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    Finishing Strong: Take Your Self-Published Book from Good to Great

    Many self-publishers publish too early,” says Leslie Ramsey of Compulsion Reads, a website that seeks to establish a “…quality standard for the indie book market” by shining a “…spotlight on good self-published books and protecting readers from those that are not yet ready for the marketplace.”

    Capt. Kelly Calway of Fort Carson, Colo., finishes second among women in the 2010 Army Ten-Miler. U.S. Army photo by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs under Creative Commons

    In a recent post on Writer Unboxed titled Ten Things I Have Learned from Evaluating Self-Published Books for a Year she explained:

    One of the hardest decisions for an author to make is to decide when their book is “ready” to publish. I think a lot of newer authors lack the experience and patience to give their book that last needed scrub before putting it out on the market.

    That’s too bad because it means that their books are of a lesser quality than they deserve to be. Taking the time to devote some attention to detail when you think it’s finished can take your book to the next level.

    The first step is understanding that you don’t have to do everything yourself when you self-publish.

    Brooke Warner founder of Warner Coaching a coaching service for writers told Galley Cat:

    My number one tip for self-pubbed authors is to make sure they have a team. Self-published authors need an editor, a designer, and a marketing and/or publicity person. When it comes to self-publishing, authors shouldn’t go it alone, …There are so many good experts out there who will help ensure that you have a beautiful finished product. Don’t try to do it all yourself!

    Many authors, particularly those self-publishing for the first time, don’t take advantage of the help which is readily available because they underestimate its value.

    Courtesy of rama_miguel under Creative Commons

    Robert Doran Editorial Director at Kazoo Independent Publishing Services explained why in a recent post on Catherine Caffeinated:

    The thinking generally goes, “I’m not paying someone to correct a few typos and to get rid of the passive voice.” The truth is that you’re paying for a great deal more than that…[beginning with] a degree of confidence that your book is technically sound, that it does what you intended it to do, and that it comes up to the basic standards expected of published work.

    When you hire a professional editor or book designer, their job is to make you (and your book) look great.

    After creating the best manuscript you can, taking the time and spending the money to get professional help to perfect it before going to print is a wise expenditure of both time and money.

    As a recent study which appeared in Forbes indicated “…getting help... with editing, copy editing and proofreading provided a 13 per cent bump in earnings. Those who added cover design to that list saw a 34 per cent increase over the average.”

    Creating a self-published book is a marathon, not a sprint. As coaches like to advise runners, “Finish strong!” Making sure that you and your manuscript get the professional help that can be transformative will give your book’s journey into print the momentum for a big finish and a strong start as it enters the marketplace.

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