©2014 Wendy Scheuring
You have just finished writing your manuscript, and you think it is ready to send to your publisher or printer. But, do you have everything covered? Take our quiz to find out.
1) You’ve just finished writing your manuscript, and you’re wondering if you should send it to your publisher or printer without editing or investing the time and money to hire an editor. Internally, your mindset is:
B: I want to save money, so I’ll look for someone with an English background to look over my manuscript free of charge.
C: I’d like to have an editor look at my manuscript, but I’m concerned that my book might be stolen.
D: I’m considering hiring a professional editor who will review my manuscript not only for style but also for content, and make suggestions for revisions.
2) What does the word “revision” mean to you?
A: Rereading the manuscript and changing a sentence or two, maybe tweaking some of the content
B: Using spellchecker and grammar checker to detect errors
C: Asking a friend or family member to read the manuscript and make recommendations
D: “Re-seeing” the manuscript as a reader would and making sure that the content is not only clear, but thought-provoking and insightful
3) When it comes to book covers, you think that:
A: The cover isn’t that important. It’s the story that counts.
B: You’ll save money by having a friend who is a graphic artists do the design work.
C: Packaging is important: the cover definitely sells books, so you’ll be hiring a professional graphic artist (who specializes in creating book covers)
D: You will take a shot at designing the cover yourself.
4) Your acknowledgements page should be:
A: Short and simple
B: List every person you’ve ever known
C: Write a detailed thank-you to all those who inspired and helped you
D: Not include an acknowledgements page
5) You’re considering self-publishing because:
A: It’s easy and cheap.
B: The book will be published more quickly than it would with a traditional publisher.
C: You want total control of your book: price, cover design, edits, and marketing plans, and, most importantly, profit.
D: Your book is written for a niche audience.
6) You’ve are considering publishing your book with a POD (Publishing on Demand) because:
A: It’s free and everyone is doing it.
B: Your book will sell more copies if it’s available for purchase on an online bookstore.
C: You don’t require any print copies of your books, or are willing to pay a fee to have them printed.
D: You‘re okay with the POD retaining rights to the ISBN (International Standard Book Number), book cover, and formatting of the manuscript.
7) Your idea of a marketing plan is:
A: I don’t need one. I’ve written a great story, so it will sell.
B: I’ll be telling all of my friends and family and acquaintances about my book.
C: I’m targeting my book to a very specific audience and have researched the best avenues to reach them.
D: I have a website, I blog regularly, and I post to social media about my upcoming book.
- “D” – 10 points. Get in the front door with agents and publishers by not only submitting an interesting story, but also a clean, concise, and error-free manuscript. If you’re self-publishing, a professional edit is vital.
- “D”—10 points. “Re-seeing” the manuscript is crucial to the revision process. One way to objectively revise your manuscript is to set it aside and then review it with fresh eyes at a later date. Then, rework the piece, even if it means you’ll need to do extensive re-writing.
- “C”—10 points. Unless you’re a graphic artist who specializes in creating book covers, hire a professional who can produce an eye-catching cover that also reveals the message of your book.
- “A”—10 points. A short, sweet acknowledgements page is the best way to give credit to those who inspired and supported you throughout the process without taking up too much space and boring the reader.
- “D”—10 points. “B”—5 points. If you’re writing for a niche audience, a traditional publisher might not market your book in target areas. If you do not want to secure an agent, nor work with a traditional publisher (a process which might take up to two years or more), self-publishing may be an option for you.
- “C” or “D”–10 points. Some “Publishers on Demand” retain the rights to the ISBN, cover graphics, and interior formatting. Oftentimes, acquiring print copies for book signings and cover designs, etc. may result in additional fees. Research and double check the fine print.
- “C” or “D”—10 points. Before you launch your book, learn about your target audience. Generate pre-launch buzz with TV and radio interviews, news articles, social media, a website, and/or a blog. Offer a discount for pre-ordering and ask reviewers to post endorsements on your website.
70 points – You are ready to launch your book! Best of success!
50-65 points – You are almost there. Refer to our checklist to see what steps you need to complete to “finish” your book!
0-45 points–Keep going! You’re on the “write” path. Consider hiring a writing coach or ghostwriter to help you with the writing process!