So You Wrote a Book - Now What?

So You Wrote a Book – Now What?

So You Wrote a Book - Now What?
Photo by Martin Weller

So You Wrote a Book – Now What?

Writing a book is exciting and exhilarating. You plowed through the resistance and your word count goals and you got it done. You worked through your revisions and made it better. Congratulations!

Before you send your new book to publishers, hold on a minute. There are a few things to do first.

Have you sent your manuscript to an editor for a professional edit?

This step isn't quite as critical if you are submitting your book to a traditional publisher, but if you are self-publishing your novel, this step is really important. And I know what you're going to say: "I don't need an editor."

I thought that way too in my earlier days as a writer. I'm the writer and the one coming up with the story. I don't need an editor to improve my story; it's already good.

That may be true for some writers some of the time, but almost always, an editor can help you improve your manuscript. She can recommend ways to strengthen characters and plot, fill in holes, and adjust the wording for easier flow.

An editor can also catch inconsistencies that you missed. For example, if your point of view (POV) character is wearing a red shirt in one scene and wearing a blue one in the next scene (without changing), she'll catch it. We catch things. Inconsistencies are irritating to us; they're like mosquitoes or those pesky typos and grammatical errors.

Have you studied the submission guidelines for your desired publishers?

Before submitting your work, you'll need to know the publisher's submission guidelines. Does your desired publication publish the type of book you've written? Does it publish your genre/topic? Is the readership of your book in line with the readership of the publisher? Know the publisher's guidelines before submitting any work.

If you are self-publishing through a self-publishing service, determine how to format your manuscript. What style do you need? Does the publishing service handle the layout for your manuscript? Or do you need to do the layout yourself?

Have you started your next book?

Writing one book is just a stepping stone along your path to writing success and publication. Start writing your next book. Keep the momentum going by continuing to write and practice. Your writing skills will improve as you continue to practice.

Are you developing relationships with your potential readers (aka building a platform)?

Marketing and promoting your book before you've published it will help you build your writer's platform early on. People (your prospective readers) should know about you and should be interacting with you so that when you're ready to physically sell your book, you have some loyal fans.

So, you wrote a book? Are you ready to take your next step? If you need a professional edit to enhance your manuscript, I'm here to help. Check out my Copyediting Services page today!

Jody Calkins
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