MY BOOK IS WRITTEN: NOW WHAT?

student looks from behind the books

You’ve finished drafting your great story, it’s been perfected through multiple rounds of editing, and you have an absolutely amazing cover designed for it.

Now what?

Obviously, you’ve written the book for someone to read it, right? Therefore, you don’t want to just leave it in manuscript form, in a file somewhere, or thrown in a desk drawer. Ultimately, your book wasn’t written for you, but for your audience. So, it’s time to get it published and into the reader’s hands.

To that end, there are three primary types of publishing options from which to choose:

TRADE BOOK PUBLISHER: This type of publisher is one that will acquire your manuscript and completely own editing, producing, and publishing it. They sell the books typically seen in a brick-and-mortar bookstore and can produce it in a variety of formats: hardcover, trade or mass market paperback, e-books, audiobooks, etc.

Their entire purpose is to take your manuscript and make as much money as possible off of it. This is why you may send your draft or proposal to them for review and it gets rejected.  Why? Because traditional trade publishers are considering potential consumer readership and marketability. If they don’t believe that they will be able to garner a high percentage of volume, revenue, or profit from the promotion and sales of your book, then they will not acquire it.

There are many traditional publishers in the U.S.; however, the “Big-Five” are:

  • Hachette Book Group
  • HarperCollins
  • Macmillan Publishers
  • Penguin Random House
  • Simon and Schuster

SELF-PUBLISHING SERVICES: With that said, enter in the self-publishing company; also known as DIY Publishers, Vanity Presses, or Subsidy Publishers. A self-publishing company allows you, the Author, to see your work published, in print (or online) and accessible to your readers.

So, where the trade book publisher takes the risk and foots the bill to publish your book, in this case, you own financially supporting all aspects of the publishing process. They may even provide assistance with promotions; however, you will need to purchase these services.

Examples of self-publishing services:

LULU.com | Createspace | Xlibris | Xulon Press | Blab | Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Press

HYBRID PUBLISHER: There is a third option. Where on one end, you have traditional publishing, and on the other end self-publishing, somewhere in the middle, you have services offered by hybrid publishers.

Although they differ greatly in terms, hybrid’s generally offer you levels of cost-efficient in-house manuscript development and editorial expertise, as well as production, distribution, and promotional support. All while walking with you hand in hand throughout the entire process.

Many new Authors have even used the Hybrid as a way to perfect their manuscript prior to submission to a Self-Publishing or Trade Book Publisher.

No matter which option you choose for your book project, get it published… get your book out there to an audience who can read your words and be blessed by them! 

If you need assistance, we can help! Contact us today @ http://www.dbhonner.net

AN EDITOR IS YOUR FRIEND

Editor2One of the greatest misunderstandings we encounter with self-publishing authors occurs when it comes time to edit their initial manuscript. There seems to be much confusion stemming from the types of changes needed in order to create a stronger story and prepare for publication of the final version; with some clients becoming disappointed, once they realize that their work must go through the editing process.

Yet, the truth is every writing needs editing… and every Writer needs a good Editor.

This is because, as the author of your work, there will come a time when your eyes see what you meant to write, not what is really there. Or, there just may be weaknesses in the story line, the flow of information, or the development of your characters. Much like when you give birth to a natural baby and trust the support of doctors and nurses to bring your baby into the world in the best conditions possible; cleaning him/her up before showing them off, so too are those who are concerned about the presentation of their work. Embrace the assistance of a professional, allowing plenty of time for a thorough rewrite of your work following manuscript edits, in order to make sure that your creative baby is also birthed forth in excellence.

Let me attempt to clarify the two important phases of this process.

EDITING

When an Editor takes hold of your manuscript, s[he] is primarily focused on thestructure of the writing; your story essentially remains the same.  This is one-sided, with the Editor writing comments and corrections on the draft for you to pay attention to in your revision; which may include:

  • Pointing out awkward phrases and sentence structure
  • Deleting unnecessary words and sentences
  • Highlighting word choice
  • Correcting grammatical or spelling errors

This may also contain suggesting entire paragraphs be moved or removed, thoughts and information improved and/or enhanced, or vague and confusing text completely rewritten.

