ED asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 2 months ago

I’ve written a book, now what?

I finished my first draft of a book I’ve been writing for a few months now. I have proof read myself. I know I will need someone else to proof read, edit, etc. But, what is the next step?

Thanks

Update:

I just love all of you trolls. I NEVER said I was in the Process of writing a book nor did I say it was finished. 

To quote myself I said:

“What are some things to keep in mind when publishing a book? The material is not an issue, it’s the expense and I guess “rules” I have been reading up on...such as needing a proof reader, editor, book cover artist, etc”

Update 2:

Also, Andrew, please get of my page and stop trolling me. You honestly freak me out. 

11 Answers

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  • David
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I wait about 30 days at least before reading over a first draft and then deciding what to do. If I want to keep working, I start into a second draft. Sometimes that means starting completely over. With a second draft, I might add or take away whole scenes. By the third draft, I'm beginning to write more for character and continuity. After that, polishing and flow. 

    Beta readers are usually after the second draft. 

    I don't think about publication until I have something perfect and ready. I advise you to do that, too. 

  • 1 month ago

    name it the gospel according to ed

  • 2 months ago

    With a proofread first draft, the next step for me would be to send it to my beta-readers and wait for their feedback.

  • 2 months ago

    Ask a few people (who are actually interested in the content) to read it and ask them to be critical and pull no punches (as they will be tempted to be polite and tell you "it's fine")

    If necessary edit it. Then publish it with an online publisher.No publisher is going to take a chance on physically printing 10,000 copies of your book only to find that they can only sell 1,000 copies. If it does quite well online THEN either ask that publisher to print the book or go to a another publisher (unless you've signed exclusivity to the online publisher) and show them how many copies you have sold. You have to reduce or eliminate the publisher's risk. 

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    now prepare to be one of the thousands of people who authored a book that nobody will ever read, much less purchase, who goes around telling everybody that he wrote a book. and prepare to be met with complete indifference about it forever. 

  • Amber
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    A few hours ago you were still in the process of writing it so I'm rather confused. 

    I would let it sit for a few months and write something else. Then come back to it and edit it again. A deep edit this time not just correcting basic stuff. Then take another break and write something else. Then edit it again. By this point it's ready for others to start editing it. That takes some time.

    And to quote your title "I've written a book...now what?" largely leads people to think it's completed. I think you're the troll here. And you did ask a question a few hours go because I answered it. 

    And in your last question you said you were in the process of writing a book (your memoirs) so yes you have both said you've finished and in the process. Two different books or? You're so confusing and I'm pretty convinced your a troll. You're just a bit too odd to be serious. 

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    So now the book is finished? 15 hours ago you were still in the process of writing it. 

  • Ludwig
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Now you will have to draw the pictures.  This will make it sell.

  • 2 months ago

    Congrats on finishing your first draft. Seriously, kudos.

    Now isn’t the time for proof reading or copy editing. First drafts inherently suffer from structural issues and problems with key areas like character development, pacing, flat scenes and missing or ineffective beats.

    You don’t need anyone to point out most of the problems with draft one. You should be able to plan a second draft on your own just by putting it aside for a few months and reading it as if you would a book. 

    After your first major revision, then find competent beta readers who know what they’re talking about.

    You might need to go through several rounds of revisions and beta readers until you start to get consistent feedback, people saying the story was immersive and they engaged with the characters etc. Until then proof reading should be the furthest thing from your mind. You wouldn’t paint a house that’s on fire. 

  • 2 months ago

    There's no single right answer; every author I know has their own method of moving from craptacular first draft to polished manuscript.

    Among the things I'd recommend sooner than later is running it through the grammar check of as many word processing programs and apps as you have. Word, Google Docs, Open Office, Libre Office--they'll all flag all kinds of stuff. Much of it, they'll be right, but often they're wrong, so you can't just take it as creed.

    Any time you're not positive whether they're right, you need to look it up and write what the rule is for that particular situation. Do it in a single document alphabetized by meaningful names, and you're gathering how-to for your weaknesses as a writer. (Example: commas/direct address/multiple adjectives before noun/punctuating dialogue/which or that--you want names like that.)

    Run spell check while you're at it. For words with two correct spellings, pick one and be consistent.

    Then put it away. I like a minimum of a month, plus an additional week for every 20,000 words, which means it'll be anywhere from seven weeks to forever before I look at it again. During this time, no peeking is allowed, but I write myself notes on things to check, to change, to consider adding or deleting. And I start the next thing so I'm not obsessing over the one that's resting.

    When I get back to it, I see it like I would if someone else wrote it. I can be objective about its flaws as I go about revising or even rewriting.

    Ideally, you can share a second draft with a critique partner in exchange for the same. It's not yet ready for a beta reader, but having the attention of someone impartial--not a friend or family member--who reads memoirs will be extremely helpful.

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