You have just completed the first draft of your book, and it is ready to be uploaded to the specific e-book website. You are about to press the button for it to be published…
WARNING! STOP! DO NOT PROCEED ANY FURTHER!
This is something which seems obvious at first glance, but the more that one writes, the more essential this becomes in retrospect. Presenting a first draft as one’s final draft is a mistake in many ways, for a number of reasons. The story, first and foremost, is not yet ready for final uploading as it has not undergone what I would say is its refining. I find it generally very helpful if I write the first draft of a book, to back away from it. The distance, and time away from the particular book is something the writer needs in order to get their bearings, and really ‘make sense’ of the story on which they are working. If one does not do this, then the story is really being short-changed, and the writer robbed of opportunities to explore certain elements to their greatest capacity.
When the writer returns to the story after a period of, say, weeks, or even a few days, questions will begin to be posed that were not obvious when the story was first written. Maybe some parts of the story are rushed and need to be fleshed out more. Something that seems confusing to you as a writer will no doubt be confusing to the reader, and it is good to eliminate as many inconsistencies and continuity lapses as soon as possible. Adding a character or several may be something else which provides depth and realism to your book. In addition, having a beta reader during this process also assists in highlighting deficiencies which can be corrected by a second reader.
These are just some of the things one might miss out on by releasing their book before it is really ready. Spelling mistakes are another feature of writing that writers stew over. I myself have found that I have uploaded a work which I thought was perfect, but once it is up for the world to see, I find a spelling error! I have found it extremely helpful to make a PDF of my work after I have uploaded, and check it for errors. Maybe the ‘security valve’ of having the book released makes us more open to spelling mistakes, and getting rid of these as soon as we can is a good feeling!
I have briefly summarized some points about why not to release your book before it, and you the writer, are really ready, which I hope has been of benefit. I think the general message is that we should take time with our writing, as it is, after all, an organic process, and not lose the opportunity to showcase our works to their best.