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September 25, 2013 / anthonykzullo

Please Don’t Self-Publish Your First Draft

When I was younger, I hated the idea of editing. I think this thought probably derived from the fact that it took me so long to finally finish a first draft of something. I was just so happy that I was like, “Editing? I just finished a novel. Screw that!” But alas, editing is important. Because even though it feels awesome to have crossed that threshold of finishing your first draft of your first completed manuscript, remember:  if you want other people to love it too, you should go through a few more drafts.

I’m coming up with a pretty good process for my book, The Guardian’s Charge. So far, it looks like this:

  1. Write First Draft
  2. Rewrite the First Draft
  3. Edit Second Draft
  4. Rewrite Some More
  5. Get Beta Readers
  6. Rewrite Again
  7. Edit Again
  8. Give it to a PROFESSIONAL Editor
  9. Go through the Editor’s Edits
  10. Proofread

I’m currently on Steps 3 & 4.  Editing some parts and rewriting others.  As I go through the process, I’d love to share it with you in future blog posts, so you can hopefully learn from my journey as well.  While this is a time consuming process and not everyone should follow my personal formula for writing books, I feel it is absolutely necessary to do some form of rewriting/editing/proofreading before you self-publish.


You’re ruining every other self-published novels’ reputation by publishing your brain vomit before you turn it into art!  Seriously!  Self-published authors already have a bad reputation as it is, don’t be a part of the problem.  When a self-published novel has flimsy plot, weak characters, and multiple unforgivable grammar/spelling/typing mistakes, it reflects on all self-published authors.  Now I’m not saying don’t share it because you can share it.  On your own personal site, on Wattpad and its other similar sites, or on whatever.  Just don’t put it on Amazon and charge money for it until it’s a worthy product.

How can you tell if it’s a worthy product?  Have people read it that are into that genre and see what they tell you.  Not just your mom though.  As much as she loves it, you probably should give it to another pair of eyes.

You’ve spent a good amount of time on your first draft.  Now spend some time turning it into something extraordinary.


Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.


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