A look into history shows that many great writers are men/women of like nature. Even in modern times, great writers continue to spring up in different places. They may have their unique experiences but there are few things common with successful publishing.
Every book starts with an idea. It can be in form of an inspiration, life experience, an imagination, etc.; the point is that it starts and stays within the individual. Something that is quite important in idea conceptualization is mind development and that could easily be done through reading. A highly developed mind can think more clearly and give coherence to his work when it is written down. Reading can help one acquire some writing skills since having a good idea is not a guarantee that it would be communicated to others effectively through writing.
It is at this level of idea conceptualization that one will consider if his work will be in form of fiction or non-fiction. Even if it is a work of fiction, he will consider if it will a realistic fiction or a non-realistic fiction. He will also consider his target audience.
A book only comes into being when it is written down. No matter how great an idea is, if it is not written down, it can never become a book. To have a good book, one should first of all make a skeletal work. For non-fiction works, one can write down the chapter topics and if possible, the subtopics also. And for fictions, it should go beyond chapter topics to brief summaries of each chapter. All these will help to give the book a sense of direction and coherence.
The next thing to consider is having a definite target on when to finish the book writing. The target could be adjusted with time but it will help to encourage the writer as the writing process progresses. One can decide to be writing at least one page per day and if he writes for five days in a week, he will be expecting about two hundred and sixty pages in a year. The truth is that there are days one will find no time to write. There are days one will lack the inspiration to write and there are days one would be inspired to write more.
For a fresh writer, it is highly recommended that after writing his first book, he should count it to be a first draft and start rewriting it. In the process, he will discover that he gets better every day. It is better for one to spend good time and produce a good book which can outlive him.
The process of editing a manuscript should first of all be done by the author himself. It is highly recommended that an author edits his manuscript at least twice before giving it out to any other person. This will ensure that the book expresses his mind before any other person evaluates it.
In standard book publishing, the publisher provides the editorial services for the manuscript. One of such services is the content editing which is usually done by someone knowledgeable in the field of the writing. Here, the editor works on the general composition of the book. He can remove or add paragraphs, even pages to ensure that the book is good. Another service is the copy-editing which is usually done by someone with a good command of the language of the writing. Here, the editor works on the grammar, punctuation, etc. The last editorial service is the proofreading. Here, the editor checks the correctness of both the content and grammar, including the design and the layout of the book.
One editor can render more than one editorial service but it is highly recommended that at least two editors should work on a manuscript. If the editing of a book is done well, it covers the flaws of the author and produces a good work.
4. Finding a Publisher
When one might have finished preparing his/her manuscript the next big task is finding a publisher who will accept to publish the work. There are basically two kinds of publishers: one is the traditional publisher and the other is the subsidy publisher. The traditional publishers take the manuscript from the author and convert it into a finished book. They do everything from editing and book design to promotion and distribution. In return, they pay royalties to the author. On the other hand, a standard subsidy publisher does everything a traditional publisher does, except that the author will have to pay some money to the firm at the initial stage.
Due to the fact that traditional publishers don’t collect money from the author and always focus on selling the books to make money, many of them do their best to produce high quality books and many authors throng towards them. As a result, they usually have numerous submissions and most times, many authors end up with their books unpublished. Many resort to self-publishing but being a good writer does not guarantee being a good publisher. Thus, the subsidy publishers come in. Though it is true that many so called subsidy publishers focus on making money from the authors, there are many who are sincere and their works speak for them. It is always easier to gain the acceptance of a subsidy publisher but great care must be taken to locate a genuine and faithful one.
There are five things that make a book commercially successful. One is the book design; it is the main physical attraction of any book. It involves the book cover and the interior design. The second is the content of the book; this is the book itself. A beautiful mind can write a great book and a good editing work can make the best out of any written work. The third is the selling price of the book. If a book is overpriced, it will scare away the potential buyers. The fourth is the distribution of the book. If a book is not well distributed, it will be like a lamp hidden under a bushel which cannot give light to anyone in the house. The fifth, which is not tangible, is people’s perception of the author and the title of the book. A good publisher plays an important role in managing all these things. Of course, God’s favour would not be ruled out.
At Alabaster House Publishing, we believe that a good book can live for many generations and we focus on making the best out of every manuscript we accept to publish. We believe that with a good publisher, anyone can be a good author. If your manuscript is ready, feel free to contact us.