WNA Blog

Thu 30 Nov 2017

Top 10 Concerns About Writing and Publishing a Book, in Review

Business Planning & Strategies
Top 10 - in review and the next step

Over the last year, the top 10 concerns about writing and publishing a book have been discussed in these publishing posts.

Hopefully one, or more, of the tips in those posts have assisted to get you closer to writing your book.

If these tips have assisted, then you have moved past those concerns and you are getting ready for, or you are at the next step to publish your book.

(If you have not started writing, go back and read those posts again and see what is holding you back, for those who have written their book, let’s keep going.)

Let’s assume you have the first draft of your manuscript finished. Your next step is editing.

Some authors say to me, ‘…But my manuscript is terrible, how can I send it to an editor?’

The reality is that this is ridiculous – the whole purpose of an editor is to repurpose ‘terrible’ manuscripts. The hardest part is finding the best editor for your manuscript.

Before selecting an editor it is best to leverage the tools that are immediately to hand, particularly your word processor (Microsoft Office or equivalent).

The following is an extract of one of the checklists that I use to help remove basic errors (so often found in first drafts), so that your manuscript is more polished before you send to a professional for additional input.

The checklist can be applied to any writing that you do, even if you don’t ultimately write a book.

  1. Print your manuscript and read from last page to first page (in that order, yes backwards)
  2. Run ‘Spelling and grammar check’
  3. Check for consistent formatting throughout (including semicolons, colons, quotations, etc.)
  4. Correct tense used throughout
  5. All external references checked (for example, footnotes, etc.)
  6. Confirm that diagrams in the document are accurate and located in correct section
  7. Are dates correctly and consistently formatted
  8. Use ‘find’ function on:
    1. double full stops (..)
    2. double spacing ( )
    3. the word ‘error’
    4. ‘#’
    5. space comma ( ,)
    6. semicolon comma (;,)
  9. Confirm all salutations are correct (for example, if a character is a doctor)
  10. Is the formatting and font consistent throughout the document?
  11. Keep a scanned copy of the complete document with all handwritten suggestions and amendments together with the completed checklist as a backup

How did you go?

Did this checklist assist with tidying up some loose ends? Did it help minimise of Muphry’s Law.

Next month’s post will be a closer look at the process for choosing the right editor for you and your book.

Until then, happy writing.

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