Congrats! You’ve finished your novel! You’ve edited, revised, and polished that baby until it’s not only a well-crafted story, but flawless in execution. Here’s what you need to do next.
- Hire a professional editor. If this is your first novel ever, it’s likely you need a developmental or content edit before you even think about a copy or line edit. Get one experienced in your genre. An editor will not only make sure your story is has proper plot development, character arcs, and other craft essentials, but that your novel fits market standards. This step is more important than any other step. If you have to choose between skipping any of these steps, this is not the step to skip.
- Hire a professional cover artist. Despite the old adage, people do judge books by their covers. Unless you are a professional artist and designer, it will show if you try to slap something together in photoshop. For the love of all that is original, don’t use free stock images. Those are fine for blogs or social media. If the image you’ve used for your cover is all over the internet because you don’t own the rights, then readers will assume your work is poor quality too.
- Either hire a professional formatter or learn how to format yourself. There are services out there that will do it for a percentage of your royalties. That means for one job you could get done from someone on Fivver, you’re paying them a percentage of your profits forever. It’s less money upfront, but you’re paying way more for something that is relatively easy to learn and cheap to have done.
- Develop a marketing strategy. There are entire books out there, websites, social media groups, and services dedicated to helping you promote your book. I’m not going to tell you which is best. Different strategies work for different genres.
Bottom line: Writing is a solitary endeavor. Publishing a quality book takes a team effort.
If all of this seems like too much effort and too expensive for you, but you don’t want to submit to a large publishing house and wait for months, if not years, to hear back from them, consider an indie or small press that will provide a cover, editor, and some promotion in exchange for a percentage of your profits.
Written material ©Tammy Deschamps