So you’ve written a book. Now, how do you get it published?: 5 Tips for Aspiring Authors

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Most published authors have been asked for advice by people contemplating publishing a book. I get it. The mere thought of it can be daunting and who better to ask than someone who has done it before? Believe me, I’ve been in your position before.

So, in an effort to help you, I’m going to give you some tools to help you on your pending publishing journey. 5 Tips for Aspiring Authors

Let me preface these tips by giving you one hard truth that some people seeking advice hate to hear, “If you’re not willing to do the research to become a self published author, you should hire someone to do it for you, or submit your manuscript(s) to a publishing company. It is called “self-published” because it requires you to “do it yourself”. It is relatively easy to self publish a book these days, but publishing is maybeeeeeee 1/10th of what’s important. What’s important you ask? Content, genre, and exposure! But, I’ll cover THAT another time. Today, we talk about the basics of getting published.”

Before we start: These tips are for people with finished manuscripts (novels, books, whatever you want to call your finished work). I am a writer, but I am a fiction writer. Not a writing coach. Unfortunately, if you need help with the completion of your manuscript, direction, etc., I am not the right resource for you. (Though you may find these tips helpful in the future) Everything I’m about to advise below was obtained via Google. I’m 100% sure you can find help for whatever you’re looking for, via a Google search. I promise!

5 Tips for Aspiring Authors

  1. Edit it: One of the key mistakes I made as a new author, and at times as a seasoned author, is not properly editing my manuscript. I don’t mean just making sure the spelling is correct or that you’ve used the correct punctuation either. Editing is more involved than that, and there are various forms of editing that are required. If you were really good in English in school, you may be able to follow tips from these 3 websites to get your manuscript up to snuff for publishing. 10 Ways to Edit your Own Book, Mastering The 3 Stages of Manuscript Editing, and How To Edit A Book. You can also use free software like Grammarly to aid in your editing process, but there’s nothing like a human editor. Even some of the best writers, who think they are awesome wordsmiths, turn out to be slack editors without realizing it. (🙋🏿I’ve been guilty of this). There are a ton of paid services that can provide quality editing if you choose. You can probably find some great ones through a basic FB, IG, Twitter or Google search, but here are a couple, Elite Authors, and Scribendi.

  2. Copyright it: Your manuscript is finished. Awesome! Now you need to copyright it to protect your work. Is it mandatory? No. But it is a secondary source of protection for what you hope will become a successful book. Where do I register my copyright? In the United States, through the Library of Congress Copyright Office. What does a copyright entail? FAQ. The last time I checked, the fee was $35 and it usually takes about 3 months or less. If you have multiple manuscripts, you may be able to upload them at the same time.

  3. Is Self-Publishing for me?: Now you have to decide if you want to submit your manuscript to a publishing house or self publish. There are a lot of pros and cons to both choices, but in a nut shell, it won’t be a cake walk either way. There are no guarantees that any publishing house you submit your manuscript to will accept it. All publishing companies have requirements, many only represent specific genres, and even if your manuscript is accepted, it may take months or even years before it is released. The relinquishing of control and a percentage of your royalties in exchange for potential mass exposure and access to resources not easily available to self published authors may be worth it for you. The plight of a self published author is not easy. You will be responsible for providing or paying someone to provide every aspect of promoting, creating and distributing your work. These blog posts Traditional vs Self-Publishing & Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing: 2020 Deep Dive, can be helpful in aiding you to make an informed decision about which publishing option may work best for you.

  4. Where do I publish my manuscript?: There are several ways to publish your manuscript. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords and Ingramspark are among many who will allow you to upload your manuscript for distribution in eBook and Paperback formats. Keep in mind that each will require specific formats in order to get them ready for publishing on their platforms and to other platforms they may supply, including public libraries. All books, even eBooks, utilize ISBN#’s or the equivalent of them. ISBN stands for “International Standard Book Number.” They are unique, typically 13 digit identifiers for each edition of a published work. You will either need to purchase one on your own, or you may be offered one by your publishing source which may or may not leave you beholden to that source for distribution on that platform. FAQ.

  5. Book Covers: All books require a cover prior to distribution. If you lucked out and are already a graphic designer or illustrator, AWESOME! If not, you may need to seek professional cover makers to literally, give a face to your work. Or at least some type of design for people to be able to identify and differentiate your book from thousands of other books. You can search social media for various freelance and professional cover designers, or can use sites like Fiverr, Selfpubbookcovers, & BookBub to find your cover designer. Keep in mind that whether you will be publishing an eBook or a Paperback is key in cost variations. Paperbacks also require a back cover and are formatted differently as they have to fit print parameters, so the creation of those covers typically requires more time and design correlation for front and back matter. If you’re the do it yourself type, you may be able to create your own covers using Microsoft Word Powerpoint or Photoshop. There are also other DIY sites like Placeit, Lulu, and Canva.

Welp, there you have it. Those are my 5 Tips for Aspiring Authors. Keep in mind that publishing a book is just the beginning and there are several other things you’ll need to do to prevent your work from dying in obscurity. What good is a published book if nobody reads it, right? So the next journey you’ll need to embark on, which is often the most intimidating part of self-publishing for authors is marketing, marketing, marketing!

