3 Ways to Know Your Book is Ready for Publication

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Karyn Connor

Senior Editor @ GoneWithTheWord

When you self-publish you make all the decisions about your book including writing, edits, publication timelines and marketing. Everything is your responsibility. 

We have all heard the tales of writers who took years—sometimes even decades—editing their book, never seeming to know when to move on to the next project.

On the other hand, one of the biggest criticisms of the self-publishing world is that too many authors publish too quickly. That is one of the reasons the public libraries have given for their reluctance to carry self-published authors.

So, how do you know when your book is ready for publication? Here are three signs you (and your book) are ready:

1. The book has been edited or beta tested by people unfamiliar with the story.

Find people who haven’t read your book before, nor know much about it. They will be fresh eyes. When they give feedback, look for consistencies in their remarks. For example, if most of them say the character is too obvious, you need to look at your writing and see if that is true. However, if the comments are all over the place such as some people love your protagonist and others hate him, then you probably have a unique voice or perspective and it’s all good to go. If the book makes sense and is enjoyable to them, this is one indicator the book is ready.

2. You have taken time away from the book before reading it again.

When you read the same passages back to back, it becomes too easy to see what you meant to say, rather than what is actually written. By taking time away from it and focusing on something else for a while, you can approach the book with a keener eye for the smaller details.  

Think of the time you take off between readings as a kind of literary sorbet. It is meant to cleanse the mind of any preconceived ideas you have about your writing so that when you sit down with it again you can really evaluate the individual components.

3. In one to two sentences, you can clearly and succinctly define the major plot points, character growth and theme.

This is vital in terms of understanding your book and its major marketing moments. You will want this information on the tip of your tongue for the people who will ask you about your book. If you have been able to succinctly come up with one or two sentences about your book, its characters and its major plot line, then you will be able to speak with enthusiasm and confidence. 

If you have successfully accomplished all of the above, you are probably ready to go. Hit the publish button, promote it to the best of your ability and then get back to writing. 

#BeBold, by Karyn Connor is available noweBook and Paperback

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