A couple of years ago, I wrote about “Six Types of Books in My Library.” In summary, this is how I view my books on my bookshelves:
- Books Worth Keeping: I enjoyed them once, and I’ll read them again.
- Reference Materials: Books with the information I want to keep.
- Books I Plan to Read: I really do intend to read them—someday.
- One Reading Was Enough: I enjoyed these books, but once was sufficient.
- Books I Started But Never Finished: Despite initial promise, I gave up on them.
- Books That Seemed Like a Good Idea: I’ll never get around to reading them.
Running out of space and wanting to downsize, I gave away all my books in the last three categories. Some of those books will be read, many will be thrown away, and the rest will be dismissed—again. At some point, my books in category 3 will likely go, too.
With self-publishing options so prevalent today, anyone can publish a book. The question is, what category will these books end up in? Too many will fall into category 5 and 6. Some may not even rate that high. That’s because too many writers are impatient with the writing and publishing process, cutting short the honing of their work.
While we can’t guarantee that the books we write will end up in the “worth keeping” category, we can increase the likelihood through:
- Careful writing and rewriting
- Listening to feedback from critique partners and beta-readers
- Hiring a copy-editor
- Paying for professional cover design and interior layout
May your next book be one that people actually read and then keep to read again.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book Successful Author FAQs for insider tips and insights.