For anyone considering publishing a book, I know that are a million questions and a million different things to do and a million different options. But starting with this quick guide is a sure fire way to start off on track.
1. Editing is Everything
The most important thing after finishing your manuscript is a thorough edit. Yes, getting people to buy it is pretty important but once readers have they're hands on it they defiantly need to be able to read it. After finishing your manuscript, wait a week or two before you start editing. Give yourself some space from it to gather a fresh look.
Then start with the plot. Read through your entire book and take notes with big-picture elements in mind. Check out the Four Phases of Editing to help out your process.
2. Memorable Title
At this point you might already have your book’s title. Or maybe now you want to change it after all the editing. That's fine. You always want to make you take your time in finding the right title. So here are a few tips:
Keep it short. Titling your book “The Blanks” is a classic for a reason: it gets the idea across in a quick and easy way for readers to remember.
Make it intriguing. Short titles are naturally intriguing. They call upon the imagination. But when in doubt, add a layer. Add a little bit of description with an extra word or two.
Don’t copy anyone. While it’s good to use a tested formulas, you don’t want your title to make people think of a different book.
3. Professional Formatting
Now that the writing is exactly as you'd like it, it's time to format your book. That means chapter headings, aligned text, and page numbers. Again, this is a critical step. Sending your book to agents and publishers, you need to format your manuscript in a standardized way. And if you're looking for a formatter, I will be providing that service here on my website pretty soon. Hopefully just in time to finish your book.
4. Perfect Cover
The next thing you’ll need to successfully publish your book is a strong cover. Your cover provides readers with a visual of your work. Which means it has to let them know that this book is for them. Try something:
Eye-catching. Whether photo-based, illustration-based, or typography-based cover, it must be interesting enough to catch someone's attention, yet not too busy that it's overwhelming.
Genre-indicative. Readers tend to look for certain cover design elements of their favorite genres, so you should match these expectations too.
5. Book Description
Your book description is major factor in getting someone to buy your book. Start by hooking your readers with a headline. Your headline should get readers invested right away. Then introduce the plot. DON'T summarize! Give a brief description of the main conflict. Leave them wanting more. End on a question, or hint at a twist. Make it impossible for readers not to preview your book.
Now your book is published!
But your work isn't done yet. After everything is said and done, it's time start marketing. The hype from your launch will have created a lot momentum. But here are a few more steps to take:
Connect with other authors. Appear for blog tours and guest posting to promote your book. Reach out to relevant blogs, especially to other authors to cross-promote.
Make price promotions. The price can always be better for customers. If your downloads are slipping or you haven’t run a price promotion in awhile, try it out.
Third-party promotional services. No good at self-marketing, don’t have the influence you’d like? Book promotion services can help out.
I hope these essential steps helped you with your book launch. And soon I'll have an even better way to help with the Self-Publishing Guide, expected to be released November 2022. Stay tuned!
Four Phases of Editing
I don't edit my own books. I do the author editor but I do get another editor for my books because I want new eyes that are objective to look through it. I know what I want it to sound like and my brain is going to automatically correct it to sounds that way. But if someone else reading it doesn't hear it that way, it doesn't sound correct. So I get an editor.
And this book, that I'm writing now, I want to get beta readers. For the first time, I'm getting beta readers.
Anyway the editing process. What I like to do for my own books, is I have five different rotations and beta readers are now incorporated. So the first stage is the Preliminary Reading where I just read the whole book once. I don't make any edits. I just take notes on everything I want to change, everything that needs to be changed, from these anything be big to minor details all the things that I think that I should be aware of. I'm talking from dialogue to setting to plot details all of it. Anything that stands out to me or makes me think about it a little bit or something lingered in my head.
Then I will do what I call Phase One edits which is the big picture phase. Here I will be looking at the story and the plot the character and the and setting. Bigger picture stuff that needs to flow throughout the entirety of the story. Phase One is just the whole book. Does it make sense as a whole? Plot beginning to end make sense? I also look in the notes from my preliminary reading too. Then I offer my first meeting with an editor. I'll let her do her thing and I'm I will make the note that I'm looking for bigger picture stuff right now. She'll probably also do editing and content stuff but I am specifically looking for big picture things.
Then I will go into my Phase Two edits which I call the Scene Phase where I simply looking at individual scenes to make sure those scenes makes sense from beginning to end. I'm looking that the dialogue makes sense. How the setting transitions from the classroom to the hallway to the parking lot, does it that makes sense? Does the scene as a whole makes sense from the beginning of end? That's what these edits are for. And then off and away to my editor again.
And now I'm going in with a magnifying glass to make sure that sentence by sentence makes sense. This is Phase Three. If I read this to a 6th grader, will they know that I mean. And looking into another editor who specifically does line edits. Before I was looking at more content type of editors and but now I'm sending it to go through proper punctuation, grammar, all those things.
Once I get those back I'll do another quick run through. I don't plan own editing anything, I don't mind doing it if something else comes up. then I sent it to the beta reader for some final feedback and it's all set.
I do have this whole system set up a format and it’s all there. Go to my newsletter and subscribe, you'll get access to this process.