The first step to independent publishing is the same as traditional publishing, or any kind of publishing: make your manuscript the best it can be.
Consider pacing, character, plot, and writing style.
Edit, edit, and edit some more.
Seek opinions from beta readers who are willing to tell you the things you don’t want to hear. Opinionated people in your target audience fill the role perfectly. Even if you don’t agree with their evaluations, they will give you a foretaste of what to expect once your book hits the market.
If possible, seek a professional editor who appreciates your style.
Not all editors fit all authors. If you are intending to pay for editorial work, take the time to be sure you will get the best value for your investment. Higher cost doesn’t mean better product. Look for someone who reads and/or writes in your target market. Find someone who will work with you to make your writing more powerful and clearer.
If you write young adult romance, you do not want a writer of hard core science fiction horror editing your manuscript. That editor may be excellent in his/her field, but most likely he/she will not understand your goal, style, or audience when they edit your manuscript.
Another side note, wait until the end, after working with your beta readers, to send a manuscript to your editor. That way he/she will not get bogged down in editing the small stuff like punctuation and miss the observations you really need like wording, flow, and choosing the right words.
Next week, Step Two: Planning
- Rachel Rossano