Do you have a great idea for a book? Wonderful! Here are a few tips to take into account before and after you write your manuscript.
Points to consider before you begin to write your story:
- Decide what you want to write about. Know your audience. Is your book geared for adults, young adults, children or all age groups?
- Research the number of pages that bestselling books, in your genre, contain. This gives you an idea of how many pages your book might be.
- Decide if you want to make an outline. This may help you with chapter format. Keep in mind that not all authors write an outline.
- Research the elements of a good story. These elements are character, setting, plot, conflict and theme. Within the plot are introduction, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. The Harry Potter books contain these elements. This information can easily be found on the internet.
- Have fun with the elements of the story. Let’s say that you know how you want the story to end. Then start with writing the ending. Who says you have to start at the beginning! The main thing is to start writing.
- Write every day.
- Write because it makes you happy.
- Keep in mind that your first draft is not your final draft.
Points to consider when your manuscript is finished:
- a) Editing
Readers may stop reading a book that is full of mistakes. Have your manuscript professionally edited.
There are three types of editing
- Substantive (developmental) editing: This type of editing looks at the structure and organization of the story.
- Copy editing: This type of editing looks at grammar, the use of words and repetition.
- Proofreading: This type of editing looks at spelling mistakes and punctuation.
If you are unsure what type of editing that your manuscript needs consult with a professional
- b) Type of publisher
- Traditional publisher: Most traditional publishers will only look at your manuscript if it is given to them by a literary agent. It is often difficult to get a literary agent. Do some research and contact literary agents who work with books in your genre. Be mindful that they are very busy.
- Self-publisher: Not all self-publishers have the same level of expertise. If a self-publisher wants to publish your manuscript (for a fee) without the manuscript being free of spelling mistakes etc. don’t use them. They only want your money. Contact a few self-publishers and talk to them. Look at their reviews.
- Self-publish E-books: Research how you can use Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Is there a cost involved?
- c) Importance of a professional cover
- The cover of the book is what makes your target audience want to pick up your book.. Make it stand out.
- If you are planning on writing sequels than consider how you can make your book covers similar but with different titles. Develop a brand that is uniquely yours.
Above all, enjoy the process! Readers are waiting to read your story!