I have been procrastinating this post for way too long.
I wrote Y when I was still in high school. Technically I published it on September 4, 2013, less than three months after my eighteenth birthday. At its heart, it’s not a bad story. It’s just that the book itself was a mess. The one review it has explains this well:
“The shame of it is I think a decent beta reader, or editor, could have pointed all these issues out to the author [and] fixed them before the book was published. I think if they had been caught the story could have easily been 4 stars, even 5. The basic idea of the book, Lyva’s quest, it kept me reading. I had hoped the writing itself would have improved, but at the same time I still wanted to find out what was going to happen at the end. I think this author shows promise. [Their] story idea was intriguing and the book itself just needed polishing to pull it together. [. . .] The issues with the book just overshadowed the idea of the story itself.”
Overall, I recognize that publishing it was the right thing for me to do at the time. I learned a lot of things not to do, gained some experience, figured out how to self-publish, and settled on my writing name. I can see some of my writing strengths trying to break through, but the problems overshadow them. Most of those problems are ones I’ve since learned to look out for and resolve before they get to my betas. At this point, I look back at Y and recognize that I had a lot to learn. The review did include some kind words:
“Again, and this is to the author personally. I think your book was a good first try. I’ve seen worse, way worse. You have an amazing way with words. You’re word choices and how you put them together was poetic. As I said above there are just some things you need to work on. I really don’t want you to see the low star count and get angry or, worse, discouraged. I think if you keep writing, find some dependable beta readers, ones who aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings and tell you the truth, or a good editor, I think that you definitely have a promising future in the literary world.”
I am not discouraged; I have learned and improved.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
(I’ve turned off the distribution channels on amazon. Technically it will still be listed on there, but they won’t print any after the current few print copies sell. I left the kindle distribution active. This is mostly because I can’t figure out how to turn it off and it’s only 99 cents – if someone really, really wants to read it they can.)
Note from the future: [6:10pm EST November 18, 2019]