Saturday, June 22, 2013

Your Book May be Written, But It's Not "The End"

This is what your editor and publisher look like when you've finished writing your book, been contracted, and decided you're done. You've written "The End" and think you've reached the end of the line. You're ready to move on and write your next best-seller.

What you don't realize is that this book won't be your first best-seller without a few more very important stops on the journey to publication.

Editing: If you are self-publishing, this is a key component. Don't just turn your manuscript in for print. Make sure you hire a professional editor to go through it at least once. Pay someone to do a great job so that you have a great product to present your readers. For those of us who love to read and know a few things about grammar and punctuation, nothing is more distracting than a book filled with those types of errors. Of all the self-published books I've been asked to review, I have to tell you that at least 4 out of 5 are not edited. This includes poor grammar and poor craft.

If you are being published through a house, editing is part of the publication process. This doesn't mean that you are off the hook. This means that your manuscript will be subjected to the red pen of a professional editor, and you will be responsible for accepting or denying their recommendations. You still have work to do.

Marketing: If you think you're finished the minute your book goes to print, you're not going to impress the publisher. Although most publishing houses have some form of marketing plan to help your book sell, authors are just as (if not more so) responsible to market their books. If you want a best-seller or even another contract, you'd better have a plan to market your book, and then you need to follow through with it. Nothing disturbs a publisher more than realizing they've contracted an author who doesn't want to do the work once their name is on a cover.

Think of it this way: who better to market your book than you? Who knows your readers better than the one they've been anxiously following for the past X amount of time, waiting in anticipation for the release of your story? You know them better than any publishing house or editor. Word of mouth is proven to be the best tool to sell anything. Prepare your own marketing plan and get your book noticed. It'll only benefit you in the long run. Do the work. Don't be another one of those lazy writers. You'll be the one with the best-seller while someone else is wondering why they aren't making money after putting in all that time writing.

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