Thursday, October 6, 2016

Ready or Not?



You’ve edited (and reedited) your novel and suffered through bruising critique sessions—but is your manuscript ready?
According to The Cheshire Cat, it depends a good deal on where you want (your book) to go…

Self-Publishing:
Congratulations! You’re now an entrepreneur. The quality of your novel depends on you. And only you. 

You’re the author, editor, marketer, distributor and financial advisor. Treat your book like any other business. No one is a master of all trades, be prepared to hire out (photography, editor, accounting…).

Remember, you pay for what you get. Lackluster sales are the product of cheap editors and lousy covers. Readers can spot a substandard, second-rate book a mile away. As well as superficial online reviews from your friends.

Readers depend on reviews for debut authors, if you have less than 200 sincere reviews or 5,000 in sales—pull the book and repeat the process. 

When in doubt, don’t send it out.  Double check the list below.
  • Self-Edit for inconsistences
  • Critique novel in full (twice)
  • Send to editor or beta reader (not family, friend or neighbor) 
  • Write pitch (what appears on the back cover)
  • Develop business and marketing strategy
  • Research genre and comparables (sales and reviews) 
  • Wait for reviews. Do not solicit from friends. 
  • Less than 5,000 sales—your book has flopped, repeat the process



Traditional Publishing:
The publisher pays for in-house editing, printing, marketing and distribution. They’ll run a Profit & Loss statement to determine the projected worth of your story (and you as an author). 

When, and only when, your critique group says you’re ready to publish, send your manuscript to another writer. 

Not your mom. Not your neighbor. Not your friend. 

Get their feedback and then apply to an advanced critique group or hire a professional editor (remember, you pay for what you get). 

If your inbox is filling with rejection letters, you’ve sent it off too soon. Stop submitting and repeat the process.

When in doubt, don’t send it out. Double check the list below.
  • Self-Edit for inconsistences
  • Critique novel in full (twice)
  • Send to editor or beta reader (not family, friend or neighbor) 
  • Write pitch, query letter and synopsis
  • Research your genre and potential agents (only submit up to 10 at a time)
  • Wait for rejection/acceptance letters
  • If more rejections than acceptance letters come, repeat the process


Beware of predatory publishers lurking in the corner. 
They'll disguise themselves as indie publishers but are little more than Create Space con artists.

1 comment:

Annis Cassells said...

Great advice! Thanks, Clarissa. xoA