Finishing your manuscript can be a burden that falls from your shoulders. Literally. The days of sitting at your desk, hunched over a pile of papers, scrapping words and sentences and even whole plots, just to get your story ready… but what do you do after you finish your manuscript?
First of all you have to go back to your novel and start editing. Basically you just have to go through your book as if you have never ever read it before. You have to take apart every plot, character, sentence and even word to see if and how it fits. You edited while writing? Great, now do it again. The average author edits their manuscript at least 4 times before sending it off to a. professional editor.
2. Beta readers
No author ever has gotten better by being praised. I know a lot of people are proud of their work and let friends, family and colleagues read their manuscript but in the end this will not help you any further. Join some writers and or readers groups on facebook and shop around for some beta readers. These people will help you discover plot holes, boring bits and point out where you did super great! You can read more about beta readers here.
3. Professional Editor
Yes, you are reading this right. Professional editor. I ALWAYS advice authors to invest in an professional editor. And guess what? They might not be as expensive as you think they are. Professional editors can do two things : they can just pick up the mistakes you made but they can also copy edit your book. I would advice to get both done. When you want to send your work off to a publisher or agent you want your manuscript to be as good as it can possibly be so getting an editor working on your manuscript would not be a luxury and when you are self-publishing you would not want to put out half work out there – you don’t want to disappoint readers and you definitely don’t want to get bad reviews. No matter what way you want to go, a professional editor is a necessary step in the process if you want to take writing seriously.
4. Decide if you want to self-publish or not
There are a few big differences between self-publishing and classical publishing. When you self publish, the whole process of getting your book out there is a lot faster. Where classical publishing would normally take about 2 years ( not joking ), you can publish your book on amazon in a few hours. You will need to do the layout yourself and decide on a cover ( please invest in someone doing one that does not look like it has been created in paint.exe ) and price.
If you want to get a publisher you need to start sending your manuscript out to publishers and agents. There are great lists out there.
There will be loads more information on this in the next few weeks so subscribe and stay tuned!