This is the time when people set goals and make resolutions for the coming year. If publish a book is on your list, here are some suggestions to help you make sure 2015 is the year you become a published author.
Set a date when you want to hold a copy of your book. In all the years I have worked with self-published authors, I have found that picking a date for when you want your book available is absolutely critical. If an author works with a traditional publisher, there is always a release date set by the publisher. That determines when the manuscript needs to be finished by. When you self-publish, you need to set your own “release date”. Otherwise I find too many other distractions get in the way of actually finishing the manuscript. Now this date can be an actual event such as a speaking engagement or a book signing or you can just pick a day. But without a day circled on the calendar, it is likely you will never get to your goal.
When you self-publish, you need to set your own “release date”.
Build a timeline to get your goal. Once you have a date when you want to hold a copy of your book in your hand, you then need to build a realistic timeline to get your manuscript to published book. Start with that date and work backwards with these key milestones in mind.
- Complete the manuscript.
- Time for editing.
- Time for revisions based on editor suggestions.
- Illustration or image creation if applicable.
- Cover and page design.
- Review and approval of cover and galleys.
- Distribution to online and e-book retailers.
If you are familiar with the publishing process, you can probably build this timeline on your own. If you are not, then you will likely need help from a publishing consultant or supported self publishing company.
Put writing appointments on your calendar. Most every author I have spoken with confirms there is a best time during the day for them to write. In other words, they are more productive when they write at certain times than others. For you it may be early in the morning or late at night. It doesn’t much matter when, but it does make a difference if you block that time on your calendar and keep it as an appointment.
Make yourself accountable. As with most goals in life, support is a key factor to success. Publishing a book is no different. So once you pick a date and build a timeline, make sure others help you stay on track. Share your milestones and ask them to check in and see how you are doing. You may already have someone in mind who can help you in this way, but you may also want to look for a local writing group or online group. The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS) is a great example of a local writers group that can provide excellent support if you live in Southern California. The Author Learning Center is an example place to create an online group.
Make an investment. That in which we invest is usually what grows. So when it comes to publishing a book, you are going to invest both time and money to get it done. Sometimes putting money toward a project even before the manuscript is done can provide extra incentive to get the job done.
Plan your book launch event. Many people have ideas for books and even start writing, but it is a rare few who actually become published authors. So when you make it to your goal, you need to celebrate. Throw a book launch party to commemorate your achievement. Be creative. The location does not have to be a book store. I know authors who tie the location to something relevant in their book. It could be a restaurant or a church or a library. Just put it on the calendar and it will serve as additional motivation.
If you have any other helpful suggestions that keep you motivated, please use the comment section to share those.
Many people have ideas for books and even start writing, but it is a rare few who actually become published authors. So when you make it to your goal, you need to celebrate.