Finished writing your book?
You worked so hard. Kept going through the tricky parts. And you didn’t give up.
So first of all, WELL DONE!
And don’t worry. It’s perfectly natural to feel daunted by the ‘what next?’ bit and overwhelmed by the idea of getting published.
But don’t let that stop you from continuing what you’ve started.
If you’re wondering what to do now you’ve finished writing your book, let me explain.
What to do when you’ve finished writing your book
1. Leave your book to breathe
Moving away from your book is vital once you’ve finished writing. Leave your book to breathe because it will be too fresh in your mind to do anything constructive with it at this stage.
Putting your first draft aside gives you the time and mind space to regain perspective.
Reflecting on your book as it currently is allows you to think about what it needs to (or could) become.
B E P A T I E N T
2. Read your book again
When you read it from start to finish again, forget the typos – you can come back to those later. Instead, focus on the structure of your book. Is there anything missing? Any glaring plot holes? Dangling plot strands that haven’t been tied up?
What about the characters’ roles – do they serve a purpose, or has someone been introduced and forgotten about again? Do any sections need rewriting to tighten up the plot? Is there any repetition? Make notes about any ‘big picture’ changes so you can consider them further before tackling any drastic changes.
D O N ‘ T R U S H
3. Tackle the edits and rewrites
Again, keep focusing on the bigger picture (not typos, paragraphing, dialogue etc – not just yet). Fill in any gaps in your plot and cut out whatever is surplus or steers your reader away from the critical aspects of the story. Keep chipping away (or not as the case may be) and always save changes as a new document (eg version 2). If you have anything you can’t bear to cut out, keep it for another short story or lead magnet or your next novel.
D O N ‘ T M U R D E R A L L O F Y O U R D A R L I N G S
– R E C Y C L E T H E M
4. Proofread your book
Once you’re happy with your updated version, it’s proofreading time. But don’t start this until you’re absolutely sure you’re happy with the structure, pace, flow, narrative, characters and storyline. Here are some of my Proofreading Tips to Make Your Writing Sparkle.
P R O O F R E A D W I T H P A T I E N C E
5. Call in the reinforcements
If you don’t enjoy proofreading, call in a specialist (like me: Proofreading Novels — Michelle Emerson ¦ Self-Publishing Services UK.)
And if you’d like to find out what other people think before you take the publishing plunge, now is the time to call in beta readers.
F I N D Y O U R P U B L I S H I N G T R I B E
And once you’ve done all of this, it’s time to consider publishing your book.
If you decide the self-publishing on Amazon route is your best option then grab yourself a copy of my free checklist!
Would you like help to publish your book on Amazon?
We can work together to make publishing your book a painless, enjoyable process.
Or book a 30-minute, free, no-obligation chat to find out more about self-publishing with my support.
If this article has helped you, please share your thoughts in the comments or the link with your writing friends.