6 Tips about writing, editing and marketing your book

6 tips about writing, editing and marketing your book

If you are looking for tips to get your self-published book to readers, here are six tips about writing, editing and marketing your book.

Writing is a journey. If you have taken this journey you will have discovered that the road on which you are travelling is not smooth and that you have embarked on an uphill journey, following a path with its twists and turns.

In addition, you will have discovered that you have to always step over or climb over, or go around a number of obstacles in your way. But having successfully negotiated all the twists and turns and cleared all the obstacles in your way, you finally have reached a height of excitement and achievement in which you have gloried for a while.

Your manuscript is the achievement for which you toiled and its completion is exciting. But you'll soon realize that there are many more steps that you have to take to claim to have had a successful journey. 

Tip 1: Go where the story leads you

You're never quite sure what will escape your unconsciousness on to the page. Of course you know exactly what you want to say. You have a plan which you have every intention of following. However, as soon as you begin to write, the words that you think you are going to write give way to others more profound, other words that best capture the ideas that you want to convey. 

The lesson here is to write, even when the words are ill-formed in your mind. They'll begin to take on a life of their own as they hit the page, and it's alright to follow where they lead.

Tip 2: Write every day.

Some people who write advise that writers should write at least four hundred words per day. If writers do this, before long, say a year, they say, writers would have written enough words for a substantial book or several books. Not bad advice, I think, and I've really tried to do this. However, there are days when I just do not want to put any words on any page, and I don't. I don't, because I feel and I know that whatever four hundred words I put on that page, I'll have to delete the following day because the work was not speaking to me. The lesson here is to listen to your muse, whatever that is. And if it says, take a break, do! However, if you want to write for the sake of writing, go for it!

Tip 3: Edit your manuscript.

Completing a project is a great feeling. When that book or creative piece that you are working on is finished,  that is, when you've written the last words - you think - there is a sense of accomplishment. However, this is only a first draft. 

When you start to edit your work, if you do this yourself,  you will find that many of the words don't work as well as you initially thought they would; many of the paragraphs need reorganising; many of the chapters would best fit in another sequence. You'll learn that this is really the beginning of the work, the time when the form of the work takes shape. And this form comes into being through many edits. 

The lesson here is to recognise that creating your literary masterpiece is a many stepped process and be willing to stay the course, tentatively celebrating each completed step.

Tip 4: Publish your book.

Because you're hell-bent on achieving perfection, as defined by you of course, if you don't check yourself you'll find that you spend weeks, months, years even, trying to get your work just right. Don't do this! You finish writing your manuscript, you subject it to several edits (you take your cue from your beta readers, your editors, if you use them, and yourself). After at least three edits, you put your work down for several days, weeks or months (not years), then you revisit it one last time. Afterwards, it's time to introduce it to the world. Publish it! 

This publishing part is tricky for some writers; either, you would have already found a publisher, or you plan to find one or you self-publish. It's all up to you. 

The lesson here is that it is good to strive for perfection.  But you should realise that sometimes,  in spite of your best efforts, you don't attain it. Note those pesky typos or missed grammatical or other errors that smile out from the page at you after multiple edits. However, in spite of not always attaining what you deem to be perfection in your work, you'll still try, but you won't beat yourselves up too much when you fall short.

Tip 5: Market your book.

You thought writing the book or whatever creative piece that you have chosen to write is the difficult part of the writing process. (wry smile here) Wrong! The other challenge the writer faces is that of marketing her work. If you have a publisher or someone else who is willing to take on this task, good for you! But if you don't,  it's time to learn about the job of marketing, its techniques, channels and so on. 

For those writers who are always willing to learn something new, this will be an enjoyable but sometimes tedious and time consuming journey. For those who only want to focus on the business of writing, this journey will be just time consuming and tedious, but it is one that must be started. The big lesson to be learnt from undertaking the marketing of your work is that it is a long term process. 

Don't expect to see significant results immediately.  Just keep on engaging with as many of the tools of marketing as you see fit to use, based on your budget and other resources that you possess or don't possess, and your brand will continue to make steady gains until one day - who knows - you'll be established in your genre.

Tip 6: Keep on writing.

Don't ever stop writing to market that one book that you have written, unless it's the only book you plan to write. Keep on writing. If only one person has bought and read your book, chances are that person would love to read something else from you. And that person is the one who, if she or he likes your work, will tell others about it, opening up the market for you. Of course if that person did not like your book, he or she will also say so. However, it is said that no publicity is bad publicity. Who knows?  There may be a few people who are curious enough to read your work to decide for themselves whether or not they like it. And who knows where this curiosity may lead? 

Bottomline? Keep on writing, if writing is what you really want to do.

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About the Author

Janette B. Fuller is a teacher and author of three books. Her business is to write stories set in the place she knows best – Jamaica – while also helping writers to write their own stories. When you are ready to write your story, make contact with her @ writingwisdomtree@gmail.com. Check out her books here


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