Writing and publishing are two different worlds. But if a writer self-publishes, one needs to know a few things about publishing.
There’s nothing quite like the high of finally completing you manuscript. Yes!
But a manuscript is not a book. You still have to get it published.
And you have many options for publishing.
You can pitch literary agents and publishers. That’s the traditional way; you get the most help and make the least money.
You can go through an online book publisher. That is sometimes a good start.
You can go for eBook only. There are pros and cons to that route. It can also be a good start, but plan to get actual printed copies made.
Or you can self-publish, which means you print your own books. You get the least help, but you make the most money if you have a way to sell your books.
Self-publishing isn’t that hard, but there are a few mistakes to avoid.
Self publishing mistake #5: Going for bells and whistles
If you decide to use an online publisher, don’t let them upsell you all sorts of attractive but unessential services, such as social media promotion. Most of these “extras” are not worth the price and certainly are not needed. If you want social media promotion, do it right by building up your own audience and interacting with it.
You don’t need a bell.
Or a whistle.
Self publishing mistake #9: Forgetting to edit
Oh, by the way. While you were celebrating the completion of your manuscript, did you remember to get it edited?
No matter how amazing a writer you are or how allergic you might feel about anybody shifting a comma or a preposition – or please-say-it-ain’t-true rearranging a sentence – you need an editor.
You need an editor, if for no other reason, to see the manuscript through someone else’s eyes than your own.
If you are writing for anybody other than for yourself, you need an editor.
Just to be sure this is clearly understood here is the formula for deciding whether of not to get an editor:
- For a personal diary with a lock on it, no editor is required.
- For anything else, get an editor.
Even just a copy editor will find typos. They will also find things that sound great to you with a certain intonation, but will sound very awkward when read by somebody else. Consider “that good looking glass”. You might think “that good-looking glass” when you write it. But readers might read it like “that good looking-glass.” Without an editor, you would not realize the hyphen is needed.