We’re in San Luis Obispo, California this afternoon preparing to appear at the Central Coast Book and Author Festival tomorrow. We are excited to be here because the festival is something new for us. We usually appear at expos or conferences where we teach classes, or teach classes to groups. Tomorrow we’ll only be one of 60 some authors with tables in Mission Square. I can’t help thinking about the message we want to convey to people who stop by to chat with us.
First, I know we want to help inexperienced or first time authors, many of whom want to self publish, understand the process of creating a book. We might say to them:
Every book starts out as an idea. To make your dream of a book a reality, authors need help. Writing a book is fascinating and enjoyable…when you know how to proceed.
An experienced editor and book designer can answer questions, teach you what you need to know, and speed your book to completion and successful publication.
We’ll want to help them understand that you don’t have to have a finished manuscript to benefit from an editor’s skills and experience. The might want to take advantage of developmental editing early on while they are in the planning and organizing stage of creating their book. A content edit will help them through the revision process. Certainly copy editing to make sure the manuscript is perfect in terms of grammar , syntax and sentences is critical, but having a well-edited draft before beginning that final polish will make for a much better book.
We’ll want to talk about how a skilled book designer transforms a blank page into art and show them how much more beautiful their book will look if they work with a professional to create it.
Finally, we want to help people who visit our table to understand that there are a variety of paths to publication. Is traditional publishing for them, or would self publishing be better for their intended audience? If they want to self publish, how can they make sure that their book is beautiful without overpaying for its production?
Most of all we want the people we talk with to leave our table to understand that they can create a book and that doing so is a wonderful and rewarding process.
We’ll let you know how the day goes.