By Olivia Eisinger
Thanks to Brenda Dempsey, CEO of Book Brilliance Publishing, who has asked me to share some hints and tips about the writing process with you.
TAKE YOUR TIME
The first and essential piece of advice is DO NOT RUSH your writing, or you will not benefit for your hard work and effort. You have poured a lifetime of experience into the manuscript so the text needs to be the best it can be. You want to be able to call yourself an Author with Authority and Pride, having honoured both the time and effort you have spent writing the book, as well as the writing itself.
THE PUBLISHING PROCESS
Not only does this mean that you should take your time to write as well as research, but it also means that you should not rush the publishing process. There are several stages that a manuscript has to go through, including a reader’s report, edit, layout, cover design, proof and final approval. All of these processes take time – depending on the manuscript; this can take from 3-6 months. For your book to be the best that it can be, do NOT cut corners.
GETTING THE MANUSCRIPT READY
Once you have finished writing, ensure that your manuscript is as good as it can be, run it through Grammarly or a similar writing tool programme – but remember to make sure you are using UK spelling rather than US spelling. Running your manuscript through an editing programme does NOT replace a professional edit, but it will pick up some typos and grammatical mistakes. Then ask a friend or family member to read through the manuscript – as an author, immersed in your book, you sometimes miss something evident to a fresh pair of eyes.
APPEALING TO YOUR READERS
Have you thought about your market? Who will buy your book? Research your niche market; in 2019, there were approximately 187,000 titles published in the UK, so what is going to make your book stand out? What’s your USP? It would be best if you found something that will ‘hook’ your prospective reader. In what categories would Amazon and bookshops put your book? It is worth spending time researching other books in your genre – are the elements of your cover appealing? What is the hook that has captured your attention? Has the author offered the reader a solution to their problem?
LAYOUT & DESIGN
Now to the layout. Try and ensure that the design of your book intriguing and appealing for your prospective reader. Do you have clear sections, chapters and headings? Make sure your text is not too ‘busy’ or hard to read – no one wants to read page after page of dense text. Your manuscript needs to be broken up into readable chunks, interspersed with headings, images and diagrams. Also, consider adding quotes from experts in the field, perhaps at the beginning or end of each chapter.
I would also suggest you draw up a further reading/bibliography section to be added at the end of the book – to get your reader engaged in further reading on the subject and a broader view.
I hope this advice helps you at whatever stage you are in the writing process of your book. Good Luck!