The Process of Publishing a Novel – 3 of 3

This is the last post in this series.. If you missed the previous posts they are:

Step 1 – Write your novel

Step 2 – Edit your novel

Or check out the collection for all parts.

Step 3 – Publish your novel

Here is a handy info graphic of what I’m going to cover in this post.

You can save this to your Pinterest board.

Blurb

If you are self publishing you will need a blurb for your book. You can write this yourself or hire a professional.

Here’s a post about the making of the blurb for Ocean Heart.

Cover Design

Your book cover will be one of the first official marketing materials for your book. They say “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!” Except, people do.

You can design it yourself but if you are going to do print copies, it can be tricky to get the spine right if you don’t know what you’re doing. I opted for a professional.

Look at other covers in your genre. These covers are what your ideal reader is expecting. If your cover appeals to the wrong audience it’s going to make it hard to sell.

Here’s a post about how I chose my cover designer.

Marketing

Once you have the cover, start marketing your book. Don’t wait until it’s published to start marketing.

Fun things to do, are a cover reveal to drum up interest. Here’s a post going into more detail on how I did my cover reveal including tips on creating digital bookstagram pics for promoting your book.

You can also have a preorder period so people don’t have to wait until the release date to buy and can order it right away! These purchases won’t be counted until release day, boosting your release day sales.

I learnt a lot about marketing my book from author Pagan Malcolm and did the Storyseller Academy course that covers a lot of ways to promote your book and how to change your mindset.

Another, fabulous person to check out is Michelle Raab who specialises in Marketing for Indie Creative and is the founder of World Indie Warriors.

Check the links at the end of the post for posts on my book launch. They’re useful to check out if you need some ideas.

Formatter

This is the person that makes the inside of your book pretty and accessible in different formats for different eBook readers. You can do it yourself, or use tools available online.

Here’s a post about my experience with my formatter.

If you want to do it yourself, you might find it useful to check out Brittany Wang’s YouTube video showing where to get a free template and how to edit it.

Alternatively, you can use the tools provided by your chosen distributor to turn your manuscript into a book. I believe Amazon, D2D, and Ingram Sparks offer these tools for free.

Proofread

Big mistake I made was skipping this step. I uploaded my files to Ingram and then one of my ARC readers (author Cassidy Reyne) let me know where I’d missed some typos. 😱

My formatter was happy to amend my files for free but Ingram charged me for changing the files. 😢

Don’t skip this step. The last pair of eyes on your book are necessary. No matter all the edits already, and how perfect you believe it is, get a proof reader to do a final quality check.

Self Edit

If your proof reader spots any issues, you will need to make the changes and inform your formatter exactly what you needs changing!

And you thought you’d finished editing. 😂

Upload Files

If you are happy with everything, upload it to the distributor site you are using. Popular choices are:

  • Amazon
  • Ingram Spark
  • Draft 2 Digital
  • Lulu
  • Barnes & Noble

ARC Reader

Send your ARC readers a final copy. Between now and publishing you could make changes but we’d hope that by this point it is done.

The ARC readers need enough time to read it before you publish. This enables you to gather reviews for marketing and gives readers an idea of what others thought.

ARC readers will leave an honest review. Your book cover & blurb should attract the right readers. If your ARC readers are surprised by your book (and not in a good way) you might want to change the cover or blurb to ensure you attract the correct readers.

Check out my post on Betas vs ARC readers.

Publish

That’s it! Except now your book is out there, you still need to market it. Don’t be shy – every chance you get, give it a shout out. And, on that note…

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link.

[kofi]

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Why you need a developmental editor!

I never thought I needed one. But now I have used one, I wish I’d got one sooner.

There are lots of different types of editors and each type has a purpose. When I first read the definition of a developmental editor, I dismissed them.

What a Developmental Editor does:

Always check what the editor does before paying them but usually a developmental edit includes:

  • Refine your ideas
  • Improve narrative
  • Fix plot holes and character arcs
  • How to tell your story
  • Chapter length and order
  • What to delete/expand

Why I thought I didn’t need one:

I have so many story ideas that creating a story has never been an issue. And, I enjoy solving plot holes so why’d I want to pay someone to do that for me.

I was sure I could figure out how to tell my story my way and what was needed and when. I was worried an editor would lose my voice and it wouldn’t be the story I wanted to tell.

But, I was wrong:

A good editor works with an author to support them in enhancing their story. They give you the critique you’ve always needed.

What I got:

I hired Avery McDougal after meeting author J D Groom and seeing what she had down for her with Sorceress of Truth.

Avery edited my manuscript with inline comments. She didn’t just point out what needed fixing, she also told me where I’d got it right. Her feedback helped me grow as an author, learning by studying my own writing, guided by her feedback.

She, also provided a chapter report. This was an overview of the chapter and made me aware of any issues like grammar switches.

She provided a character analysis. These gave insight into how my characters were seen and their arcs. She linked this to character arc types which helped me learn about this too.

