If you have decided to go the self-publishing route, here are some next steps once you have finished your manuscript and now have the best draft out of it. This means you have revised, edited, and went over it many times over (20+) and have also invited friends or others to read it who provided you with feedback. Once you have your best draft, then it is time to do a few things to take your manuscript to the next level. If you are not sure the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing, make sure to review the Writing in the Glory book and Ecourse to know which direction to take.
1. Manuscript Evaluation
Before moving any further, it is highly suggested that you invest in a Manuscript Evaluation if you are able to make this investment. This is a big picture overview of your project where someone will read through the whole manuscript and make sure the book flows, is not missing anything, or doesn’t have anything unnecessary in it. They may do some light editing but the main purpose of this it to give you constructive feedback to make sure the global scope of the project looks good and all the pieces are in their right spots. After receiving this feedback, go back over your manuscript to make any necessary revisions or improvements you feel would help. Once you have finalized your best possible manuscript, then it is time for the next step.
2. Hire an Editor
Hire an editor who is good with line-by-line edit and who is skilled at grammar, punctuation, etc. You don’t want to bring in a professional editor before this point because you may have to make some major changes and then you will have to go back and then re-hire/re-invest into this which can become expensive. Hiring a professional editor is saved for this time in the process.
3. Book Cover Design
You can also begin working with a graphic artist on your book cover design whenever best suits you. Before approaching them, you will need to have purchased an ISBN code as well as buy a barcode that goes with that number, write out a short compelling summary of what your book is about, your bio, any branding or logos, and your vision for the cover. You need to go over to Bowker.com to buy ISBN numbers. If you think you may write multiple books in the future, I would order a block of 10 so that you will save money in the long run. Once you have bought your numbers, the one you will use for this book needs to be made into a bar code. Once you have all of these pieces, you are ready to connect and share your vision with a graphic artist who will then go on to design your book cover. The book cover can be done in any order.
4. Make Final Revisions
Once you have received your detailed edited manuscript back from the professional or highly skilled editor, go through and make any necessary changes you need to and finalize the manuscript so it’s print ready. Make sure to go through the manuscript several times and have others read through to make sure there are NO errors. This is now your final final draft and excellence is important here. By this time, your ability to find errors may be limiting since you have already read through the manuscript like a million times that is why it’s always good to also get a few extra set of eyes to read through to help point out any lingering mistakes you’ve missed. Once you have the perfected manuscript you’re ready for the next step.
5. Format Your Book
Your book is now ready to be formatted. This is the same as the interior design for your book. If you have already prepared your book cover then the same graphic artist may be able to do the interior design as well. If not, make sure your interior designer has access to your cover so they can make sure it’s a similar style. Some graphic designers do both cover designs and interior design so it’s up to you who you want to go with. It is important that you give your final and best draft because after your manuscript is formatted, you will no longer be able to make any changes at this point or else it will begin to be very expensive. After the cover and interior design is finished for the book, go over and read through the entire book and have some friends do so as well to make sure there are no errors that happened during the formatting process. Sometimes when things are moved around, there are things that get missed or out of place.
6. Submit PDF files to Printer
Once you’ve finalized the cover and the interior of the book, have your graphic artist send you the highest resolution pdf files of it. Now you are ready to submit these files for self -publishing. If you want to publish through Amazon that is one of the best and most affordable outlets I have found. If you follow the instructions, it will lead you to enter in all of your pertinent information as well as upload files. Once you have everything set up, before you make your book go live, send yourself a hard copy proof of the book so you can see, smell, and feel what the actual book is like.
7. Go Live and Celebrate
Once you receive the book and there are no other changes that need to be made, you are ready to activate and make your book go live. From here you can purchase author copies at a highly discounted rate that are books on demand printed as needed. Publishing through amazon also makes your books accessible around the world and can even be made into e-books. If you have a big conference and need to make 1000+ copies of your book for an event, you can also hire a private printing company and send them your pdf files. The nice thing about self-publishing is that you own all of the rights to your book so you can publish or print them through these various channels.
I hope these next steps helped you in your process of self-publishing and releasing your incredible message to the world. Now that your book is birthed, remember to celebrate and throw a book launch party to let people know. For those still early on in their writing process who need some inspiration and help in the beginning phases of setting goals, getting over writer’s block, knowing your audience, etc., make sure to do the Writing in the Glory Workshop or online e-course to get catalyzed today!
Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D., is an Author, Writing Coach, Itinerant Minister, and Revival Historian who loves to lead people into life-changing encounters with Jesus and invite them into the fullness of the Holy Spirit through her books and ministry. Jen facilities Writing in the Glory Workshops around the nation to catalyze authors to write their first books. She has supported Bill Johnson in his Defining Moments book as well as authored Walking on Water, Ignite Azusa: Positioning for a New Jesus Revolution, Writing in the Glory, Life on Wings, Spirit Flood, and Silver to Gold. Jen loves to lead people into a greater lifestyle of union with Jesus through her writing, teaching, and ministry. She is ordained by Heidi Baker with Iris Global and received her Ph.D. in Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies from the University of Birmingham, U.K. Learn more about her HERE