Deciding to self-publish should not be taken lightly. I know, I know…it’s easy to upload a file to Amazon and voila you’re a published author.
But it takes more than that.
Okay, so we covered that you have to write something. But let’s step back before you begin uploading. Back to your manuscript.
Self-publishing used to bring many more stigmas. Most people thought self-published works were badly written and not well edited. This might have been the case in the past, but now most authors who self-publish make sure their work is professional.
When you have a manuscript the first step is to let a few people, who you really trust to be honest, read it. And here you have to grow a thick skin. If you ask for honesty, be ready to receive it. Remember what they tell you will make you a better writer because they are your target market – readers.
Once you’ve had people beta read it, get a professional editor. I mean a professional. Not your Aunt Grace who was really good at her Christmas letter. Hire someone who reads manuscripts for a livelihood with the intention to better the work. To find them you can go to sites like Writers Digest or try out writing forums to get feedback. (We’ll talk more about how to find them in the next installment)
Once you’ve done proofreading and editing, then you go back and rework your manuscript. Reading aloud is a great tactic to hearing and finding any errors you might have made.
This is the first step to creating a manuscript that you can send out into the world.
Next installment: Is it Soup Yet? How to Know Your Manuscript is ready to Print.