Self Publishing 101

 

STEP ONE: FINISHED PROJECT AND EDITING

 

 

Hello, and Welcome. Srs here! Thanks for visiting our website, and hopefully you are enjoying what you are seeing. During our transitional period and the reconstruction of our website, I was truly overwhelmed! (Thank goodness D.K. Viola is a computer guru nerd and has the patience of a saint. Although I would never admit that to her.)

          The whole process made me remember what it was like when I had decided to self-publish—so many websites with so much information. I can remember thinking to myself, where the hell do I begin? Is this all really necessary? After those questions, I came to a real problem. How do I do it? I became proficient in self-educating myself in many self-publishing avenues, but there was always mass frustration and anger. Periods when I just wanted to give up, thinking it just wasn’t worth the aggravation. So, I have decided to incorporate a section of our website to create a step by step guide.

          Now don’t misunderstand. This is not a sure-fire system, and I am in no way, shape, or form a professional, but perhaps I can offer some guidance and answer any questions you may have. Our email address is writersespresso@gmail.com, and is checked by myself personally daily. I am hoping that my nerdy best friend, D.K. Viola will be able to open up the forum to the public, where you can place your questions directly.

          My goal is to start at step one and continue to the final stage of self-publication with you. So, for this week, the very first step is to have a completed form of writing. Whether you have a manuscript, screenplay, children’s story, a compilation of short stories, or perhaps a recipe book, whatever you have written must be completed in its entirety. Now is where the real fun begins, and I mean that sarcastically.

          Writing the book is the easy part. It’s everything else that is not fun.  Once your masterpiece is written, the next step is editing, editing, and yes, more editing. There is a program out in the cyber world called Grammarly. This program is offered free but keep in mind, it only edits a minute part of your manuscript. I have opted to purchase the premium package, and I absolutely made the right choice for me. There is always the option of a professional editor but keep in mind that it can be very pricey. For my first book, I was adamant that I wanted to have my book professionally edited. Here is what I found out back in 2016. There are many facets to editing:

  1.  Developmental editing focuses on your story structure and makes sure it all makes sense and sticks together.

  2. Copy editing focuses on your grammar and spelling.

  3. Line editing focuses on your sentence flow,  paragraph structure, and word usage.

  4. Punctuation etc.

 

          Some editors charge you a flat rate, while others charge per word. My only advice on professional editing is…..do your research. As I said earlier, I choose someone else to do the editing for a reasonable amount, and after I published, I had people writing to me telling me that there were so many errors they had to put the book down. So, in essence, I wasted close to 2000.00.

          If you're like me and cannot afford to pay someone else to edit your work professionally, use the Grammarly free edition. Once you used it, then hand off your manuscript to a few trusted friends or family members to read through it and see if they can find any errors. You will read your book at least a dozen times, and if you are doing it correctly, you’re going to begin to hate your book. As the authors, we read our books in what I call the skimming method (made up term). This basically means that we don’t read every word because we already know what it will say. Here are a few examples of what I mean when we skim read:

  1. We type there when we really meant to use the word their. Or vice-versa.

  2. We type though when we mean through. And just a heads up, Grammarly tends to miss those as well because they are actual words.

The list of mistakes like those goes on and on, but you get the drift. That’s why it is so important to let others read your work before you go any further.

          The creation of WritersEspresso was specifically to help others and myself to grow and become a better writer. Our group now has five outstanding women in its collective. We help each other, edit each other, support each other, and celebrate our small victories with each other. We welcome all who wish to join, no matter where you live. Hey, isn’t that what zoom or messenger is for? We try to meet once a week on a Tuesday, and you are only one computer click away from being a part of something that I hope will be great!!!!

          I hope my first step in self-publishing helped and be on the lookout for Step 2!

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sincerely SrS

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