Congratulations! You have written the first draft of your book! You’ve created the idea, the outline, or the perfect storyboard you think will resonate with your readers. Unfortunately, some authors forget that the race they have decided to run has multiple legs. They get stuck right there, right on the edge, teetering. They have a manuscript but are just not sure if it is really ready. So many great books are still there on that ledge. We are here to help you take the plunge. Get ready to run the next leg of the race; it’s time to submit!
Submitting your work to a potential critic can make you feel exposed and vulnerable. You are submitting a piece of yourself to someone else and opening yourself up to rejection. There is a great deal of bravery involved. However, we’ve made it easy and given you the four keys you need to think about before you submit your book.
- Have (multiple) people read your manuscript.
Your publisher should not be your first reader. Honestly, anyone you share blood or living space with shouldn't be your first reader. You want someone who will, willingly and objectively, speak truth to you about your work. Sometimes, the parts of our work we love the most, and would never dream of taking out, are the parts that actually make sense only to us. An objective third party can give you some insight about things you need to clarify, or they can point out places that need to be cut out completely. Find beta-testers to look for your glitches. This will drive your manuscript toward its final destination, and begin to thicken your skin for what is to come.
- Trim the fat.
When you’re cooking a nice steak, you start by trimming the fat. It helps bring out the flavor and keeps you from having to eat a lot of chewy bits. Writing is just the same. You want to bring out the themes (flavor) and keep from getting too bogged down (chewy bits). At this point, you should have developed your main themes and have a cohesive work. When you feel like you are taking away more than you are adding to, you are getting close to being ready to submit the book.
- Cultivate an online presence.
Your publisher has a secret weapon: Google. Do you know what happens when you are Googled? If you don't know, please take this moment to be vain, and get to Googling. Now that you’ve taken that exciting personal journey, think about the ways you can make yourself more present online. You can create an author website, cultivate an active Instagram, participate in online discussions and message boards, or run a blog. The options are truly limitless. The cardinal rule is to be present. Don't be a digital hermit.
- Know your publisher.
Your publisher isn’t the only one with a secret weapon. You can also use the internet to get to know your publisher. When you’re choosing a publisher, you should make sure they are going to meet your needs. You want a publisher who works frequently in your genre, is going to support your writing career, and is going to help you stay true to your vision for your work. To find this out, look at other works they have sponsored, check out mission statements, and don't be afraid to reach out and ask questions. Being a self-advocate will help you stand out in an oversaturated media market.
The most important part of publishing your book is taking the next step. You have run the first leg of the race and created meaningful content. Now, you are ready to take another step closer to the finish line by submitting your work.
Do you think you might be ready to submit? Visit our page to learn more about Lucid Books and Partnership Publishing. If you’d like to get started by filling out our partnership application, you will receive free access to our Partnership Publishing Guide.