After launching my first book earlier this year, I’ve learned a few things along the way. Of course, I thought I knew all the steps before I took them, but I also knew I would learn something from this venture.
Even after self-editing, sending the book off to an editor, revising, and proof-reading, I still caught some things that I missed.
Lesson #1 – When self-editing, do a spell check, grammar check, eliminate passive words, check dialog by reading it out loud, then transfer the manuscript to something else (printed copy, ebook, PDF to proofread)
Lesson #2 – After self-editing, use a critique group or beta readers to catch extraneous or overused words, run-on sentences, redundancies, places to tighten dialog or paragraphs, unclear scenes or transitions, tonal shifts, or unnatural phrasing or pacing.
Lesson #3 – Make any corrections or revisions necessary.
Lesson #4 – Send to editor.
Lesson #5 – Revise, self-edit and let someone else proof-read.
Lesson #6 – Make any corrections necessary then send to different beta readers for content editing.
Lesson #7 – Self-edit one final time.
Lesson #8 – Create metadata (everything about your book that is not your book) and use this in the long blurb (back cover) and in the short blurb (used for marketing purposes). Create a text file of these keywords and update every 30 days.
Lesson #9 – Create finished document parts. This is something I wish I had done more thoroughly. I had some of this, but this list is more extensive. Some of these apply to non-fiction as well as fiction:
-about the author
Lesson #10 – Notify contractors
-interior graphic designer
-layout draftsman/final formatter
1.formatting – title graphics, scene breaks, cover, drop caps, bleed
Lesson #11 – Notify Influencers
-for testimonials and endorsements
-street team members
Lesson #12 – Line up Marketing Efforts
-Online Launch Party
-Facebook live streaming parties with giveaways
-Pay for Ads on Release Day
Lesson #13 – Write or Produce something NEW every 90 days!
I’m sure I can learn something with each new book, but this is enough to keep me busy for now. A special thanks to Hallee Bridgeman and Greg Bridgeman for their detailed information in their “Seven Steps to Successful Self-Publishing.” I got a lot of new information on the self-editing process from listening to their talk. If you ever have the chance to take one of their classes, jump on it. You will learn a lot!