“I wrote my book…now what?”
For those who have never written a book, they think the act of writing is the taxing part. And yeah, that can be quite a challenge, but even more challenging still is the editing/proofing stage.
Once you get everything down on paper, speaking figuratively here because nowadays basically everything is typed, it’s time to make sense of the information. Now, if you have been following me for any length of time, you know I am a self-proclaimed #grammarsnob. I am also a card carrying member of the Grammar Police Force! However, there’s more to an edit than just grammar. There is cohesiveness of the information…continuity of flow…do the words even make sense?
In the middle passage you will massage and rework what you’ve written. Additionally, you will do the least spoken about parts that further help bring your book to life.
The Cover: Don’t judge a book by its cover refers to humans, not books. Readers absolutely judge books by their covers. This is the reason you should not take your cover design lightly. Pay the money to have it professionally done. Study other books in your genre to see what covers on successful books look like. Are there common themes? Are there common colors? Do you see common designs? Use this research and your graphic artist’s creative eye to develop a beautiful cover.
Formatting: ALL books have page numbers. Adding them is not as simple as clicking to insert page numbers, they should be centered or facing opposite each other on mirroring pages. Go grab a book in your house or office, look at how the author’s name and title of the book/chapter are on mirroring pages. Now, look at the chapter heading pages, the pages that introduce a new chapter. These need to be designed. Also there are print margins that surround your writing completely that must be adhered to before a printer will touch your work. If you can YouTube it, great! If not, email me to properly format your book.
Proofing: Once the book has been edited professionally or at least by another set of eyes, the cover has been designed and the formatting has been done, it is time for your print proof. This is a sample print of the book to show you what the book will look like when readers purchase it. This also shows you if further adjustments need to be made. Is the title large enough on the cover? Is the verbiage aligned inside of the book correctly? Are there any grammar errors that you catch reading back through it? This is your opportunity to comb through the book one last time before pressing go to release it. If adjustments need to be made, make them and re-upload the corrections.
Which part of The Middle Passage do you think you’ll need help with?