It may sound like obvious advice, but you will be surprised at how many choose not to listen to it. If you are self-publishing, you need to be prepared to put money into your book cover. The cover will be the first thing that people see. Hence, it needs to be eye-catching, but in a good way. If your book cover looks cheap, people will instantly assume that you didn’t take the time to edit your writing before publishing. However, if you have a professional looking cover, then they might actually stop long enough to look at the blurb. There are many graphic designers out there who produce beautiful covers for a reasonable price. Ask other writers as to who they recommend.
Critique partners, beta readers, and editors are valuable resources for any writer. However, ensure that you aren’t sending them something that doesn’t make any sense at all. Read your own writing before sending it out for comments or review.
A good professional editor is worth every penny that you pay them. They can save you from that embarrassing mistake of sending Jack down the road to “sale” the cow. However, don’t be afraid to work with the new editor that is still getting their feet wet. Editors need experience in particular areas so they can market themselves accordingly. Many new editors will give you a great rate, but they should also be honest and upfront about their experience. If in doubt, ask for a sample edit. If they do charge for this, it should be a nominal fee, often […]
It’s often difficult to remember that writing is actually just another form of art. There is a reason it’s called creative writing. What one person loves, another will hate. The writers that try to please everyone will drive themselves crazy in the attempt. But this subjectivity goes for the professionals in the industry too. Just because an agent/publisher has turned down your beloved manuscript doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with your manuscript. It just means that they weren’t as passionate about it as you are and hence didn’t feel that they could best represent that story. One should always remember this in any dealings about your manuscript. At the end of the day, there is only one person that you need to make 100% happy with what you have written: yourself. Your name is attached to that story. Make it a story that you’re proud of.
Whether you are self-publishing or traditionally publishing, you need a marketing strategy for your book. It’s not good enough to just post your book on Amazon and expect people to buy it. The “build it and they will come” philosophy only works for Kevin Costner. The exact strategy that you use will depend on your personality and goals. There is only one wrong answer: doing nothing.
To translate a manuscript between US and UK English, it’s not good enough to just change the English dictionary on your computer. While it is a good place to start, the differences between the two forms of English extend to more than just spelling. Mr Darcy is British, but Mr. Twain is American.
Writing can be incredibly isolating. Let’s face it, family and friends will nod and smile sweetly, humoring our writing aspirations, but unless they are writers themselves, they will never understand the obsession that writing is. It is vital for your development as a writer to find other writers. Search for local writing groups. Join on-line networks. Participate in Twitter events like #PitchWars. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Self-editing is always an attractive option to the financial purse strings. However, professional editing is always preferred. A professional editor has no emotional attachment to your writing. Hence, they are likely to pick up things that you would have completely missed otherwise. However, before you hire a professional editor, ensure that you are hiring the right editor for the job — don’t hire a copyeditor for developmental editing, and vice versa.
If you’re in a writing slump, stuck for ideas, try changing your writing venue. Go to a local coffee shop, the park, the beach, even your backyard. The slight change in an environment might be all you need to get those creative juice flowing again.