REVISING

However, when you are revising your manuscript, the focus is now on modifying the way in which the intended reader will experience and interpret the story; essentially a re-VISION. To do this, you may:

  • Add new content
  • Clarify existing content
  • Replace words with more descriptive ones
  • Provide more depth/detail
  • Remove extraneous or unnecessary elements

It is not unusual to go through multiple (two or three) rounds of editing and revision of your manuscript to perfect it. Don’t get discouraged and throw your hands up (or worse, the manuscript)!

Believe me, the Editor is your friend… as a matter of fact, your BEST friend, during this process.  They are truly on your side, and want what you want: a journey your reader will fall in love with and enjoy experiencing.

It’s your baby; so be encouraged in the knowledge that an Editor will help you through the process to ensure that your work is fully developed and ready to be birthed forth… in excellence.

“Edits alone cannot improve a manuscript; only authors can do that.”                               ~Michael Garrett; Stephen King’s first Editor

WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE A GHOSTWRITER…

ghostwriter2

Hiring a ghostwriter can be extremely beneficial and help you in many ways. Outsourcing your writing to a qualified and skilled ghostwriter can add great value to your business credibility,  image, expertise and resources; such as, time, increased intellectual property,  and enhanced collateral or documentation.

Although ghostwriters may be hired for several different reasons, generally, credited authors do so because they do not have the time, discipline, or writing skills to research and pen an autobiography or “how-to” book. And, that’s okay!

The degree of involvement between the ghostwriter and you, the credited author, can occur in one of three ways:

  1. Your ideas:   In this scenario, you pay the ghostwriter to take your ideas and turn them into an article or book. They will interview you, listen to you speak on the topic, or take your notes and develop it into cohesive content. The ghostwriter will do all of the necessary research and writing; you either approve the final draft or require substantial changes prior to publication.
  2. Their creative writing based on your ideas: In this scenario, you pay the ghostwriter to write from an outline or transcript you’ve provided. Or you may email them a rough draft; it’s the ghostwriter’s job to improve upon the rough draft and perfect it for publication.
  3.  Their ideas and creative writing: Here, you pay the ghostwriter to come up with the ideas, create the outlines, and write the book or articles. Your only involvement is to approve. This would include social ghostwriters (celebrities who hire someone to run their Twitter accounts, for instance).

Professional and talented ghostwriters can help with any one of these ghostwriting arrangements and would love to assist you with your upcoming or current writing project. For tips on how to ensure the best possible engagement process and successful result, read last month’s blog post: Keep Calm… Get Help!  

DHBonner Virtual Solutions, LLC
www.dhbonner.net

KEEP CALM… GET HELP!

GHOSTWRITER

So, you’ve got a great idea for a book, website, graphic design or other creative project, but you lack expertise on a necessary element and need to enlist the help of an expert and aren’t sure how to go about it? Here is a tried and true contracting process you can employ to assist in ensuring the best possible engagement and successful result.

Be detailed in your requirements. A well-defined vision can better assist the contractor in seeing what you see in order to bring it to life. Provide pictures and images that resemble what you like, as well as relevant specifications (desired colors, word/page range, size, etc.).

Request samples in your area or industry. For example, if you’re outsourcing your writing project, require samples that support your genre or specialty:

  • Creative / Fiction
  • Non-Fiction
  • Technical
  • Biographical
  • Academic
  • Industry specific

Consult with the contractor in advance to determine how you can work together. Pay attention to how well they grasp your vision.This conversation should be complimentary or at least, payment can be used toward future services.

Consider obtaining a sample for a small fee, prior to contracting for a larger project to help you see if you’re in sync with one another.

Make sure that all agreements are in writing and any needed Non-Disclosure Agreements have been signed.

Don’t be afraid to collaborate closely with the contractor to ensure that the end result is what you discussed… if not better!

