Following the runaway success of the rebooted “I’ve Written A Screenplay, Now What?” page, lots of Bang2writers requested a similar one for book writing. So here’s Luke with a short and sweet rundown for you novelists and bookists out there, with plenty of great linkage too! Thanks Luke 😀 Enjoy everyone …
So, you’ve written a book.
Congrats! Go out and celebrate. Pat yourself on the back. Pat yourself all over. Eat a cake. Eat two. Writing a book is hard, so you should celebrate it.
However, writing is only the first step in publishing a book, because that’s the ultimate goal right? To spread your message and your ideas across the world and to touch people’s hearts and maybe … just maybe, make someone cry. You get bonus points for making people cry.
As it stands, you’ve got two options:
TRADITIONAL or INDIE PUBLISHING
Each option has its merits but whichever you take, here’s what to do next:
1) Get Some Feedback
Beta Readers: Friends, family, acquaintances. Find anyone who will read your book and give you their honest feedback. It’s important to know how your work is being received. Try to ask what they liked about the work, what they didn’t. If all of your beta-readers are mentioning the second paragraph of chapter 2 … then maybe it’s time to reconsider the second paragraph of chapter 2. MORE: How To Find Beta Readers, plus 5 Ways To Use Feedback Effectively
2) Get It Edited
Editing Services: Don’t kill your babies … Hire someone else to do it! As James Altucher said, after fifteen drafts, his editor turned his book from chicken sh*t to chicken salad. There are editing services out there who will help you to structurally edit the story, such as Command + Z. Once your story is in the proper shape, you can use Copy Editors to help you weed out the grammar and the punctuation errors.
Price-wise, editing can be super cheap or super expensive. As with anything, go with the best you can afford. Here are some links for services previous Bang2writers have recommended to Lucy:
3) Build Your Platform
Regardless of whether or not you self-publish, you really want to start building your audience right away. The last thing you want to do is release your book to crickets. Plus, nowadays, most publishers will expect you to do the majority of the marketing anyway.
Seth Godin says you should start promoting a book three years before your release it. Maybe that’s an overstatement, but it sure couldn’t hurt.
There’s a million ways to build an audience. It’s going to be down to who you are, what you do, and what you’ve written. Important metrics to consider could be subscribers, email lists, facebook likes, twitter followers. Also, don’t forget Good Reads! MORE: Making connections online by Lucy; 6 Marketing Tactics You SHOULD Be Doing by Luke; plus audience-building tips for writers from Jon Morrow, @FrancesCaballo and Bestseller Labs
4) Choose Your Route
Indie. If you decide to self publish your book, then you’re already most of the way there. Your next steps are going to be cover design, ePub formatting, and if you really want to push the boat out, Audiobook production. I’d recommend reading James Altucher’s Publishing 3.0 article on how he self-published his Wall Street Journal Besteller.
You will also NEED an excellent front cover; do not skimp on this, because readers DO judge a book by its cover. The covers for THE DECISION: LIZZIE’S STORY and THE DECISION: JASMINE’S STORY were done by the brilliant Peter at Bespoke Book Covers. But there are plenty more, such as 99 Designs.
Traditional. If you decide to go the traditional route, then your’re going to need to start looking for an agent – somebody to help you sell the book. One way to find a suitable agent is to work backwards. Which are your favourite books? Who wrote that book? Who represents that author? Boom. You’re onto a winner.
Alternatively, you should grab a copy of the Writers & Artists Yearbook and make a list of the agents you’d like to query from there. Make sure you don’t drop any obvious submissions clangers, though – like sending science fiction to agents who only represent authors who write historical fiction. Sounds obvious, but it happens. Daily!!
So what do you think, guys? Are you planning to go down the traditional route or are you considering indie publishing? Let us know here in the comments, or via the B2W Facebook page or the Linkedin group!
Book writers from ThePensters are waiting for you to help you with your book chapter writing assignment.
There’s LOADS more about indie publishing, finding agents, submissions and promoting yourself and your work online on the B2W Resources page. Good luck!
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