What to do next? That's the question that I have been pondering over since I finished my first manuscript. I mean seriously, what should I do next? I found out a long time ago that I was a fish out of water, I just didn't realize how much water I used to live in.
What to do next? As I do every other problem, I took this question to my Linked In group. These are people who are mostly veterans and they are here to help out rookies. I didn't realize how many different processes there are out there. I forgot that different things work for different people. Well when you ask a bunch of authors, "I'm finished typing my manuscript. What should I do next?" It's like asking the social media, "What religion or political view is best?" Okay, well maybe not that bad, but you get my point.
Every bit of information I received is very helpful. One guy told me to:
Print 4 copies and give them to 2 friends. Ask each of those two to give the extra copy to someone they know that does not know you. It is important to have people read your book that are not familiar with your speech pattern -- or else they'll hear your voice in every word. Then another guy came back and said :
Do not, under any conditions, give your draft manuscript to friends or relatives - they can't be trusted to be objective. Give them to readers and people that will provide you with both positive comments and suggestions for improvement. Critiquing is an art and you must implicitly trust those you ask to comment on your first draft.
Personally, I had already asked two of my friends to read my manuscript, but now I don't know if I should do that or not. Both of these men have valid arguments to support their opinion and now I'm torn. I've always felt that I have a very outspoken group of friends. They don't filter for nobody. They speak their mind. However, now I'm wondering would they filter for me? Sometimes close friends tend to be your 'yes men' to spare your feelings. That is good for your feelings, but not for the future success of my book.
So that's still up in the air.
Another thing somebody suggested was to:
While you have others or a professional editor look over your book, you should start preparing the BUZZ. Let your social network friends know what's coming in the near future. Contact a professional book cover designer and layout artist so that you have a book cover to start promoting your book and get your fan base excited. Once the text is done then your can move right into layout and printing. Develop the publicity now if all possible, don't wait until your manuscript is perfect.
I must say, I love the way this guy thinks. After all this is what this blog is for. That just made me think that maybe I should do more promotional things. It is also sort of motivational, because I know that in my past posts I've talked about lack of motivation and thought about giving up. Pre-promoting makes you want to keep going on, because you'd look stupid if one day you just up and stop. Not only that, but you'll be known as a quitter to anyone who knows your name.
I have also noticed that I am not patient whatsoever. I am constantly wanting to get things done and I am definitely not a procrastinator. I always like to feel like I'm doing something. You know the first thing my crazy behind thought after finishing my manuscript was, "Oh, yeah I'm finished. So tomorrow I can just take this .pdf file to the library and upload it to Create space and get my hard copy." Really? Bree...really? I doesn't work like that. That's why I wanted to quit my blog, because I wasn't getting any hits. I've had this blog for months and I've just got my very first follower yesterday. I guess I had this crazy fantasy in mind that I would become a hit overnight. But hey, Michelangelo didn't paint the Sistine Chapel overnight did he? Patience is the key.
In the comment above, the guy also brought up designing my cover and releasing it. I think this is a great idea. I will probably do this next. That way I can do something to occupy my time, while my book gets the amount of 'polishing' that it needs.
Another worry of mine is copyrighting my work. When I presented this topic to my group, I found out that I can actually copyright my own work. Isn't it amazing how much you can do by yourself? After I copyright my work, I feel better when I place my book into the hands of editors and publishers. I know they are professionals, but my book is my baby right now. I know I need to learn how to be less attached, but for now I think my first step will be cover design and copyrighting.
Until next time my faithful readers.