Emerging writers often wonder how best to prepare their books for the marketplace, and I’ve put together some “unpublished author tips” below that might help. If you are an indie author who plans to self-publish, this blog post is dedicated to you!
Unpublished Author Tips — The Steps
You might think that writing your book is the biggest hurdle to overcome, and yes, completing it is a huge milestone. Yet there are additional steps every indie author faces. Embrace that your book is a business with potential commercial value. How you launch and market it can impact sales.
It definitely takes ongoing hard work and dedication to draw attention to your masterpiece, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The bullet points below are a guide, and I’ll expand further down in this post.
- Write the manuscript.
- Ask beta readers to weigh in.
- Tweak the final version.
- Have the book professionally edited by a full-time editor with deep ties to the literary realm.
- Think of this as building your team. An experienced editor should be a valuable book project resource and can assist in many areas in addition to editing (as you’ll see).
- Ask your editor to help write your back cover blurb and Amazon listing description (there is an art and science involved).
- Get recommendations for book formatting, cover design, ISBN, and uploading to Amazon (your editor can point you to industry professionals).
- While your book is being formatted, and even before this step, be thinking about a grand debut. What is your marketing plan?
- Chances are, your editor will recommend that you have an author’s website ready (I recommend a mobile and SEO-friendly WordPress site) with some keyword-rich blogs in place. Your editor can point you to trusted web developers who have assisted other author clients.
- Your editor can likely help you write optimized web copy and blog posts.
- Your editor will encourage you to set up social media author pages and take advantage of free social platforms while the book is in “Coming Soon” mode.
- Your editor should be able to help you brainstorm book-signing opportunities and locales.
- Your editor should be able to help you write and deploy press releases.
- Your editor should be able to guide you toward podcasts, radio spots, blog tours, and media interviews.
Polish Your Manuscript to the Best of Your Ability
You may have worked on your manuscript for years and have done your best to attend to grammar, punctuation, flow, pacing, character development, dialogue, setting, filling plot gaps, and including all the literary elements readers expect. You may have gotten feedback from beta readers and incorporated some of those suggestions in your book.
Well, your book project is ready for editing.
Notice that I mentioned the words “book project” above. Yes, your book is a project, and writing it is just the first step in your publication journey. You are probably wondering about your book’s appeal and its potential commercial value. Edited books add another layer of readability and ensure a wonderful experience for fans of your genre.
That’s where a skilled and experienced book editor comes in. Your editor acts as an independent, professional second set of eyes who will surveil the manuscript from top to bottom (and front to back cover) in search of sneaky little errors and larger areas of improvement. This is a distinct advantage in a sea of competing titles written by other indie authors.
Your editor should be an industry pro with an extensive background in indie projects and book launches. This value-added know-how can help you garner marketing exposure and increase book sales right out of the shoot. Ask potential editors about their willingness to help in this arena (not all do).
More Unpublished Author Tips
The whole point is to go from unpublished to published in a manner that draws as much attention as possible. Remember that readers can’t buy your book if they don’t know it exists. Think about ways to get the word out. This might include book signings, media interviews, and sharing the book with students in language arts classes on school campuses.
Are you an indie author in need of an experienced book editor? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll talk about the process, timelines, deliverables, cost, any questions you may have, and more!