Self-publishing is not right for everyone.
So your book is done. Months, years, maybe even decades have gone by and it’s finally finished. The all-powerful “the end” penned on the last line of the final page. Hallelujah! Hang on there a minute though, you’re not quite done yet. If you’ve been thinking,”if you write it they will read,” you may be in for one heck of a disappointment.
Since 2010, GLD Enterprises has worked with many authors under our “publishing consultant” services to help either promote a completed book or determine the best method to get and unpublished manuscript it into the hands of the reader. Our clients include traditionally published writers as well as those who chose a self-publishing route. As thousands of writers around the world wrap up National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), some people might be looking ahead to when the book has finally been edited and ready to publish.
However, as they say on the TV ads, “But wait, there’s more!” Yeah, so it’s done, but what do you do with it? First, the manuscript needs to be read and edited by someone other than you. Like the empty-nester saying goodbye to their college-bound teens, it’s time to let them go. Don’t worry, just like the teens, they’ll be back.
One of the most common mistakes made by even the best of scribes is a lack of editorial oversight. No matter which direction you intend to take your book, good editing is essential. It’s important to get the view of objective eyes, not the pat on the back from friends and family. Either you should seek out a professional editor or join some kind of writing critique group and enlist the help of other readers/writers.
Speaking of readers, all too often authors only show new work to other writers or editors without taking into consideration the intended audience. If you really want to know whether readers will like your work, offer advanced manuscripts to readers and get direct feedback from your potential buyers. Think about how big companies test-market products to see how they will perform with consumers – it’s the same process. But remember, every reader / editor should be required to sign a non-disclosure form agreeing to keep the material private and in print only – no electronic versions.
After many months (if it’s done properly it takes time to edit and rewrite and edit and, well, you get the idea) you’re ready to take things to the next level. So where and how do you want to publish? You have, effectively, two options: Self-publishing or Traditional publication. Unfortunately, many authors who skip over the part where the book should be edited also jump straight to self-publishing, particularly, electronic release.
But there are times when self-publishing is not the right way to go. Before you latch onto CreateSpace or one of the other print-on-demand services, make the effort to get your manuscript off to an agent. Yes, an agent. Don’t waste your time and effort sending your manuscript directly to the publisher.
Getting an agent is not easy. Unless you know another author in your genre whose agent is willing to look at your work, you’ll need to spend time researching credible professionals. Some things to keep in mind:
- A credible agent never charges an up-front fee. (Exception: Some agents offer a manuscript review, where, instead of an outright rejection, they give you feedback on what’s wrong with your manuscript.)
- To find an agent, research can be done online. We recommend Agent Query – http://www.agentquery.com/.
- Multiple submissions of your manuscript to more than one agent at a time is allowed, but your query letter should inform them that you are doing so as a courtesy.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Follow the agent’s submission guidelines TO THE LETTER. From formatting to delivery, make sure you don’t skip a single step. Missing even the most obscure detail in the submission guidelines can land you in the “delete”folder.
These aren’t the only pointers you should follow, but they’re at the top of the list. The point is, give your manuscript a chance to be seen through traditional channels before you self-publish. And don’t forget the importance of editing and rewriting.
For more information on Publishing Consultant services, contact Gery L. Deer at GLD Enterprises 937-902-4857 or email firstname.lastname@example.org