Eight Things You Need to Know Before You Publish Your First Book, by Sydney Logan

Today, I'm thrilled to host one of my favorite romance authors, Sydney Logan, who's here with a guest post about publishing a novel.... never an easy process. Sydney has just released her new novel Soldier On. Congratulations, Sydney!

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Eight Things You Need to Know Before You Publish Your First Book

Guest Post by Sydney Logan

1. “Writing is a craft. Storytelling is an art. Publishing is a business.” – Author Chuck Wendig

I admit it. I was naïve. I honestly thought I could write my first book, release it, and then start writing the next book. And I did do that. I just did it slowly, because I was busy networking and promoting the first book. I had no idea about the business side of writing. I had to learn fast.

2. Writing a good book isn’t enough.

Again, I was naïve. In the vein of “If you build it, they will come,” I truly believed if I wrote a good book, readers would find me. Quality work and perseverance pays off, right? Here’s the problem with that. My good book is just one of a million good books out there. My novel is just a tiny guppy in the great big publishing sea, and when you write romance like I do, that sea becomes an ocean. You have to find your home in the murky waters. In many ways, I’m still trying to find mine.

3. Self-publishing doesn’t always mean what you think it means.

I honestly thought people who self-published only did so because a) they couldn’t find a publisher or b) they didn’t want to follow the standards set by a publisher. While those things may be true for some authors, it isn’t always the case. Sometimes, authors just want complete control of their books. They are willing to tackle the upfront costs (editing, cover art, formatting, etc.) in order to, hopefully, make a profit later on. After spending two years with my publisher (and having a great experience with them), I am proud to say that I have now joined the growing list of authors who choose to self-publish.

4. Book bloggers are the heart and soul of indie publishing.

Even if an author has a publisher and a marketing team, we still need help connecting with readers. Book bloggers are instrumental in getting books, especially indie books, into the hands of readers. Whether it’s with a review, a guest post (like this one), or a promo and giveaway, book bloggers help promote our book . . . for free. Remember, there are a million good books in the world. The fact that a blogger is taking time for yours is pretty cool. Be grateful.

5. The good reviews will outnumber the bad.

When I published my first novel, Lessons Learned, I was worried about getting negative reviews. The topic of the book was a controversial one, so I was preparing myself for the one-star reviews that were sure to come. I wish I’d known that the positive reviews would FAR outnumber the negative ones. I also wish I’d known that my first one-star review would come much later, from someone who didn’t even read the book. Which brings me to . . .

6. People will rate and review your book who didn’t even read it.

I had no idea this was a thing, but it happens every day. Those reviews just make me laugh, which is good, because don’t we all need a laugh from time to time? You really do have to find your inner Queen Elsa and let it go.

7. A good editor is an angel from heaven.

I have three editors, and they all have different jobs. One is my substantive editor (who checks content, voice, and the overall story). My copy editor looks for grammar and spelling errors, and my proofreader hopefully catches everything the rest of us might have missed. I trust these women to tell me when something isn’t right, and I trust them to help me make it better. Find good editors who want nothing but the best for you and your book.

8. Write what you don’t know.

They say “write what you know,” and that’s great advice, especially when you’re starting out in publishing. But eventually, you’ll have the confidence to spread your wings. For my new novel, Soldier On, I knew absolutely nothing about military life or Army ROTC. I spent hours upon hours doing research on college websites, goarmy.com, visiting message boards, and talking to military wives. Don’t be afraid to research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Getting out of your comfort zone can help you grow as a writer.

Check out the video trailer for Soldier On:

And the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sydney has also set up a playlist for the novel.


  1. Awesome article, thank you Syd and Lissa. :)

  2. Thank you! This was very helpful. :)

  3. Great post! After 2 books traditionally published, I'm going out on my own with my third...I enjoyed your list. Good luck!


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