- Develop a beta reading questionaire: CHECK
- Send the manuscript to a number of beta readers. CHECK – sort of. I’m waiting for the third one to finish the questionnaire.
- Revise and edit according to the wonderful insights and ideas the beta readers gave us: CHECK – also sort of, see #2
Meanwhile, I start asking myself some questions:
- Do I want to employ a professional editing service?
- Probably. Unless you are a professional editor or a first class grammar and usage geek, you need someone who is. Even if you are an FCGaUG, you are probably too close to your own work to be objective. Your best bet is to hire a professional. FWA has an editorial service, as does Novel Publicity, both of which are very good resources.
- How will I publish my work?
- There are a number of different options and all of them have different pluses and minuses. Traditional publishing can be difficult for a lot of reasons, and for a new author, odds are not in your favor, despite Effie’s best efforts. Many new writers are headed toward the Indie side of the house, with good reason. Book Baby and The Peppertree Press are just two of many reputable companies available in this fast growing publishing option.
- And here’s the zinger, at least for me: What am I going to put on the cover?
- I’ve looked at countless fantasy novel covers and I have a good idea of what I want the book to look like. I could probably design the cover myself by purchasing graphics and using a graphic design program (which I do not currently own), but I’m a writer, not a graphic artist and frankly, pastels scare me. Since the cover is what causes a reader to pick up the book in the first place, an attractive, intriguing cover is vital. I think my best options here include the aforementioned indie publishers and my favorite photographer, Krystal Blaze.
So, its getting close. The journey has been long, but I think I see the lights of home…no, wait; that’s a boat. I guess the journey isn’t over yet – but it does appear to be getting more exciting… Until I reach the next port, happy writing.