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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola

Author Resources/Tips/Tools/Series


So, I wrote a book, now what?


The next few weeks, on Monday's, I will be sharing some author tips, resources that I use, tips and posts from other authors on resources they use and things they have learned. If you are a new or aspiring author, the hope is that some of these posts help you along the way.


Just going to jump right in here:



Authors Checklist:

● Did you edit your manuscript?

● Did you hire a professional editor?

● Did you gather a beta team to read your manuscript prior to publishing?

● Did you ask for and receive feedback from your beta team as part of their task?

● Did you establish an ARC team?

● Did you set up your author profile on Amazon? On Goodreads?

● Did you establish an author website?

● Did you create a subscriber sign up on your website to capture emails for newsletters?

● Did you set up an author profile on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok?

● Did you look into a genre membership with the HWA (Horror Writers Association)?

● Did you find a mentor?

● Did you join Facebook groups for authors and are you being active?

● Did you research and set up author accounts on a promotion site such as Story origin or Book Funnel?

● Did you set up an email collection service such as MailChimp to create a mailing list and newsletter?

● Did you connect your email service to your promotion site, such as Story Origin and Mailchimp?

● Did you get a cover made, kindle cover or full wrap for your paperback?

● Did you choose your distribution platform? Are you solely using Amazon or branching out to use Ingram Spark or Lulu, maybe Godless?

● Did you convert your final manuscript to ePub or Mobi?

● Did you create a reader magnet or a free book giveaway to draw readers in?

● Did you start crying yet?

● Don’t worry, I’m done. I think.



 

Editing

Why do I need an editor? I am really good with grammar, in fact, I’m awesome. Kudo’s on thinking that, I thought it too. But then, I stepped away from my manuscript for 4 months, patting myself on the back, planning the sequel, and began working with a mentor. Less than a week after working with my mentor, he very bluntly recommended that I take another look at my “published product.” When I did, I was mortified and embarrassed, because you see, I AM really good with English and grammar. I went over my book what seemed like a hundred times, and that was after proofreading by my beta readers and a retired English teacher.


But, after being away from my book for so long, I could finally see it with fresh, objective eyes. And I saw every error, every missing comma, every typo and wrong word, in shocking clarity. I was appalled and immediately started over with a fine-tooth comb. Six months after I originally published my debut novel, I held a mini-relaunch, complete with a new cover and a fresh, albeit heavily edited manuscript, and it was a product to be proud of, finally.


When you are writing your book, you live it, breathe it, sleep it. You edit, and revise, and edit and revise and those words become seared in your brain. You reach a point where you literally cannot SEE the mistakes, because your brain is inputting the correct information for you. This is why you need to take a break before you finalize it for publishing.


Best advice I ever received, write it, edit it, revise it, then PUT IT AWAY, for at least 90 days. You will be glad you did, especially if you are a NEW author. Walk away! Start building your site, build your audience, begin to promote and build interest. You have a hundred other things to do. Go do them.


Go back in 90 days, pull that file back up, then call that editor. You will immediately see why, and you’ll be glad you did. Also, here is the hard part: be humble, be patient and be aware that they will rip your manuscript apart gently, but yes, you will raise your hackles. Just breathe. That is their job, and they are good at it. Any good editor worth a dime will make your writing better and, by default, your story. A good editor will become your partner in writing.


Their suggestions are 99% of the time, needed revisions and necessary corrections. They will catch the small things that you do not, they will help keep the story flowing and make sure your reader stays engaged and enthralled and not thrown off because you changed narration style in the middle. An editor is more than a proofreader, they look for ways to improve your readability, your story structure, your plot and help maintain consistency all the way through the novel.


Editing is expensive, but there are ways to find great editors at reasonable rates. This is where those Facebook author groups come in handy. Start asking around, develop a good network of authors and you’ll find out that many of them do great editing on the side for great rates. You do not always have to resort to calling an expensive online editing service. At the end of the day, this is your product. Your story is your product. It is only as good as what you put into it. Look at your manuscript right now. Is it the most professional representation of yourself? Don’t publish it until it is.



 

Come back next week for a new post on things to do and learn. Want more? Check out these resources from around the web.


The Novel Factory has an incredible amount of free resources, worksheets, and tools to help you become a better writer. Check out their link here: How to Write a Novel Step-by-Step: A Proven Roadmap (novel-software.com)


Author Duncan Ralston has several great blog posts on this subject on his website. Check out his post Resources for Indie Authors here: Resources for Indie Authors (duncanralston.com)




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