So You Have Finished Writing Your Book

So You Have Finished Writing Your Book

Visit Paula K. Randall, Author Website

So you have finished your book. Wheee!! Break out the champagne. You deserve it. But now you have sobered up, what do you do now?

Well, the first thing is to put it away and forget about it, at least for a fortnight. Go on, forget all about it. Weed the garden. Tidy your desk. Write a few short stories. Then get it out again.

The next thing you need to do is read it through, as critically as possible. Read it out loud, that is the best thing (stock up on the throat sweets). Make more corrections (don’t tell me it doesn’t need any, are you Philip Roth, Hilary Mantel?). Then get a few people to agree to read it. NOT your family, they’ll just say things like ‘Wow! Look at this! Our Freddie/Janet has written a book. Isn’t it great?’ If you can afford it there are some excellent editing services around, such as Cornerstones or Writers’ Workshop. They’re not cheap, but you won’t regret it because you’ll end up with a much stronger product.

Then, what about publication? I never believe people who say they only write for themselves. Writing is about communication, and nobody only wants to communicate to empty air.

So what are you going to do? Well, you can try to get accepted through the conventional route. And this, of course, is what we’d all like to do. It’s not easy, but obviously it’s possible to break through. But be prepared for a lot of rejections. It’s a hard world out there and is getting harder all the time.

Personally, I chose to take the route of self-publishing on line. I’m not a spring chicken, and I couldn’t face the endless round of rejections and then – if lucky – face another year or so before seeing it in print. So I’m going to talk about self-publishing, and how to go about it.

There are two options, though one doesn’t exclude the other. That is, you can go on-line or into print. These days of print on demand mean that it costs are not prohibitive. I haven’t done that, though I’m considering it at the moment. I just put my book, Hangman’s Wood, on-line.

Now I'm no technophobe, and I guess I thought I would find this part easy. I'd spent quite a bit of time on-line, investigating sites which gave you information on how to do it yourself, sites which offered to do it for you (for a fee) and sites which promoted themselves as e-publishers, and had gathered a considerable amount of information. Unfortunately it wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be. For a start I was a bit bewildered by the information on the type of formatting that was required. It seemed that different e-book sellers required different formats, and so just reading the instructions put out by Amazon for Kindle would only go so far. And I didn't want to limit my market to just one seller. So in the end I chose the company that seemed to have the strongest reputation, which was Bookbaby. Of course, there are others and you might want to research the market a bit before deciding.

Were they helpful? Well, yes and no. They claim that you can just send them a Word document and they will do the rest. So I sent them a Word document, along with the fee (which is very reasonable). Not so fast. Apparently, I discovered, although this was indeed a Word doc., it had the wrong formatting. Well, I had thought (and to be honest, I still do think) that putting in the correct formatting was what I was paying them to do. Now I was lost. It wasn't that I couldn't understand what was needed. It was that I couldn't work out how to take out all the formatting I'd put in.

So, and I totally advise this to anyone who is struggling with technology, I went to a geek forum, and I asked the question. As it happened I'd been chatting on this forum for a while, ever since I developed my own website to rent out my Spanish apartment, and so I wasn't just a newbie asking for favours. That can get right up people's noses. And there I found a Good Samaritan who DID IT FOR ME! She even reformatted the book correctly and said it only took her about twenty minutes.

The next thing you will need is a cover. It's important that this cover is one that will still look good reduced to a thumbprint, one that will stand out and mark your novel as professional. And I'm afraid that, for that, you will have to pay. The company I used was called 2h Design Consultancy and the guy I dealt with was Ned Hoste. It was pricey, but the service was excellent. It didn't take more than a few days before six options were winging their way to me. The one I chose wasn't exactly one of the ones he sent, but had elements from several incorporated into the final result. I recommend them.

Wow! Now everybody's flocking to buy it, yes? Well, er, no, actually. Because here's the rub. Whether you choose to self-publish through print on demand, or through e-sellers, the marketing and publicity is all down to you. It can feel really heady initially, when friends and acquaintances are reading it, they're recommending it to their friends, you're getting some fab reviews on Amazon. But once that's over, you need to be thinking of how to get your book out there, and noticed (and bought and read, obviously). So how?

Well, the standard response is: Social Media. Of which there are many forms. I'll have a look at them, and what's worked for me, in another post, but let me tell you this much: it's a long, slow haul.

Paula K. Randall

To see more of Paula K. Randall's work, click the link to her website or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view her member details Visit Paula K. Randall's Website.

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So you have finished your book. Wheee!! Break out the champagne. You deserve it. But now you have sobered up, what do you do now? Well, the first thing is to put it away and forget about it, at least for a fortnight. ...

Hangman's Wood by Paula K. Randall

When Jake Summers, a university student, is viciously attacked and left for dead, newly promoted D.I. Fiona Brightman finds herself on the trail of a couple of young thugs embarked on a spree of brutal assaults. But soon the violence escalates and first a child and then a middleaged woman are murdered in Hangman's Wood, with a fourth person missing: young and attractive Natalie Gower. With time running out, can Brightman, dealing with a tricky marriage and still grieving from the death of...

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