5 steps to go through before self-publishing your novel
So, you've finally tackled the last chapter of your epic novel... now what? Well, it's time to expose the world to your literary genius and get your work published. Okay, so now it's time for the next question: to self-publish or not. While getting your book traditionally published, i.e. via a publishing company, may be less time consuming, self-publishing has been a more effective option for many authors nowadays. There's a myriad of reasons as to why so many authors prefer self-publishing, but that's a topic for another post.
Well, let's get on with it: 5 steps to go through before self-publishing your novel.
Step 1: Proofread and edit your manuscript. This step is paramount for authors who wish to self-publish as having too many errors can leave a notion of mediocre writing skills and unprofessionalism. In addition to this, it may cause your readers to be less emersed in your literary work. After publishing the same book THREE TIMES, I know about the shame and embarrassment that comes with neglecting to proofread your work all too well! It's also worth mentioning that, whether you plan on editing your manuscript yourself or you're going to hire a professional to do the job for you (which is recommended) you still need to read over and correct as many mistakes as you can. Some errors, like street names and uncommon names, may slip under the radar of your editor.
Step 2: Format your manuscript. Before you upload your novel to a book publishing platform like Amazon's KPD or Lulu, you need to format it with regards to whatever size your novel will be. To determine what size to make your book, first identify what genre your novel falls into. Then you can look up what the standard book sizes are for that genre.
Step 3: Get feedback from test readers. This one is fun. It's time to let a few friends and family members partake in the sensation that is your novel. Their feedback is crucial because they'll give you a peek into the mind of your future readers with their thoughts, sentiments, and questions.
Step 4: Proofread your manuscript. No this wasn't mistakenly listed again. Proofreading your manuscript one last time will save you the headache of having to release multiple editions of the same book (like I had to do). Sometimes you may not have any errors, but you may want to add a few things here and there to make sure your readers understand what you are trying to convey to them.
Step 5: Create a book cover. Whether you create one yourself or hire someone to do it for you, make sure it fits with the theme of your novel. Also, make sure that it's appealing to the eye and fits the general layout of other book covers within your book's genre. A special tip for urban fiction (or African American romance) authors: if you're going to use stock images of people, make sure you provide the images and make sure those models aren't used on other authors' book covers. (Yes this happened to me. Two other authors used the exact same image as the one I had. *facepalm*)
Bonus: If you find that these steps may be too daunting or is taking up too much of your time, we at Classic XVII Publishing offer services that can assist you with the process. Just click on "services" and fill out the form for a quote.
Okay, so now that we've got that out of the way... It's time to publish your novel!