Launching a book is far more than simply uploading it to Createspace (or your other publisher of choice), in an era where self-publishing is not only easy but incredibly popular you have work to do in order to make your book ready for an audience.
But if you are publishing for the very first time then it can seem confusing and even a little overwhelming as how to proceed successfully, your book will need to be edited, proof read, formatted, a book cover designed, advertising made, promoted, launched and then continued promotion….phew, yes, you will be busy!
So, now that you have your manuscript completed (well, you have typed the words ‘The End’ upon the last page anyway), it’s now time to get it seen and start the process of getting both it and you ready for launch, but where next? What will you need to do in order to have a successful book?
Well there are several services and processes that you should consider in order to finetune your manuscript, remember, there are over one thousand books launched every day, you need to give your book a fighting chance if you want to be successful.
ONE - Editing
A good editor will be able to help polish what you have already made so far, however, it is a role which can lead to friction as not everyone can take criticism that well, if you have made structural errors and the recommendation comes back that you should rewrite large sections of your book it can lead to a stalling of progress from the author. Being open enough to see this service for professional guidance and not a personal attack will help in getting the most benefit from it, if your story is great, good editing will help make it shine further for you.
There are many editing services to choose from and come in a wide range of services offered along with prices to suit most budgets, here are some of the more popular ones.
Scribendi is an online editing service that has been around since 1997 and is one of the larger of the companies offering this service, they offer hundreds of editors and cover pretty much every topic/genre you can think of, they can also proof read your book (which is a must).
Edit 911 is another editing company who started back in the late 90’s, again, this is a service which offers many editors and also covers the wide majority of genres and topics.
Prowriting Aid is an online editing software which you can try for free (even the premium package is still very cheap and can be downloaded), it analyzes your writing and reports back with in depth details on areas which should be revised to improve readability, it checks your grammar, overused words, clichés and redundancies, repeats, sentence length and lots of other details too, for those who want lots of reports but are sticking within a budget this is a good option to consider.
Servicescape has been editing for over sixteen years and offers a host of freelance editors for authors to use and in many other languages (other than English) too.
TWO - Proofreading
You should consider getting others to read your manuscript prior to launching (especially if you do not get it professional edited), the temptation is of course to get friends and family to be your test readers, but this will normally lead to them being polite and telling you (to some degree) what you want to hear, your Mom won’t tell you that your book lacks direction or its plot development is lacking, you need people you trust to be honest.
So, if you are a member of a writer’s group, ask them instead, in return you should always offer to do the same of course, failing this there are some services who will offer to do it for you.
Scribendi (as listed above) do offer this and have the experience and proofreaders to offer you a very comprehensive service too.
Writers Services Not only offer proofreading (along with many other helpful services for authors) but they have a great website which gives plenty of advice for any author.
Papertrue is a professional editing and proofreading company that is fast and affordable, they offer experts in each area of publication to ensure quality.
THREE - Formatting
Now that your book is ready to be published you will need to have the manuscript itself formatted for the actual type of publication, this will differ from the obvious (eBook & paperback) to the different options you’ll need to consider in each format (ie: Epub and/or Mobi files for your eBook).
As with most elements in publishing there are plenty of services available to the indie author to ensure your manuscript is formatted correctly.
The Fast Fingers are a team of formatters aimed at indie authors, they create formats for all of the major print on demand publishers and offer competitive rates too.
Polgarus Studio are formatters who offer great rates and convert your existing manuscript into formats ready for print and as both Epub and Mobi files, their turn-around times are very quick and have lots of experience too.
Press Books is easy to use writing software which enables you to create your book in all formats you want to publish in (both eBook and print for POD), it starts off as a Free service but will place watermarks upon the files, however, you can upgrade to their ‘Pro’ service which will give you more features and ensure you don’t have watermarks.
In our next post we’ll cover what you’ll need to be thinking of with book cover design and your advertising.