The quickest way to write a book isn’t the best way to write a book because sacrificing quality for speed creates risky blind spots to your reputation as an author.
“You cannot fix a problem that you refuse to acknowledge.”Margaret Heffernan
Imagine us as authors, like cars.
We have rear view mirrors with blind spots, where objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear, and things can sneak up on us seemingly without warning. Mindset things that can thwart our best laid plans and most concerted efforts as authors.
Here’s one I see all too often as a book writing coach: Authors rushing their books to print, circumventing quality in the name of speed. I get that launching and marketing a book is more entertaining than the long and tedious process of writing and editing a great one.
Kicking out an average book is the path of least resistance. Crafting a great book is a journey of the most resistance.
That’s why, when I hear through the grapevine about books that are well marketed, but not-so-great quality wise – I cringe.
I cringe on behalf of all the authors, especially the indie ones because traditional publishers generally don’t allow cringeworthy books to grace bookstore shelves.
Don’t misunderstand me, self publishing is great. It removes the barriers and allows us to get our work out to our readers without first asking for permission. But sometimes it’s TOO great at doing that.
Self publishing puts the onus and responsibility on the author to ensure that what is published is our absolute best effort. By best effort, I mean a well developed, well thought out, well structured, well written, and well edited work. The best we can do with the resources we have, and without justifying otherwise.
Investing a ton of money, time, writing habits, and resources into promoting a book that you know is not your best work can weigh on your soul.
Even if nobody tells you to your face, even if the reviews are all polite 5 stars from your friends – you know the truth in your heart and soul as an author. You could have done better. You could have asked for help. You could have gone the extra mile.
If this is sounding personal, it’s because it is.
I did this to myself early in my career. Maybe a couple of times. Trust me, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Don’t quit the process early, no matter how tedious the process is to write your best book. Ask for help if you need it.
Don’t get stuck in the cognitive blindness that “it doesn’t matter,” “it’s fine.” Don’t convince yourself that the marketing is more important than the product.
It’s not. It never is.
The product is always more important, especially when it’s a book that’s conveying your stories and messages. Poor quality means a failed mission. It means your message, not conveyed. Reader impact not received. It means a missed opportunity for you AND your readers whose lives you could have truly impacted.
Objects in your blind spots are more dangerous than they appear.