I know more now, mostly because it's impossible to admit it, but sometimes ignorance is best.