You’ve finished writing your book, what’s next?
As many of you know, I started to Independently publish in 2008, after publishing 28 novels with Traditional publishers. I haven’t looked back since then.
HOWEVER, I wrote my newest book, The Indie Writer’s Handbook, as a ‘step-up’, if you will, for new Indie writers/authors as well as more experienced Indie authors and those traditional authors who are putting out their backlists or new Indie work.
It is a given fact, readers are looking for and requiring the books they purchase, even for as little as 99 cents, to be published as any book should be, with a good story; a sharp and well-designed cover; and professional editing and proofreading. Without those three basic standards, a book should not be put into the marketplace.
My intent for The Indie Writer’s Handbook, is to give those writers entering the Independent publishing arena a step by step guide for publishing their books.
My handbook takes a new Indie writer from their final draft to the launch of their book. It is not a book to teach anyone how to write; it is an aide to guide the writer into producing a professionally crafted book, be it a novel or a work of nonfiction.
My hope is that this book will inspire other writers to bring you many more novels and books for all readers to enjoy! And perhaps The Indie Writer’s Handbook be help those of you who haven’t written yet, but are beginning to toy with the idea (It’s never too late to write) and may one day write a novel, or a nonfiction book
A portion of Chapter 1 follows below.
Until next time, have fun reading.
From The Indie Writer’s Handbook.
Release Date 9/1- Pre-order available
The Final Draft—Or Is It?
Your book is done, you stare at the last words on the last page and there is a sensation of triumph like nothing you’ve ever felt before. Writing a book is no small accomplishment. Then reality hits. How do I get it into readers’ hands? Once your book (non-fiction/fiction) is written, you need to start the first of the ten basic steps in the Indie publishing process. How to get your work into a reader’s hands is not one of those steps. However, it is the very beginning of the final pre-publication processes. Rest assured, when you are really ready, you’ll have your answer, for now, we’ll go in order of the steps.
There are ten basic steps in the initial publishing process, which are followed by another eight pre/post publishing steps. Once steps 1-9 of the initial publishing process are completed, such as the editing steps, cover design, copyrighting and others, your next steps (10 & 11) are to set up the publishing and selling outlets, and send your book to the beta readers, which is the very first time your book reaches a reader’s hands.
Steps in the Publishing Process
- Final manuscript draft
- Formatting for editing purposes
- Structural Editing
- Line Editing
- Copy Editing
- Proof Reading
- Cover Artist
- Formatting for eBook and online sale
- Formatting for Print Book sales online and bookstores
- ISBN for an eBook
- ISBN for Print Book
- PUBLISHING: Understanding Your Retail and Distribution Outlets
- eBook Publishers
- Print Publishing
- Proper Set up of Publishing and Selling outlets
- Pre-Publishing Upload and Beta Readers
- Pre-Publishing Upload
- Beta Readers
- Early Marketing Strategies
- Reviewers and Reviews
- Prepare the Advertising Schedule (first and second quarters of the book’s release)
- Marketing and Advertising
- Launch Release Marketing
- Ongoing Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Professional Organizations
STEP 1: THE FINAL DRAFT
A final draft generally comes after one or more rewrites. For me, my final draft—the one going to my editor—is usually my third draft (which is a combination of my second and third drafts). My second draft is done by working with the hard copy, rather than the electronic version.
After making all the corrections and changes by hand, I then work with the electronic version of the manuscript and make those changes on the computer. This also gives me the opportunity to consider and reconsider my handwritten changes.
Once that’s done, I’ll reread the manuscript to make certain it’s what I want. Then, and only then, do I start the editing process. Not my editing, my editor’s editing.
Without the proper editing, your book doesn’t have the chance you need to make everything right. A good professional editor, an expert in the editorial process, will not only spot what’s wrong but will spot what doesn’t work from their trained perspective. Remember, you are extremely close to your work and in most cases, cannot be impartial.
Once the changes from the editor are implemented, it’s time to move forward.
“But why do I need an editor? I know English, I’m a good writer, and I have great editing programs on my computer, like MS Word, or Grammarly, so why would I spend money on an editor?”
All I can do is ask you to think about this. Why do publishers pay editors to edit books? Why does every book, fiction, and non-fiction, go through the editing process at a traditional publishing house?
The answers are simple. A good editor does exactly what is necessary to make a book not just readable, but exceptional. Professional editing will make or break a book, and a book, no matter how good it is, cannot survive without proper editing,
One reason why so many Indie books are not given proper respect, is because many are of poor quality. Great stories tumble to the bottom of the pile, or are returned to the seller because of typos, misused words, and poor formatting. These issues are some of the reasons why you need a good editor to make certain your book not only rises above but presents your reader with an experience that gives them a reason to read more of your books. A professional editor can take a poorly written but exceptional story, and make it stand out. But if this great but poorly written story goes unedited by a professional, it will falter and…
In order to reach the editing step, you need to make sure your final draft is ready for editing. Editing is the first essential step to bring your book to the level of a professional writer and publisher. Nothing can substitute for good editing, and no writer can truly edit their own book for typos. The explanation for this stems from the fact that you are reading the words you wrote; and, since our mind already knows what the correct spelling is for the word we are reading, and by having this knowledge, our minds fill in incorrect spelling, missed letters, and basic typos with the correct ones. This is why you miss your own mistakes.
There are several types of editing; copy editing, line editing, and substantive editing. In most brick & mortar publishing houses, your main editor is your substantive editor. The most intensive form of editing is substantive editing, which involves working on and correcting the book’s structure, organization, coherence, and logical consistency.
Once this is done, the editing process moves on to copy editing and line editing and then—
Now that we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves, let’s draw back on the editing talk. Our next step is what I call pre-edit formatting. The purpose of which is two-fold.
First, it allows your manuscript to follow a specific style, as opposed to just writing. Second, if done properly, it will save you significant costs during the editing process. If an editor has to spend time adjusting the formatting so the editor can read easily and work better, it is time you pay for. Some editors work by word count, others by an hourly fee: either way, time is money.
So, please do pay attention to the next chapter for its importance for your book, your professionalism, and your wallet.
Copyright September, 2019 by David Wind
Thank you for joining me.
The next blog: di·vi·sive·ness