Before you upload that manuscript.
You’ve finally emerged from your writing cocoon after lovingly combing over every word. Your book is finished! Your baby is ready to meet the world. But is it?
Here’s a short checklist to make sure:
- Was your book professionally edited and proofread? You’re so close to your own work that it’s often hard to see where your work might need to be adjusted or even corrected. And being a writer doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an editor and proofreader. The best way to make your book stand out in this crowded, self-published market is to make sure its exceptional. I know lots of incredibly talented proofreaders and editors who can help. Ask me if you need a recommendation.
- Did you buy your ISBN? Yes, you can get a freebie on CreateSpace… but do you want to? Here’s a link to a great explanation as to why you shouldn’t. And hey, its super simple to do yourself anyway. Just go to ISBN.org and buy one for each version you plan to publish (print, digital, audio).
- Did you hire a professional, experienced book cover designer? People really do judge a book by its cover. Make the investment. You can find some great freelancers on LinkedIn and Fiverr. Always ask for samples and read their reviews. I also know some very talented designers. Ask me!
- Did you hire a professional, experienced interior page designer for both print and e-book? Yes, KDP Direct will upload the e-book file from your Word document. But it won’t be pretty. Your page breaks will be wonky. No one likes wonky page breaks. Again, look for a hard-working, experienced freelancer on LinkedIn or Fiverr.
- Now that you have the final files, did you register you work? Yes, you have to copyright. (And please, don’t forget to add the copyright page to your final draft.). Check out a recent blog I wrote on why you should copyright. And then head over to the U.S. Copyright office and register your work! You can pay someone to do this for you, but really if you just read the instructions on the website, you can do it yourself. You will need your final cover art and interior pages in PDF to finish the registration.
Getting it right the first time.
There are so many moving parts in publishing. Ask any published author about their first book and you could probably write a book on the what-not-to-dos they experienced. If you still want to self-publish, these are just a few simple steps to help make sure you present your best work.
If you have questions or suggestions to add to this list, please feel free to add them in the comments below. As always, you can reach me here or via email. Have a blessed, beautiful day!