To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#1
I know I'm asking about this way too early into the game, but I'm curious.

At what point did you start focusing on finding a publisher/self publishing? How many views, reviews and readers would you say your fiction should have before you would think "I think people would read this in a physical format"?

I'm currently on my 3rd Volume of my Web Novel, and I was thinking "Simply writing is fun, but I feel like I should be doing something else along with it".

Every chapter is extremely fun to write, and each comment I get on a chapter fills me with happiness, but I've always wondered just how the entire process of "getting the book printed" is actually done.

This isn't that serious or that pressing of an issue, I just couldn't find any proper documentation on publishers talking about their experiences anywhere on the net (that wasn't blown way out of proportion).

Re: To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#2
Curious as to why you're not thinking about ebooks and audiobooks primarily as those are most of the market but I started writing with self-pub in mind. Chances are you are ready to publish.

If you need something special though:
https://davidgaughran.com/books/lets-get-digital-how-to-self-publish/
This is everything you need or has links to the next steps, and it's free on kindle.

Re: To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#3
I think it's less about your success on RR and more about when you're ready to be done with a book.

If you still need to write a final draft to clean things up, then you obviously want to wait to publish until after that's done.

On the other hand, if you don't plan to write another draft, you're confident that you have the necessary skills, and you have the money saved for a cover designer and editor, then there's no point in waiting around!

Re: To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#4
Weavervale Wrote: Curious as to why you're not thinking about ebooks and audiobooks primarily as those are most of the market but I started writing with self-pub in mind. Chances are you are ready to publish.

If you need something special though:
https://davidgaughran.com/books/lets-get-digital-how-to-self-publish/
This is everything you need or has links to the next steps, and it's free on kindle.
Thanks so much for the link! Guess I better hit the books (ehe), but in all seriousness, this is just what I was looking for: a giant piece of documentation that explains thoroughly what I have to do from beginning to end!

In terms of ebooks, I never really considered it, as I thought it to be even less forgiving than physical copies for some reason. Guess I should give it more thought.

I did consider AudioBooks, but gonna be honest I never listened to a single audiobook, so I have no idea how it's supposed to look like when all's said and done.

Oh, and I'm not even close to finished lol, in fact this is quite literally still the prologue even 3 volumes in, I'd say (since MC is still a teen). The original draft planned for 15 volumes, but since then new ideas kept popping up and have since boosted the number of volumes closer to 20.

Again, thanks so much for this, I'm still a fledgling, so it'll probably take a while before I get the hang of things.

Re: To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#5
David Wrote: I think it's less about your success on RR and more about when you're ready to be done with a book.

If you still need to write a final draft to clean things up, then you obviously want to wait to publish until after that's done.

On the other hand, if you don't plan to write another draft, you're confident that you have the necessary skills, and you have the money saved for a cover designer and editor, then there's no point in waiting around!
Yeah, I imagine the number of revisions ahead of me is pretty big. Not to mention I'm still at the beginning of the story, but I do agree that I shouldn't measure my books quality by it's RR popularity. Even I considered this to be a naive way of thinking as I asked the question, but I didn't know how else to ask.

Thanks for the advice, I'll take it to heart and hopefully make a book worth reading!

Re: To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#6
LashBrown Wrote:
David Wrote: I think it's less about your success on RR and more about when you're ready to be done with a book.

If you still need to write a final draft to clean things up, then you obviously want to wait to publish until after that's done.

On the other hand, if you don't plan to write another draft, you're confident that you have the necessary skills, and you have the money saved for a cover designer and editor, then there's no point in waiting around!
Yeah, I imagine the number of revisions ahead of me is pretty big. Not to mention I'm still at the beginning of the story, but I do agree that I shouldn't measure my books quality by it's RR popularity. Even I considered this to be a naive way of thinking as I asked the question, but I didn't know how else to ask.

Thanks for the advice, I'll take it to heart and hopefully make a book worth reading!
Royal Road popularity is a very hit-or-miss thing, in some ways. I, personally, would focus on editing my stuff once I got to a significant point, and most definitely once I got ready to publish online...heck, maybe it's time I did. I'll probably buy that book too.

Re: To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#7
It's never too soon to think about publishing. When you should start acting on those thoughts depends entirely on your goals.