I hope I’ve been able to help. I’ve been a published Romantic Suspense author since 2012 under One Ironwoman Publishing (not currently accepting manuscript submissions). My books are available in eBook, Paperback and Audiobook. Order autographed copies on my website, or purchase them from your favorite bookstore or supplier like, Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble. Don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up for my mailing list for contest and new release info before you go. I’m pretty entertaining if I do say so myself!

Good luck!

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HQ: Do you respect your spouse’s wishes after death?

HQ: Your spouse gets into an ugly argument with a friend and despicable things are said to each other which ends their friendship. Years later, your spouse becomes terminally ill and specifically states that they don’t want said ex-friend at their funeral. When they die, do you directly tell the ex-friend not to come, or do you just hope they don’t show up? If they come anyway, do you just let it go since you’re grieving?

Networking:

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HQ: Can your mate’s use suicide threats to control them?

HQ: Your current mate of 1 year’s ex hasn’t gotten over them. They call in the middle of the night saying to them directly or in a VM that they’re going to kill themselves if your mate doesn’t come see them right now. They’re also recording their call on FB live so there’s evidence if they shoot themselves what happened. You’re lying in the bed next to your mate when this happens. What do you advise they do?

Networking:

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HQ: Do you cover for your cheating off spring?

HQ: Your 18 year old is in your living room watching television & being flirty with a girl/guy you’ve never seen before. The doorbell rings & when you go to it, you see your child’s bf/gf & they’re visibly angry & impatiently waiting for the door to open. How do you handle it?

Networking:

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HQ: Can you change if your spouse asks you to?

HQ: Your spouse tells you that they feel your usual hairstyle(s) isn’t flattering on you anymore and thinks you should try something new. (A baldy, go natural, get a perm, shave off your dreads, get a weave, grow your hair out, etc.) Do you make a change or no?

Networking:

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HQ: Do your friends change when your relationship status changes?

HQ: Jenn has 3 close girlfriends she’s been tight with since middle school. Now that all of them are either married or engaged, and she’s still single, she feels like they’ve been hanging with her less. They all act oblivious when she’s brought it up. Jenn’s mom says married women shouldn’t hang with single women anyway. Do you agree?

Networking:

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HQ: Who’s your daddy?

HQ: You’ve been married for 2 years and have 1 infant. When talking to your baby, you’ve been referring to your husband as “Daddy”. Your husband says he likes how you say it and REQUESTS that you call him “Daddy” all the time. Do you?

Networking:

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HQ: Do you have to mold a date into the relationship of your dreams?

HQ: Larry had a radio station do a pole of his last 3 exes to see why they stopped seeing him. All of them mentioned his messy place & sometimes appearance as factors. Larry says, “A real woman would just offer to clean up what she didn’t feel was cleaned well enough. In a relationship, women should make sure their man’s place is tidy.” Do you agree with Larry?

Networking:

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HQ: Who controls the window seat on the airplane?

HQ: Nika has the window seat on her row of the airplane. Shortly after takeoff, the passenger in the middle reaches over her & shuts the window. Nika likes to watch the sites & puts it back up. Middle passenger says she wants to nap & the light bothers her. Nika says that’s not her problem & she wants it open. Is the person in the window seat the one who should control its position?

Networking:

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HQ: Do you care if your mate’s kids are attractive?

HQ: Lauren & James are on their 2nd date. James has 2 kids from a prior relationship. She has none. If things work out for Lauren & James in the future, she would want kids with him too, which he says he’d be open to in a marriage. James shows Lauren pics of his kids & she thinks they look like gremlins but smiles through it. Should what his kids look like matter as a prospect for the future father of her kids?

Networking:

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HQ: Do politics affect your moral obligations?

HQ: While pulling into a parking lot, you see someone vandalizing a vehicle. When they see you, they hop in their car and drive away, but you get a clear view of their face, car and license plate. Seconds later, someone wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap storms out in hysterics approaching the damaged car. They ask you if you saw who did this because the lot’s cameras are down. Do you tell them what you saw?

Networking:

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HQ: Can your daddy get an organ?

HQ: Your father has been in and out of your life since childhood. You haven’t spoken in the last 2 years after a huge argument at a family barbecue where he said he wished you were never born. He’s recently found out that he needs a kidney transplant and has reached out to you to see if you’ll be tested as a potential candidate. Would you donate a kidney to him if you were a match?

Networking:

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HQ:Do you trust the school to discipline your kids?

HQ: The grade school your child attends sends home a consent form asking for your permission to paddle (3 swats on the butt) your child IF they misbehave (nothing has happened yet) or to a 5 day suspension in its place. Would you agree? P.S. Paddling is legal in 20 states.

Networking:

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HQ: When are your kids old enough to have sex in your house?

HQ: Your 21 year old son/daughter is visiting from out of town with their mate of one year. If they stay with you, can they sleep in the same bedroom? If your child was 41, would your answer be the same?

Networking:

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HQ: More than a woman, less than a man?

HQ: The first time you’re about to have sex with your new mate, you find out they’re a hermaphrodite (has both genitals) Their primary is sized right for you & functioning perfectly. They are not bisexual & have never used the other. Could you go through with it?

Networking:

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