I saw a picture while
procrastinating researching on Pinterest. (Yeah, you know the truth.) Anyway, this picture was advertising a blog that could help you out after writing a book, it said, “Hurrah! You wrote a book. Now what?”
I agree with her suggestions. I do, but here are mine.
1.) Don’t freak out.
Seriously. Don’t. I know I did, and still am, about my books, including my upcoming release, Entertaining Angels. I sent out ARCs the other day to my reviewers, and I totally flipped out. What if something was wrong? What if people hated it? What if? What if? What if?
Stop thinking. Just breathe…
Whether you’re in the ARC stage of your novel, or you’ve just finished the first draft. Don’t freak out. You have done something that a lot of people never accomplish. You wrote a novel.
2.) Now, as she suggested, let your book sit.
Why would you do this? Because it helps you distance yourself from it. Why do you need to distance yourself? Because you see things differently when you go back to it after letting it sit for a week or two.
You see plot holes, silly sounding sentences (alliteration, yay!), and you see your characters in a new light.
So take a few days before you look at you book again. Even if you’re on your 2nd or 3rd edit, take some time off in between edits and final proofs. It can’t hurt, right?
3.) Edit, edit, and edit!
I cannot emphasis just how important having your book professionally edited is. Sure, you can do it yourself, but there is so much you could miss on your own. Even beta readers aren’t meant to be the “editors.”
4.) Hire a proofreader.
This is essentially the same paragraph as editing but with a proofreader. This is the final step before you pub or search for an agent.
(Shameless, self-promo – I am a proofreader. My services are out for hire. 🙂 )
5.) Get an awesome cover (if you self-pub) or start looking for agents or a publishing house.
This is pretty self-explanatory. But, I’m going to address self-publishers directly for a moment. The cover is important. That saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” doesn’t apply here. We all judge a book by its cover, and it’s important that your cover matches exactly what your book is about. Do research, search for covers in your genre, and tell your cover artist what you want. But, don’t be afraid to let her/him do all the work. They’re cover artists for a reason. They know the work. If you need suggestions, I’ll be happy to direct you to a few awesome ones!
As far as hunting for agents/publishers, there are tons of resources out there that could help you with that. But it’s very important to have an awesome cover letter. Start there first.
What happens after publication? That’s a whole ‘nother story! And maybe we’ll save that for another blog post.
So, those are my five now-whats. I’m pretty sure all authors have different or very similar now-whats. What are some of yours? Agree? Disagree? Sound off below!