MY BOOK IS DONE! NOW WHAT?
Written by Heather Haliah Covington
‘Literary Diva’ ‘Queen of Literary Promotions!:
So, you completed your book. I can just imagine the look on your face knowing that your work is done, but unfortunately the real work has just begun.
Don’t get upset! Anyone can write a book or take pen to paper, think of a catchy title, and create a fancy cover. It happens at an alarming rate of 80,000 new books per year that skim the book shelves for some of the shortest record breaking shelf lives in history. Some books win, but many lose.
In fact, some top urban books have done just that, sold 50,000 plus copies in a single season from street vendors that are loaded with grammatical errors. It’s not your fault you didn’t get the best schooling and your teacher barely taught you correct English. Some scholarly authors who are born with that silver spoon in their mouth would love to crush you, but thanks to your creativity and original stories they simply can’t. The world wants your story chopped and screwed, believe it or not.
It’s called the ‘EXPRESS RUN.’
You put a hot new book on the streets ready or not and load up on cash to print a larger print run, and hopefully an edited version now that one can afford one. Your readers love the content and many could care less about typos. Congrats, you have cornered the real niche book market of book junkies.
God bless those 1st print run readers, too, who often load up bad reviews on Amazon.com for the hell of it. But, not to worry. If one is smart, you used a different print run to test trial your book with no strings attached, pulled it off the market, changed the ISBN and put out the perfect version with an all new title and of course, your real name if you’re sure you have a winner.
Now is the time to acquire real editing before submitting your work for a real review. I’m not talking about reviews from your best friend from high school. I am talking about honest and comprehensive reviews from major publications that libraries and media rely on and trust.
Libraries and bookstores have budgets and want quality books readers will want to buy and read, but lately are just giving light to that 1st print run book because there is a market for new authors and there is nothing scholarly authors can do about it.
Just getting your book out there is the first step. Worry about your fear of failure later on.
About Editors: Never rely on one editor. Check and recheck your own work to help out your editor. It’s a joint effort. Nothing is worse than an editor who tells you want you want because they are getting paid. A real editor challenges you to rewrite with clarity. A great author once said to me, Get an editor who doesn’t like you.’ It was the best advice ever.
Proofread your work several times before finalizing editing. Think of the big payoff down the line after you complete this process or anything that will give you motivation. Editing a completed book doesn’t have to be a grueling process. If you are using your real name it pays to be perfect. The world of critics out there are unforgiving and ready to crush your dreams at your own expense to build themselves.
Throw on comfortable clothes, turn on the air conditioner, fix yourself some tea, crackers and cheese and relax. You’re going to be here a while.
Once your work is edited with perfection, proofread it again. Each time you proofread your work you will find passages that could use improvement, so go for it.
Meanwhile, obtain proper typesetting for your work and layout design.
Typesetting and layout designers: There are many. Ask for credentials and check to see what books they have typeset. Your final answer lies there.
My little secret: I utilized a print on demand company to typeset the first book I wrote. I was sent a rewritable cd in case I wished to make any changes before signing off on publishing of my book. I kept the book specs on file and simply copy and pasted future books into the same template for other books I published. Writers all have to start somewhere.
Now it’s time for the cover.
Seek a book designer, and not a graphic designer. A book designer has the proper programs to create book covers. You may also, wish to obtain an author photo at this time for your back book cover, but careful… people can take your photo and make copycat sites, social sites and literally steal your identity.
If you do put out a pic always turn your face sideways or distort background, and so your pic it is virtually useless to thieves. I saw a fake social media site with my face selling my books. I have also, seen sites that mimic my other pen names. Don’t make it easy for opportunists to do this.
Acquire a barcode making program or opt to have your book manufacturer include this. Careful! One slip up and your work will not be scannable! ISBNS now have to be converted on book covers for the new 13 number ISBNs or they won’t be scannable in stores. Stay up to date with new advances in publishing. It’s worth it to subscribe to a publishing industry magazine that keep you informed.
For Barcodes: http://www.isbn.org
Now that your book is edited, has noteworthy reviews, a book cover, proper credentials, can be scanned properly for availability in bookstores, plus accessible to customers online, proofread your book several more times before sending it to the printer. You may have pages misaligned, skipped or missing.
As you can see, editing, revising and proofreading are a big deal for novice writers. In other words, your book may not be done.