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Why I’m Not Publishing My First Book

So I’ve spent the last week removing all of my “Coming in Summer 2020” comments on my website, social media, and newsletters. It was equal parts upsetting as it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I suppose I should start at the beginning.

Summer 2020

I never chose a specific release date for my first book. In fact the idea of releasing in Summer 2020 was an idea I just pulled out of thin air. My first book has been written for a long time and was something I enjoyed reading. Then I began editing and found I didn’t love it as much as I thought I did. As years went by and I went on to write five additional books my writing style has changed, the remaining characters in my series were born and some events needed clarification now that I knew what was to come. You see, I’m a panster (more on that later). In short this means I don’t really have a plan in place when I begin a series. It comes to me as I begin writing. These changes over the years means my book needed a complete rewrite. So I got started.

The First Rewrite

I did a rewrite in May 2020 and shortly after sent it out to my Beta Readers. You can read more about that experience here: Working with Beta Readers. The feedback I got was amazing but I still wasn’t 100% pleased with the book itself. Some of the feedback made it clear each readers liked the book, many even loved the story line but it was also clear they had some of the same struggles I did when reading it. In my first rewrite I added the missing scenes and character development that was needed. This is common while rewriting however my new stuff wasn’t meshing well with the old. The start of the book was repetitive and didn’t move the story line fast enough. As a avid romance reader the last thing I wanted was my readers to skim or skip ahead like I do when a story drags. It was clear, I still needed to do more work.

Learning from Others

I have met a lot of people in the Writing Community over the last couple of months and the advice and knowledge of these individuals is amazing. I met S. R. Severn via Twitter after listening to her and Sarah Bailey share their very vivid and hilarious opinions on their Podcast, Made in Romance. If you are looking for a fun podcast with some conversations about the romance genre then you really should check it out.

As we were chatting online and bonding over Pillsbury Biscuits (Check out the episode called What Not to Use in Sex Scenes…trust me) we got into a conversation about my upcoming book. Sab had shared a bit in one of her podcasts about her experience publishing a book too early and what she is doing about it now. Even though I had some background information on her story from the podcast, what she shared in our chat that day really stood out.

She said one thing she learned during the process was to “…always do the most to ensure you get the quality you deserve.” They were pretty powerful words, we went on to talk about others she knew who also released early or without a final read through and how it effected them long term. Her last words to me on the topic were, “Don’t ever do yourself or others a disservice just to meet that publication date.”

I realized then, many have learned hard lessons in the past so who was I to question the advice?

I Knew I Could Do Better

My final decision to hold off on releasing my first book was simply because I knew I could do better. One of the reasons why I wanted to self-publish was so I would have more control then if I went the traditional publishing route. In my mind it was so I could release books faster however it turns out it’s also helpful sometimes to release books slower.

My manuscript with change recommendations from one of my readers is in the mail and I’m expecting it tomorrow. To say I’m excited would be a understatement. The adjustments I’ve made during this rewrite are exactly what Unbelievable needed. I can’t wait to get the rest completed and back out to for another round of beta reading!

Stay tuned for more! I promise for updates as they come. Unbelievable may not be releasing in Summer 2020 anymore, but the finished product will be amazing.

Happy Reading.

-Nikki Rome

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