Right now you are still pounding the keys, spilling out those words (even if chaotic), to attain that 50,000 word goal to complete your quest on NaNoWriMo. But what happens after you complete the goal and you have a rough draft of your manuscript? Lucky for you, NaNo has you covered!
Interesting when you look at the worldwide map that tracks the word stats: I looked at Boise, Idaho where I began the publishing odyssey and discovered there were 470 novelists who were at an average word count of 8,753. We moved to Indiana from the Phoenix area this year, and there are 1,022 novelists striving to make only 8,699 words in Arizona. (Way to go, Idaho!) Unfortunately, this is almost the middle of November and those numbers are way under half. GLEEP! I’ve written before regarding my experiences with NaNo and am always happy to recommend or promote it for budding novelists. *National Novel Writing Month
Struggling with the dialogue, can’t decide what your protagonist’s main squeeze should be named or whether your tentative title sucks–check out the Forum for answers. Within the Forum is every kind of help you’d be seeking in Tips and Strategies to Writing 101 and Plot Doctoring. In Resources, connect with other authors, whether frustrated or successful.
There is also a link to “l Wrote a Novel, Now What?” The bottom line: Edit, edit, edit–not just with your eyes–find several beta readers or get yourself an editor. Do you have a cover? Design one yourself? Engage a graphic artist? No problem as I see LOTS of covers that are provided free (Shutterstock?)–if you want to go that route. (i.e. Hunky bare-chested guy with low-slung jeans, hand just inside his pants band–you’ve seen’em).
The great thing about NaNoWriMo is the “aftercare.” The website switches over from Life During NaNo to Life After NaNo and begins steering you in the direction to which you should follow. Follow the yellow brick road! I used CreateSpace largely because I was given the offer of five free printed copies of my book. If you’ve been through your manuscript five times or received the services, an editor or beta readers, it may be time to look into publishing. (And btw, donations are freely accepted and well worth the service.)
First-Beware the Vanity Publishers
Yes, there are many websites out there who offer Indie publishing. Be aware there are also many so-called “vanity” publishers whose fees can run–according to some sources, upwards of $4,000 (and more). Tate Publishers requires a signed contract; extra services (and everything over basic is extra) can easily run the price tag heavenward.
Ever Hear of CreateSpace?
NaNo funnels you into CreateSpace, though I understand Outskirts Press is equally efficient. The former, however, is free and offers tools to help you through the process like interior formats, cover formats, and previews. There are affordable design, editing, and marketing services available should you desire to invest further.
Decisions now include what size you want the print book. You’ll find the most popular size templates listed for both the interior and cover. Using the template makes the first submission easier following the guidelines for progress. Look for the many websites offering free cover design templates (I used 6 x 9, which is fairly common. CreateSpace sizes range from 5 x 8 to 8 x 10. Larger custom sizes are available.). Product templates are downloadable that set dimensions, layout and bleed. Included on the back cover will be a barcode. An ISBN number is included in your title setup process and used on the barcode.
- Title information includes the title, sub-title, author(s), whether or not it is part of a series, and the edition number.
- Either accept a free ISBN CS-assigned number, or purchase your numbers separately.
- Upload your manuscript.
- Upload your cover.
- Prior to the completion of your manuscript, you’ll have the interior scanned for problems. Be aware this is NOT an editor. (Your uploaded manuscript should have been through the editing process at this point.) This preview discovers problems with formatting, which may include correction details of embedded photos (if applicable), tables, charts, etc. The interior must pass submission requirements.
- Upload your cover if you are doing that separately (not online stock). This will also be required to pass submission requirements.
- If both interior and cover pass submission, you are invited to complete a comprehensive review. If you approve the review, you are then ready to set distribution, sales and marketing parameters.
- CreateSpace also offers online help, forums, FAQ’s, and support. When you call for help, you actually get an English-speaking body.
Amazon–Here I Come
During the marketing selection, you’ll note your work will automatically go to Amazon. This is a great way to begin your marketing strategy, as you’ll need to set up your Author Page, which includes information about yourself. You’ll also finesse the description of your book. Take advantage of any suggestions and begin your on-going marketing and promotion campaign.
Questions? I am not a techie, but can answer simple questions and will be glad to do so–just drop me a line. My experience is mainly with CreateSpace. I’ve also used Smashwords without the same success. I use Photoshop for my covers (love Photoshop). And, I’ve played with Kindle–my grandfather’s books are also available digitally. But that’s another whole story…©2016 Virginia Williams