A bit of advice for the anxious writer

a bit of advice for the anxious writerIn this guest post, book editor Dennis De Rose offers a bit of advice for the anxious writer.

I have been editing books for five years and spoken to hundreds of writers. I would like to share a few things that I have learned with you…

Slow down

Do not rush your manuscript. Take your time. Look it over from a writer’s point of view, a reader’s point of view and your editor`s point of view. Do not be in a rush to send it to your editor. If you do so, you risk receiving an unexpectedly large bill from him or her. Take your time to edit your manuscript over and over. Let people you know read it, giving you pointers. Let people you don’t know read it. Rewrite and reedit, then let them read it again. Continue doing this until they are satisfied. At this point, you need to read it again—slowly. Pretend you’re back in first grade, read one word at a time, touching each word with your finger, reading out loud until you’re convinced that you’ve done everything possible to make your manuscript the best it can be. Then, and only then, should you send it to your editor, hopefully one that charges by the hour, not by the word. Be smart, do a great job and reap the benefit of a much lower bill at the end of the process, one that you can afford, one that you will be happy with.

Choose your publisher with care

Do not choose the first publisher you see on the net. If you do, you will pay in the long run, perhaps thousands of dollars for almost nothing. I spoke to someone recently who shelled out $10,000 and got a galley copy for her money, nothing else, imagine that.

First, decide what kind of publisher you are looking for. Do a systematic search, charting those you find, along with their pros and cons. Here are a few sites to help you with your search. Remember, nothing done quickly is done well.

  • Editors and Predators pays particular attention to publishers, good and bad.
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) You can search within a state or zip code for BBB accredited publishers or those not accredited. Of course, some publishers will have more complaints listed than others based on their size.
  • Ripoffreport is another informative site, including much more than just publishers.

Most publishers want your money. A few want your money, but not as much of it as others do. Should you have to pay to have a book published? You can, if you are willing, do much of the work yourself. I have searched long and hard looking for publishers that ask for no money up front. I have only been able to find one and I have spoken to her at length. Jewel Parago is the CEO of Evershine Press Inc. Evershine is a new company with a fair solid business plan. Of course, she cannot publish every book that comes her way.

Market your book

I get the impression that writers hate marketing themselves and their books (usually). If writers spent 50% of their time writing and 50% of their time marketing, they might actually get somewhere. Can you imagine how many books are written each year? There are over one million books actually published annually (over 50,000 in the USA alone). Now, picture all those books piled up like a giant haystack. Once your book or books is published, where will it be, at the bottom or closer to the top of the stack? Only you can help make that book float closer to the top of the heap and the only way I know to try to make that happen is to actively market (or brand) yourself and your books. There is no magic wand.

I can think of one example, myself. I spend more time marketing myself and my editing than I do editing. As a result, I edit one book after the other, almost nonstop and at my leisure. My Linkedin site is in the top 10% of all Linkedin sites visited because I actively work the site, constantly adding little details that I think writers might like to know about me. There are several million Linkedin participants. I do not want to get lost in the sauce so I am trying harder to float to the top. You can do the same thing; it just takes a lot of work and perseverance. Never ever give up. Shoot for the Moon and one day, you just might get there.

Here are a few ideas to help you market yourself and your books…

  • Do you have a signature file in your outgoing e-mail? A signature file is placed at the top or the bottom of an outgoing e-mail. It usually includes your name, your contact information, your websites and what you have written. It is free advertising, take 5 minutes to create one if you don’t already have one.
  • Pay a visit to your local bookstore and your local library. Your librarian may be able to help you organize a book discussion/signing. This is one way for libraries to attract readers. Bookstores often host local writers’ signing events and their books. After all, it makes good business sense.
  • Bloggers and radio hosts enjoy featuring writers, sometimes for free. I will gladly send you a listing of bloggers that feature writers on their sites. I have been featured and they do a fantastic job. They are waiting to feature you too. Contact me.
  • Does your LinkedIn site look barren? Don’t be afraid to tell readers and others exactly who you are, share important information with them. I have seen hundreds of LinkedIn sites and they need a lot of work. Make your site shine. Be proud of the person you are and what you’ve done, people need to see a face. Post your best picture, one that shows the real you. Do it today, people are looking for you and you need to be noticed.

Was this advice helpful? What other advice would you give to the anxious writer? Please comment.

Dennis De Rose photo

Dennis De Rose, a retired corrections counselor for NY State, created Moneysaver Editing approximately 5 years ago. He has edited mostly fiction for 27 writers, totaling 38 books. To get to know him better and see what his writers have to say about him and his editing acumen, check out his blog in Authorsden.

Mr. De Rose sends out marketing information to over 600 writers and publishing others. If you would like to receive his FREE Moneysaver Marketing Minutia Museletter, just drop him an email, please include your name and your profession.

Dennis has been married for 40 years; he has three children and four grandchildren.

Links to Moneysaver Editing on:

Email: dderose@hvc.rr.com


About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

Adventurer and Author, I was born in Hartford Connecticut and now live in Sarasota, Florida.