Do you want to be published by a publisher? An indie publisher, or a traditional publisher? (If you're posting your story online, trad probably won't touch it without an insane breakout success story to push it, so you're probably going to be heading for either self or indie.) From my experience, you probably need at least a couple thousand followers to catch the notice of someplace like aethon, and you'll want at least one finished volume of the story. The more the better; the reception on RR isn't a direct indicator of how well it'll do on amazon, but it is a good initial check of the story's viability.

Do you write because you want to be published, or do you write for fun and want to publish as an incidental? If you are writing specifically for publication and haven't read this post yet you really should, as it's specifically aimed for RR writers planning to do this seriously.

If you're writing for fun, then there are no rules and you can start pursuing self-publishing whenever you feel like it. Amazon has all the tools necessary to get your book formatted for ebook, paperback, and hardcover very simply; there's no barrier for entry if you want to get yourself or friends a copy. If you want to appeal to a broader audience and are serious about selling, you'll want a professional cover design and edits on your story. Marketing stuff isn't my forte, so I can't speak to that, but once you get that far I'm sure there are people who'd be willing to help you.

If you can find a writing group, do. Get involved with other writers. Help workshop their stories, and have them critique yours. Even just running the concept by someone else for viability can be a huge help. My story wouldn't exist without the help of the writers in my group; from basic concept to individual chapters that may be sticking. I also used a lot of reader polls at first to help guide the story, but I'm a specific sort of writer who likes the challenge of writing with unknown variables; it's definitely not for everyone.

Re: To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#8
Aster Wrote: It's never too soon to think about publishing. When you should start acting on those thoughts depends entirely on your goals.

Do you want to be published by a publisher? An indie publisher, or a traditional publisher? (If you're posting your story online, trad probably won't touch it without an insane breakout success story to push it, so you're probably going to be heading for either self or indie.) From my experience, you probably need at least a couple thousand followers to catch the notice of someplace like aethon, and you'll want at least one finished volume of the story. The more the better; the reception on RR isn't a direct indicator of how well it'll do on amazon, but it is a good initial check of the story's viability.

Do you write because you want to be published, or do you write for fun and want to publish as an incidental? If you are writing specifically for publication and haven't read this post yet you really should, as it's specifically aimed for RR writers planning to do this seriously.

If you're writing for fun, then there are no rules and you can start pursuing self-publishing whenever you feel like it. Amazon has all the tools necessary to get your book formatted for ebook, paperback, and hardcover very simply; there's no barrier for entry if you want to get yourself or friends a copy. If you want to appeal to a broader audience and are serious about selling, you'll want a professional cover design and edits on your story. Marketing stuff isn't my forte, so I can't speak to that, but once you get that far I'm sure there are people who'd be willing to help you.

If you can find a writing group, do. Get involved with other writers. Help workshop their stories, and have them critique yours. Even just running the concept by someone else for viability can be a huge help. My story wouldn't exist without the help of the writers in my group; from basic concept to individual chapters that may be sticking. I also used a lot of reader polls at first to help guide the story, but I'm a specific sort of writer who likes the challenge of writing with unknown variables; it's definitely not for everyone.
Wow, this is... incredible. I have no idea what else to say, as you've basically answered all the questions I had as well as the followup questions.

I am indeed writing with the intent on publishing the book one day, but I am also writing with the intent to make the book "something that's organically me". I'm not sure how to explain it, but think of it this way: I wanna succeed as an author purely because I want to and I believe I can accomplish this with enough trial and error.

As for the link, I'll check it out immediately, as it seems to be exactly what I need (tysm!)

All in all, I do think that finding a writer's group would be beneficial, but god damn is it hard. I've noticed myself at times that what seems to mostly be missing in my work is a group of people to reliably check it, but I'm sure this too will come in due time.

Thanks again, it means the world to me!

Re: To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#10
Weavervale Wrote: There's also the option of forming your own writers group.  Put out a single here or discord and usually people will show up. I run an accountability group on the dragon realms saga discord server and mine you're welcome to join. A few of those writers and authors would probably join.
I will gladly take you up on that offer. Could I ask for a link to the server, please?

Re: To any published authors, at what point is it okay to start thinking about publishing?

#11
Weavervale Wrote: Curious as to why you're not thinking about ebooks and audiobooks primarily as those are most of the market but I started writing with self-pub in mind. Chances are you are ready to publish.

If you need something special though:
https://davidgaughran.com/books/lets-get-digital-how-to-self-publish/
This is everything you need or has links to the next steps, and it's free on kindle.
Bought the book in print. I've read about half of it, now.