You’ve written your acim. You’ve got hundreds of words in front of you. What happens next after writing your book? Many people feel overwhelmed after writing their business book and are not sure what to do next. You have all of your notes in front of you in chapters, and it’s time to bring it all together. This suddenly feels difficult to do when you’re up against deadlines and you’re not sure which part of the process to do next. Before you give your manuscript to anyone else, you’ll want to pull together your writing to make sure it flows and make any alterations. From my experience, there are a few things that you can do to make self-editing easier.
Check different things with each edit. First you might be organising the flow of your words, then later you might check for sense, grammar and typos. Print out your book to read rather than reviewing it from the screen, especially during the final edits. Then find somewhere quiet to read them, and I prefer to make notes in a coloured pen so that I notice these later when I update the electronic copy. If something feels a bit clunky, read this bit aloud, and then you are more likely to realise how you can make your message clearer.
For many people, trying to decide what to name their book causes problems. They spend so long thinking about it, that it slows down the writing of the book. From my experience it’s either something that grabs you early on, or you may still need to finalise this at this latter stage. If this is the case, ask for feedback from contacts and clients. Don’t try to be too clever with your title, or at least make sure the sub-title captures the essence of your book and who it is for.
As the author, at this stage, you’ll probably be too close to your book. Seek a small group of people to review the book for you, ask them to pick out anything that doesn’t make sense and ask for suggestions to improve it. Even though other people may have read your book, I believe it’s essential to have a trained professional to do the final review. There’s nothing worse than picking up a book and seeing a plethora of typos on the first page. Although this adds cost if you are self-publishing, this is part of your brand, so a professional book is essential.
At the edit stage, your editor/proofreader will pick up on things that don’t make sense, needs explanation and make suggestions for improvements. Then they’ll check for things like consistency, grammar, spelling, and style, as they are trained to do this. You may have already done this if you have something specific in mind, but if not, this is the time to get a designer involved. When it comes to your cover, remember that you’ve only got a few seconds to make a great first impression with your prospective reader.
Whether you use a stock photo, get a bespoke design, or use photographs, just think about what your image will look like on a thumbnail, i.e. on your website or Amazon, before you approve it. Ideally have something that is simple and easy to understand. You might not even need an actual image, and words may get across your message to your readers. Again, feedback from others is ideal if you have a couple of designs to choose from.