I’ve Written My Book – What Comes Next?

You’ve written your book. You’ve got hundreds of words in front of you. What happens next after writing your book?Many people feel overwhelmed after writing their business book and are not sure what to do next. You have all of your notes in front of you in chapters, and it’s time to bring it all together. This suddenly feels difficult to do when you’re up against deadlines and you’re not sure which part of the process to do next.Here are the things that you need to think about at this stage:1. Edit the book yourselfBefore you give your manuscript to anyone else, you’ll want to pull together your writing to make sure it flows and make any alterations. From my experience, there are a few things that you can do to make self-editing easier.Check different things with each edit. First you might be organising the flow of your words, then later you might check for sense, grammar and typos.It’s important to double check facts, names and other quoted information.Print out your book to read rather than reviewing it from the screen, especially during the final edits. Then find somewhere quiet to read them, and I prefer to make notes in a coloured pen so that I notice these later when I update the electronic copy.If something feels a bit clunky, read this bit aloud, and then you are more likely to realise how you can make your message clearer.2. Finalise your book title and sub-titleFor many people, trying to decide what to name their book causes problems. They spend so long thinking about it, that it slows down the writing of the book.From my experience it’s either something that grabs you early on, or you may still need to finalise this at this latter stage. If this is the case, ask for feedback from contacts and clients. Don’t try to be too clever with your title, or at least make sure the sub-title captures the essence of your book and who it is for.3. Ask your friends, colleagues and other professionals to give you feedbackAs the author, at this stage, you’ll probably be too close to your book. Seek a small group of people to review the book for you, ask them to pick out anything that doesn’t make sense and ask for suggestions to improve it.4. Get your book professionally edited and proofreadEven though other people may have read your book, I believe it’s essential to have a trained professional to do the final review. There’s nothing worse than picking up a book and seeing a plethora of typos on the first page. Although this adds cost if you are self-publishing, this is part of your brand, so a professional book is essential.At the edit stage, your editor/proofreader will pick up on things that don’t make sense, needs explanation and make suggestions for improvements. Then they’ll check for things like consistency, grammar, spelling, and style, as they are trained to do this.5. Organise your cover designYou may have already done this if you have something specific in mind, but if not, this is the time to get a designer involved. When it comes to your cover, remember that you’ve only got a few seconds to make a great first impression with your prospective reader.Whether you use a stock photo, get a bespoke design, or use photographs, just think about what your image will look like on a thumbnail, i.e. on your website or Amazon, before you approve it. Ideally have something that is simple and easy to understand. You might not even need an actual image, and words may get across your message to your readers. Again, feedback from others is ideal if you have a couple of designs to choose from.6. Arrange your foreword and endorsementsAlthough having a foreword is not essential, you may choose to ask someone to write this endorsement for your book. If you have a high profile person in mind, then don’t delay in asking them. You may also want to tell them why they are the perfect person to write the foreword.To speed up the process, if they want to see your entire book, I’d personally send them the manuscript before it has been professionally edited, but you may choose to wait until later on. But at the very least, ask them now. If you have a couple of people in mind, could the other people write you a review for your inside cover?7. Write your acknowledgements pageThe most difficult thing about writing your acknowledgements page is worrying about missing someone out! If in doubt make sure you include a catch all just in case, thanking everyone who has contributed to your book, life and work. Think about the key people who have been involved in the book, without whom it probably wouldn’t have been possible.8. Write the copy for your back coverWhen someone picks up your book and flips it over to your back cover, you want to grab their attention from the first to the last words on the page. I’ll often work one-to-one with my clients to help them to write this, as it can be hard to see what makes your book stand out.Think about the following:Who is it for?What are they going through?Why should they read it?What will they get from it?Also include a short bio, and you may choose to put a longer ‘about you’ page in the back of the book. You only have space for around 150 words on your back cover, so make sure it is succinct. You may also choose to include a picture of you and a couple of reviews too, although this is not essential.9. Get it published!Once you’ve had all of your work edited and proof-read, you’ll be ready to get it typeset, the final cover design created and the first copy of your books printed!