As any author will tell you, writing a book is a labor of love, it’s a long process which takes a great deal of passion, patience and perseverance. So, when you’ve written the final word upon the page, what next? The tempting first thing that you may want to do is go straight to publishing, setting up a KDP account, uploading your manuscript and then shouting about it on Facebook, but wait, just because you’ve finished writing, doesn’t mean that the manuscript is ready for launch.
Even if you don’t realize it, your manuscript will need to be edited and proofread prior to going anywhere near a Print-On-Demand service.
Speaking with an author a couple of years ago, she told me that she had written a book within the romance genre and couldn’t wait to publish it, she had invested into some great advertising and book cover design and then gone on to upload everything to KDP (Createspace as it was back then). Her book looked amazing and the sales started to come in, excellent she thought.
That is until her real reviews started to appear (and not the ones from friends and family), the first were just one star then a couple of twos and back to ones, she was devastated and pulled her book from the shelves. The real feedback this author was getting was painful, it pointed out plot holes, grammar issues and even some spelling errors, these reviews and star ratings were stopping sales, it was a tough call but she had to work further on the book.
To save yourself this headache you should always think about using an editor before you go anywhere near publishing your book, there are plenty of services available online and there are options to suit every budget. Now this sounds easy, so why doesn’t every author use an editor?
There are several reasons, it could be budget constraints, time constraints or the fear or feedback, people tend hate receiving feedback unless it’s all positive. Let’s face it, you’ve given your manuscript to someone you may not know that well and they’re telling you that areas need improving, how dare they!!
Well, that’s their job and there’s nothing personal about it either, so, as long as you are using a reputable editor, you should use this invaluable information to polish your manuscript into something amazing. A good editor will have the skill and insight to help and work with you in elevating your book, you should embrace their recommendations and keep in mind the bigger picture of publishing success.
Along with editing is proof-reading, many editors offer this service and it’s worth while considering it, this should catch any issues with the manuscript and ensure that the final publication is professional.
The editing and proofreading process can be long winded and will require re-writes, again, this is another reason that stops some authors from considering it, but it will lead to a better manuscript, better reviews and a far better chance with a larger publisher or agent.
Once completed you should consider a soft launch with your book, a soft launch enables you to get copies out to a select few readers, it becomes another step in the publication process that will help you, from your soft launch you should be able to gain quotes which you can then use either upon the cover and/or on your website/blog/social media pages. It can also give you some helpful feedback prior to a publicized launch.
There are many steps in publishing your book, in fairness self-publishing is still a great deal easier than it has ever been, but you should still take your time. Delaying your launch by a couple of weeks to tweak your book now is better than pulling it from the shelves to do later.
Book cover designers.