Thursday, November 1, 2012

To Publish or Not To Publish? That is the question.

I've been writing a series of books for about ten or twelve years now (and the book that actually is the first in the series, and spawned the others, was written back in 1974, the first year of my marriage). Of course, I've been unsuccessful in getting an agent, and have begun self-publishing. The first one is already self-published (Only The Lonely). It has some formatting problems that I need to fix, and my plan is to try again to do that before long. I have two more books in the series that are basically finished. Here's what I'm dealing with, and I'm seeking some advice.

The books are pretty well written. But there is one problem with both of them. According to people who've read them, they're a bit boring in places. One of them, my wife said she would have stopped reading after the first couple of pages. Obviously, this concerns me. I don't want to publish books that are in the least bit boring. Yet, to fix the boring parts would be another round of revisions and having people read them again, and who knows what that might lead to. So, I'm contemplating just trying to fix them up a bit. Try to fix the boring parts without re-writing the entire books, adding new plot elements, etc., and taking another one or two years to try finishing them, or just publish them as they are, boring parts and all.

I have a third book in the series I'm revising now. When I publish it, that will give me three novels and a novella in the series. And there are potentially many more stories in the series.

I want to move on to newer things, whether within the series or completely new work.

Should I publish them as they are, boring parts and all, and move on? Or, should I go through another round of revisions? Another round of revisions is no guarantee they'll be better, and might lead to even more revisions.

While I'm in good health, I am turning 66 soon. I'm eager to write well and write as exciting stories as possible. How long do you labor over the same thing, with no guarantee it's going to get any better, or perhaps only marginally better? And not everything every writter has ever written was a masterpiece. Poets write thousands of poems to get to maybe a handful of great ones.

So, what to do? I'd like to hear your opinion.

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