It's a tough message but in these days of easy self-publishing, it's really important for serious writers to look after their work properly.
Here's what I take from Joe Konrath's post and what I'd like you to copy out and place under your pillow, literally if necessary:
1. Just because you can easily self-publish an ebook (or physical book) doesn't mean it's always a good idea. In fact, it could well be a very bad idea. The dangers of self-pubbing an ebook are much worse than for a physical book: chances are that few people will see your physical book but your ebook will be much easier to sell and spread - which is GOOD, but only if it's good...I am not against self-publishing, honestly. What I'm against is writers thinking they're ready when they're not, and thereby storing up huge disappointment and wreckage for later.
2. If your self-published ebook is crap, it will be ripped to shreds and your reputation will be materially damaged, ruining your chances of successful publication of any sort later. Unless you grow a literary beard of such proportions that no one will will ever recognise you.
3. Your self-published ebook almost certainly is not good enough if you have not had quality feedback on it. That goes for me, after many books published, just as much as it goes for someone completely unpublished.
But Joe has much more to say and many more sensible, practical and honest tips, including how to get that feedback and make sure your writing is good enough. Go read - and let me go and unpack some more boxes.
PS - edited to add: this post was originally written before I moved house, when I thought it was just going to be a matter of unpacking boxes and then filing my nails. OH GOD HOW WRONG I WAS! As many of you will know from my anguish on Twitter, I find myself broadbandless and therefore unable to edit posts and comment etc. So, how come I am editing this post?? Because, sound the trumpets, I AM IN STARBUCKS.
Anyway, I'm very stressed and overwhelmed. I have massive deadlines and tasks to do, and I can now only do them in a café, which is better than nothing but not ideal. On the other hand, maybe I could be the new JK Rowling? That would be nice.
Meanwhile, I haven't been able to use the lovely fact of being shortlisted for the Author Blog Awards, or do anything to promote Wasted. I haven't been able to use the fabulous comments I've had about it so far. And this coming week is the week of phoning plumbers, electricians, joiners, floorers, not to mention my agent and publishers to ask for help. To yell for HELP, to be precise. Meanwhile, thank you to the wonderful Catherine Hughes, who has been a voice of calm and efficiency. I would be nowhere without her. (She's being my assistant for the blog-tour for Wasted.)
Apparently, AOL are deigning to re-connect my broadband account (which I am still paying for) on Weds. After that, and when everything I fully sorted, I plan to dump them, as they have been massively less than helpful. Any suggestions as to who is best to sign up with?
When I am "in a better place", I will reward you all for your lovely support, but meanwhile I need some more time before I can be back to full blog-power. I will be back. Actually, I will be back tomorrow to announce the winner of yesterday's free prize draw for Wasted. Meanwhile, don't forget to become a follower on the Wasted blog if you want a weekly chance of a free book.
Off to drink some more coffee - thank you, St Starbuck.