When It Is Better Not To Publish A Book

It Is Better Not To Publish A BookWriters know that not everything they write is worthy of being published

There can be a thousand reasons why a story or even a non-fiction book doesn’t work, but what often separates good writers from the not so good, is knowing when not to publish.

However, it is easier said than done to make the decision to send a whole manuscript to the trash can.

While I don’t count myself as a great writer, I do possess quite a list of manuscripts that are filed away in a deep dark corner of my computer’s hard drive.

And these were lucky, as a lot of my writing has ended up in the trash can and will never be seen again.

If you are self-publishing for the first time, it is difficult to know if you have written a good or not so good book.

Without a doubt, the best advice is to seek as many independent opinions as possible before deciding to publish, as publishing a bad book will certainly mean bad reviews and a loss of reputation.

For those authors who have published a number of titles, experience usually tells, and they know if they are on a winner or not.

The telltale signs of a bad story are often long periods when the story just will not flow, or when ideas dry up. Some may call it writer’s block, but for whatever reason, even after slaving away and crunching out twenty or even fifty thousand words, there is a gut feeling that it is not working and it’s time to stop.

Again from my experience, I have found on occasions that the relief of making the decision to give up on a story lifts a weight off my mind and very quickly, a new idea springs to mind and has me writing freely again.

Of course, self-published authors have the opportunity to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. This though creates a different situation and decision to make.

Once a book has been published, it is tough to remove it from sale. The danger signals are of course, bad reviews and poor sales. If a book is damaging an author’s reputation, it may well be worth considering removing the book from sale.

However, some books may well be very good, yet have very limited reader appeal. In this case, it could be better to leave the book available, but learn why it has limited appeal, and then redirect book marketing to the particular niche market.

Making the decision not to publish a book, or to remove a book from sale is never an easy thing to do. But it is part and parcel of writing and self-publishing. Experienced writers know this. The inexperienced learn it, and then go on to become better writers.

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

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