Every author is excited when they complete their first manuscript, after all, there’s been countless hours, days, weeks, months and even years that have gone into its creation, but once the excitement wanes a little, every author then needs to go back and start the process of polishing (and in some cases, being courageous when doing so).
One small step at a time.
The first read through and edit you can certainly do yourself, but don’t try to take on more that one chapter at a time, editing your own book (when done by yourself) should be done in small chunks, if you try to persevere with editing huge sections at a time, you’ll miss elements that should be adjusted and cut corners through fatigue.
Re-read and re-edit
Once you have made edits to the book, go back and re-read what you’ve just edited, and allow time between completing the edit and then reviewing it (publishing a great book is not a sprint to the finishing line, take time, your readers deserve it).
Grammar, more grammar and spelling
This is of course the first thing that every self-editing author looks for, there are software applications like Grammarly and the inbuilt software within Word that will help with fixing those obvious elements that you may have missed the first time around, reading the manuscript again will always help find them.
Does it make sense?
Question what you have read and ask yourself if it makes sense, also, does it actually add something to the book itself (or is it just unnecessary ‘padding’?). How believable are your characters? Will they connect to your readers? What about sentence structure? Is your book made up of lots of very small paragraphs or huge blocks of text? How does it read? Look for crutch words or phrases, these often repeat themselves throughout your manuscript and become annoying to the reader, it’s wise to replace them (time to break open the Thesaurus).
Get it read
Once you have edited your own book, it is highly recommended that you get someone to read it for you, and use someone whose judgement you trust, you want someone who won’t tell you what you want to hear, but give constructive feedback. Most people have friends or know other writers who would be willing to help, you may have to return the favor (but even this is a great learning curve for you too).
Add if you’re still not sure
Once you’ve edited your manuscript as much as you can, it’s time to go to a professional editor. A good editor will be able to tweak your book from something good to something great, their insight and experience is invaluable to you and your book, a professionally well edited book will give your book a great chance of success.
Self-promotion for an indie author is an ongoing commitment that requires a great deal of dedication and diversification to reach (and grow) your audience. There are of course the more traditional ways such as social media, your own website, blog, book launch websites and promotional services to target readers, but have you ever thought about starting your own YouTube channel?
Starting a YouTube channel is a brilliant way of connecting with your readers, and for many, it’s a far more enjoyable way to promote their books along with talking about subjects connected to their style of writing, the subject matter and genre.
But the first thing that you will ask yourself is
“what on earth will I talk about?
This will depend upon what you’ve written, if your book is about travel tips in Europe for example, then hosting a YouTube channel which talks about specific travel advice aimed at those going to Europe would be perfect, you can essentially break elements of the book down into bite-sized chunks, this helps to promote your book and grow an audience.
Non-fiction books at first seem to be the easiest subject matter to turn into a YouTube channel, this is because you have an area of expertise that will be of an interest to a specific group, you can cover all areas of your chosen subject, and again, break down into smaller snippets which allow you to come up with new ideas for videos over and over again.
But, does this mean fiction authors will struggle to gain an audience if starting their own channel?
Of course not, the subject matter will be different to that of non-fiction, but you will have lots to talk about that an audience will love. For example, explaining the process of character development, over coming writer’s block, the publishing process, editing your book, having a book cover designed, where and when you write, software you use, story progression, the list goes on and on.
The next hurdle you may be thinking about is equipment, surly everyone who hosts their own channel has spent thousands on gear, right? Wrong, well, maybe the top YouTubers have but many don’t and their videos still look fantastic.
There are lots of authors who are producing great channels and only use the camera on their smart phone along with strategically placed table lamps for lighting (if you could see most YouTubers ‘studios’ you would be surprised at just how many are being highly creative with what they have and still get great results).
Having your own YouTube channel will help with your own exposure and it can also help with selling more copies of your book, but you will also need to promote your channel through other avenues until you get higher numbers of subscribers and views.
Can I also make some money from my YouTube channel?
Yes, it is possible to make money from your channel, we constantly hear of YouTubers who make millions while hosting a gaming channel from their bedroom studio, but to be fair, these are the extreme and you should always start your channel with the bigger picture in mind, your channel should you’re you to promote your book, but also allow you to connect with your audience and have some fun at the same time, if you are purely trying to make a quick buck, this may not be for you.
But before you start, it is worth checking out some current authors who have their own channels to get some ideas, here are five you should take a look at first and then maybe search for your own favorite author.
The Creative Penn
So, get started and let us know when you’re up and running, we’d love to see what you come up with!
Book cover designers.
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