Avery also pointed out my bad habits. Once she pointed them out I became aware and able to correct them. For example, the overuse of a particular word.

Finally, Avery included helpful guides to help me in areas she identified that I struggle.

Editors are unique

All editors are unique. Some editors might not provide the support material Avery sent me. Before parting with your money, find out exactly what the service includes. Ask other authors for recommendations.

Check out the editors listed in the World Indie Warriors brochure.

The reasons I chose Avery were:

  • I liked what she’d done for Jodie. I still checked what I’d get to make sure I was choosing the right service for my needs.
  • Avery does writing workshops for teens. My novel is YA fiction. Knowing she has current experience with my intended audience was a bonus. And, it certainly showed in her feedback.
  • I got quotes and the cost was something I was able to afford.
  • Avery is approachable and easy to talk to. She made herself available post edits should I have any questions about her feedback.

Working with Avery was an amazing experience. She supported me to make necessary changes to improve my novel. But, she didn’t just develop my novel, she developed me as an author.

Ocean Heart is stronger thanks to her feedback, and I’m a more confident writer.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

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Behind the Book: World for the Broken by Elexis Bell

Elexis recently released World for the Broken. Doing another interview was a wonderful way to end our series on interviews. And, Elexis agreed.

How are your coping during C19?

I feel guilty, but I’ve been enjoying this. I get to stay home from a dangerous job that I don’t exactly enjoy, with a built in excuse not to socialize and tons of time to work on my books.

At first, it was nerve-wracking, because it took three weeks to get an unemployment check and money is a huge stressor for me. But we finally got it sorted, and now I can relax on that front.

What inspired World for the Broken?

The trailer for a high end, medieval erotic film. Lol. Which is ironic, since it includes nearly every trigger except a sex scene, even though part of the plot revolves around a brothel.

What’s your top post-apocalyptic book or film?

This one is hard to narrow down, so here’s a few favorites.

  • Book series: The “Partials” series by Dan Wells
  • Standalone book: “The Pulse” by Scott B. Williams (This may be a series, but I read it as a standalone.)
  • Short story: “The End of the Whole Mess” by Stephen King
  • Video game: Fallout 4. I’ve been getting into Fallout 76 since they added NPCs, though.

What three things could you not live without?

As far as apocalypse survival is concerned, food, water, and warmth. Not in that order. Lol. Otherwise…since we’re talking things and not people…idk. I’m fairly adaptable and can usually make do. I have habits and things I prefer to surround myself with, but if it comes down to what I can and can’t do without… I can make do with what I have. My imagination is usually enough to get me through a rough patch.

Could you survive in your broken world?

If the apocalyptic situation were similar to the one in my book, probably. I mean, I can’t say yes, without a doubt, because there’s always the chance for some unknown, but my husband and I have bug out bags, food stores, weapons, and a pretty decent ammo cache.

We live near a nature preserve, so hunting and fishing wouldn’t be a problem. And we’re in a small town. Fewer people means fewer people that could be terrible. It also reduces mob mentality.

Plus, I’m at a decent build/weight for the apocalypse. Strong with decent stamina. A bit of insulation to carry me through between meals, but not so much as to slow me down if I need to move.

I may have thought this through a bit too much.

Tell us a little about the three main characters?

Well, Chloe is a survivor. She’s independent (sometimes to a fault) and resourceful. She’s skilled in combat and handy with a gun. Growing up on a farm showed her the value of hard work, but tragedy pushed her away from other people. Now, after the apocalypse, she has to decide if she can let someone new in.

Christian grew up in a broken home. He tried to spare his brother pain at the hands of their parents, and now beats himself up over the monster his brother turned into. And his death.

Karen was once a bright, optimistic preschool teacher. She had a happy home as a child, and wanted to provide a similar life for her own son. But then, the apocalypse saw her forced into a brothel and beaten by the husband she once adored. And her spirit started to break.

Can you share a snippet?

“So, you’re just giving those antibiotics to me? And helping me…without expecting anything in return?” I ask, allowing some of my skepticism to show through.
“No. I’m asking for something.”
Chloe’s response unsettles me and eases my mind at the same time. After all, it is the end of the world. Everyone expects something in return. For some reason, I’d just been hoping she was better than that.
Somewhat wary, I ask, “What do you want?”
“Don’t make me regret this.”
Five very simple words, ordinary in every way and wholly within reason. But something in her eyes makes me believe she’s taking a much bigger chance on me than just helping out a stranger in the apocalypse.
Where can we find out more and buy your book?

My website has information and links for all my published works, as well as little tidbits about my WIPs. My blog is chock full of (blunt) writing advice and updates on all my work.  

Visit:  www.elexisbell.com

All my books are available on Amazon, and can be found on my Amazon author page.

Visit:  www.amazon.com/author/elexis_bell

Universal amazon link:
mybook.to/WorldForTheBroken

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