Authors, Blogging, Fiction, Networking, Non-Fiction, Writers, Writing
This is one of the most important steps in the writing process. This is your final draft of the manuscript. During this step, the second or third pair of eyes become essential. If self-publishing, you want a squeaky clean manuscript, free of errors. Once finalized, it will not be corrected without costs. Note – some publishers will allow up to 25 to 50 free corrections before publishing. However, this doesn’t include publisher errors (e.g., printing). Please see the publisher’s guidelines for submission of your final draft.
Before you submit your manuscript to the publisher, you will select what type package you want (hardcover, softcover or both, e-book, etc). Hardcover includes the bound cover with dust jackets, whereas softcover is the paperback. E-books are available online to be downloaded. If you have written a book before and using the same publisher, ask about discounts. Some publishers will allow up to half off for a second book or additional books. The check-in coordinator will discuss with you about any questions you might have. In this stage, you will select what type genre, age range (audience) or package (condensed or dust jackets, also called flaps for hardcover).
Publishing multiple books in a five-year period, I find there are some helpful hints not necessarily known to the general public:
- Once the draft is finished, thoroughly review your draft before submission. This includes any typos, spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors. Remember, Spellcheck and other software programs will not catch 100% of the errors.
- I suggest having at least one reader read your final draft before submission. I found in my last book, out of 424 pages, I still had three errors when published. A second or third person can catch errors that the writer doesn’t catch.
- If self-editing, read through the manuscript yourself and correct errors. You may need to revise or even rewrite some parts that don’t flow well within the manuscript.
- If professionally editing, then allow up to two months to receive final draft back. There will be suggestions and/or corrections to make. Note – editing is not free nor cheap and is based on how many pages (or words) the manuscript contains.
- Once you make corrections and satisfied with the final draft, combine chapters into one document. Note – most publishers will not accept separate chapters. Rather, they want the total manuscript. Even if they do allow, I find it causes more confusion and more work to go back to correct.
- If self-publishing, the writer will be given one chance to look over the final draft from the publisher before approval. Once approved by you, the final draft is submitted for publication. Note – once you send the final approval, the manuscript goes into the publishing stage. No changes can be made afterwards, unless you are willing to pay for corrections.
- Most publishers prefer that the writer submit the manuscript by email. In some cases, it can be mailed or faxed, but that is difficult, especially with a lengthy manuscript. Please see the publisher’s guidelines for submission of your manuscript.
- It usually takes up to two or three weeks to publish. The writer will receive a free complimentary copy of the book. If you selected both hardcover and softcover, you will receive a copy of both. Please look over the book and make sure no publisher errors were made (misprints, blurring or spacing errors, etc). It is best to correct when the printing is fresh rather than go back later.
- The writer will be given a chance to order a maximum number of free copies once published; only shipping charges are applied. My publisher allows 5 hardcover and 10 softcover books. Publishers may vary in the number of free copies allowed; please check with your publisher for details.
Once your book is published, congratulations, you have now become a new author. Enjoy the accomplishment of a finished product. More importantly, enjoy the writing process. Writing was an adventure that started out as self-therapy for closure to painful events in my past. The first time I published, I was fearful, but over the years, I became more confident in my writing. Now, I love the writing process in publishing books for readers to enjoy.
Next week, I will discuss marketing strategies. Going into publishing five years ago, I was blind about marketing. I struggled as an unknown author. It is just as important to have a marketing strategy and a plan to advertise your book(s). Marketing is expensive and there are some ways to advertise your book(s) without costing an arm and a leg. I find social media and networking works some, but it takes more effort. The writer has to get out there to the public to be recognized.
Tune in to my blog weekly. If you are a new writer and/or author yourself or know someone who is, please refer them to my blog. In the meantime, Happy Memorial Day to all veterans and everyone.
I was hit by a triple whammy lately, Anne. MS, sinuses and allergies all acting up at once have had me on my back, when not actually hitting the floor!
You give such good tips (still have to read the posts between the second and this one). As for the catching mistakes if self-editing, I suggest a program like Grammerly to help out. You can ignore the things you intended to put in the manuscript while being told each time you make s mistake in any form. It gets rather bossy when you are not following the strict rules of grammar, but since it catches so many of my mistakes it is worth the aggravation to me. Better than sending something off to be published and finding the mistakes when it is out there for the whole world to see, anyway.
Well, back to real life for me for a while! I lose so much time during an exacerbation these days it feels like I’m playing catch-up constantly. I think I’ll put word out that I’m looking for a brain transplant — face transplant, any good feature I can find! Desperate times call for desperate measures! The only stipulation would be that the new brain not have MS. Sure wouldn’t want another version of that one to contend with.
Take care, Anne, and have a good Memorial Day holiday!
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Thank you, Angie, and thanks for reading my posts. Always good to hear from you. I have not used that program (Grammerly) before. I actually have a person great in English grammar as a second pair of eyes. Most of the errors I find are typos or punctuation errors that Spellcheck doesn’t always find. Even if professionally editing, they will not catch all of the errors. They will read through your manuscript and make suggestions to improve your manuscript. My goal is to offer tips to novice writers and authors. Publishing a book takes effort and hard work upfront. The reward is the finished product, a book you created. BTW, my friend suggested a support group for MS and autoimmune disorders. It may prove beneficial to talk with other MS patients and get your feelings out. There is also a support group for cancer patients, which my “chemo” buddy suggested we attend. My sister told me once that I identify too much with my disorder. After thinking about it, I feel she is right. I was seeking attention or sympathy from others. We often are victims of our own circumstances. In the meantime, I hope you feel better real soon. Have a restful Memorial Day, while you recoup. Anne
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I’m part of a support group already, but it’s not the greatest in the world! They mostly meet for dinner programs with guest speaker, so not much give and take there. The lunch or dinner is always free, but I’m not loving the restaurant they choose for them! Barbecue is great once in awhile but not every week! There are several people in my building with MS and we support each other, so it all works out. MS is very prevalent in this area for some reason!
I found that the Grammerly app catches even the things I use as part of my regional speech pattern, changing things I want to say, which is my big issue with it. But for editing a book it might not be too bad! Easier to change it back than to look for the small typos and miss them! Just depends on how much time I have and how much to do in the time allotment! Most of the time I turn it off to save the aggravation.
It’s been a great day today! 😇 Thanks!
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