If you’re a writer with something to say, now is one of the best times in history to pipe up and say it! Statistics estimate that the self publishing industry is set to rise to dominate as much as half of the total e-book market in a year’s time – and if you want to see your work sold and have a more hands-on part in the process from manuscript to book, self publishing is the right choice for you.
Almost ready to publish? Want to know how to self publish a book? Congratulations!
Here are some of the last few things that self published writers should check before they release their manuscripts to the rest of the world.
Editing and proofreading are different things. Proofing looks for (and corrects) errors, while the editing process can involve changing around large chunks of text and rewriting some others. Sometimes it even involves huge, drastic changes to the storyline.
Always make sure that your manuscript’s last edit before formatting is properly done: As good as you can get it, or not at all. That should be the universal rule.
Many writers don’t feel confident enough to edit their own work. Where this is the case, call in a proofreader who can help to make your job easier.
Last Spelling Check
Few things are as important to a great self published manuscript as the last spelling check. Use a powerful online tool like Grammarly in combination with the built-in checker that comes with your word processor if you want to get as close as possible to flawless. The last spelling and grammar check ensures that there are no spelling errors in the final book.
Always do this well.
When you don’t, your self published book can come off as a half-baked effort. Even where you might have an excellent story to tell, spelling mistakes can render an excellent story void.
Last Read Through
Once you’re done with your last spelling check, it’s time to read through your manuscript one last time. For now, ignore the formatting aspect and focus only on grammar and the story itself. Are you happy with it? Can you see it still being a good book in the next five or ten years? Did you put as much work into this as you feel it deserves?
Reading through your manuscript one last time allows you to spot errors that any software programs didn’t. It doesn’t take up a lot of your time, but skipping it can also result in an unprofessional end product.
Last Look at the Cover
Take one last look at the cover before uploading it to your chosen self publishing platform. Print a few mock-ups of it and put it up somewhere you can regularly see it. What do you think about the cover once you’ve seen it every day on the wall for a week? If you still think that it looks great, it’s likely to remain a great fit for your book – but if you have any doubts after a week of looking at it, it might be time to think again about your book cover needs.
Last Formatting Run
Before you finally upload your manuscript to any chosen publishing platform, you should do one last formatting run to check that everything is flawless. Ordering a proof copy (where your book is in print) can sometimes be part of the process to help check your book for errors in its final version.
If you aren’t happy with the formatting or something looks weird in print, spend the time to correct it before you publish your book. After all, you want it to be a product that you can be proud of.