Now, relax and enjoy the final deliverable.

DHBonner Virtual Solutions, LLC
www.dhbonner.net

5 PROOFREADING TIPS FOR YOUR HEART’S WORK

Proofreader

Proofreading is your manuscript’s final line of defense. While editing focuses specifically on consistency, style, flow, and organization, proofreading is where your work is checked for grammar, punctuation, word usage, and spelling AFTER it has undergone critique and substantive edits. Here is where you are preparing your manuscript for publication and you want the final copy to be the best that it can be.

Using a spellchecker may help to uncover misspelled words, however, it’s not perfect, as it cannot find correctly spelled words used in the wrong context. Also, it’s difficult to catch your own errors, because many times, you will naturally read into the copy what you expect to see or what you intended to write.

It’s also important to mention that many proposals have been thrown in the garbage, never getting a second chance, due to one misplaced comma that either changed a dollar amount in a document or completely altered the context of what was being expressed.

So, here are five tips for Proofreading your work:

WAIT: Put your work aside for a while, and look at it later. Many times, you’ll catch things you wouldn’t have because you were too immersed in the writing process or tired.

PRINT IT OUT: Seeing the content in a different format can help you see what you’ve missed, as well.

READ IT OUT LOUD: This will help you spot missed or duplicated words. It will also assist you in perfecting sentences that seem to run on or are highly complex.

ASK A FRIEND: Fresh eyes always seem to spot mistakes!

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL: And finally, don’t be hesitant to use a professional Service! There are many businesses out there that can support you with editing and proofreading assistance at an affordable per word/page rate.

Remember, it’s your heart’s work, so… “Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.” ~Author Unknown

DHBonner Virtual Solutions, LLC
www.dhbonner.net

DO YOU KNOW YOUR EDITING?

Editor

You’ve put a lot of time, money and passion into self-publishing your Blog, eBook, Book or Novel; but now your skimping on polishing your body of work! You know you need an Editor, but what exactly does an Editor do? I’m glad you asked that question!

There are generally four types of editors:

1) Initial Critique: This is usually done by someone you trust, like your Mom, Husband, or Friend. Generally, they read through your work, help you to get a secondary perspective, and provide you with initial feedback to your work. You don’t want to stop here, however, as most of those who love us don’t want to hurt our feelings. Therefore, many major issues are missed or glossed-over. This is why the next Editor is so important…

2) Substantive Edit: Also called a developmental edit, these are deep edits into the manuscript which are best left to the Professionals, or at least, to those individuals in your life who are skilled at catching inconsistencies in writing, like style issues, plot and readability.

3) Copy Edit: A copy editor is in essence, a fact checker and one who makes sure that the copy is protected from libel. This is your basic proofread edit and there may be some minimal rewriting (what I call ‘wordsmith’) of the copy, as well as attention paid to clarity and flow.

4) Line Edit: This is the final line of defense and should be done prior to publishing. The manuscript is checked for consistency, grammar, punctuation, word usage and spelling. The focus here is on making sure that the final copy is the best that it can possibly be.

Unfortunately, most writers will go only with an Initial Critique or a Line Edit; most avoid a substantive edit, usually because it’s the most costly, invasive and intensive. Nevertheless, all four of these edits are critical to the writing and publishing process and a good Editor will support you in presenting your final manuscript at its best possible!

DHBONNER VIRTUAL SOLUTIONS, LLC
www.dhbonner.net

SELECTING YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGNER:

graphic_design2Don’t base your decision on price alone…

Be sure to implement proper due diligence and pay attention to the Designer’s portfolio. Does the work included match the style you’re looking for? Does it reflect the vision you have for your project? Does it demonstrate the level of professionalism and skill you require?

If so, then the price simply substantiates the cost to expertly meet your needs. This would be preferable to paying what may be considered a low price, but not getting what you want… which is actually wasted money.

There are many designers you can choose from; make sure to select the one that can deliver the image that best represents your project… and ultimately you.

DHBonner Virtual Solutions, LLC
www.dhbonner.net