Publishing Successfully – what is Truly involved
Steps to Publishing Successfully
Publishing successfully is more than just write and hit publish. At least 75% or more of authors I speak with really don’t understand the entire publishing process. It’s no fault of your own though. The media perpetuates the supposed simplicity, and ease of making money. Honestly, I believe even the big A puts their pennies toward this cause in the unfortunate mindset of quantity vs quality.
Luckily, my team and I do not use that model. We actually want to educate authors as much as possible on each step toward publishing successfully. We want quality, even if it means your book needs to wait a few more months before the world can see it. Wouldn’t you prefer to have your book released in the best quality possible?
So, I’m going to go over everything you TRULY need to do, from a publisher’s viewpoint. This isn’t going to be just one quick post either. This one is going to be a series, because it really is not as simple as everyone believes it to be.
Publishing Successfully – step 2
I’m going to begin with the second step in publishing successfully here, since it’s actually where authors typically are when they seek out my services. We will talk about step one next week and the missing element most authors don’t do.
Recently, I am thankful to hear more and more experts talking about today’s subject. Even readers are standing up to voice how this step might just be the most important part. The readers are getting irritated with this step being overlooked. Editing!
So you understand a little better what is meant by an editor, lets break that down into a guide for you to follow. There are actually 5 editors you should be using. The first one is YOU!
This might come as a shock to many, although it is true. The day you feel like you are finally finished with your manuscript is NOT the day you should hand it to someone else. Put the book away for at least two weeks, then come back and, (here is the super important part that most don’t do), READ IT OUT LOUD. You literally will find 50% of your editing mistakes by doing this. It can feel a little embarrassing to do this, although it is vital to the process of this step.
After that, get at least two, and better yet, five different people to go through your book with a red pen in hand. Do this one at a time, because you don’t want to have multiple people giving you the same corrections. These people need to be diversified too. They should not all be friends and family. Finding a critique group is an excellent way to get this editing step done. Make sure you take each and every criticism to heart, don’t blow it off and think your way is better, especially if you hear it from more than one person. These are your readers and they don’t know the story the way you do. So if they don’t understand it, it really means you need to fix something.
Once you have gone back and made all the corrections, you may want to put it down again for a while and come back for that wonderful read out loud step. NOW you can get a professional editor. This person should be well versed in your genre, don’t hire just any editor. Make sure they are good at the character development and story flow aspects. That is what you are really looking for at this stage.
One last professional needs to look at your work before the final step. That is a proof-editor. This person’s job is the last minute errors that everyone else has missed due to being too close to the story. This person should be seeing your manuscript for the first time with no knowledge of what it’s about beforehand. This person needs to be excellent at punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
After all that, you might be wondering what could possibly be next. Your tale has been through rigorous torture by many people now. You’re exhausted and may even be feeling like you never want to read it again.
The final step is beta readers. Just like step two, you need to find people to read your book. This group should absolutely be ALL strangers. You want them to be people who like your genre though. Develop some questions they can answer as they are reading and once they are finished. Ideally, you want at least ten in this group. If the group is too small, you won’t get enough feedback, if it’s too big, you will get too much. If this group comes back with some great ways to enhance your writing, obviously, you need to go back a few steps. Depending on how much you changed will determine if you need your first pro editor or just the proofer again.
Only after all of this can you say you truly did your due diligence, and should be on the path to publishing successfully. I will caution you here too, don’t be surprised to still find an error or two. Even Stephen King has a place on his website where you can let him know if they missed one. I know we covered a lot here, although it is the readers we want to make happy. If you don’t give them what they want, the path will disappear into the woods.
Next week, I will go back to all the ins and outs of step one, including the one aspect a lot of authors miss. See you next Friday!