Who doesn’t like a list?  Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I love lists!  They keep me focused and I like to mark things off!  This list is fairly short, and includes everyone I could think of that you should have on your team as you write and look to publish your book!

  1. This may sound simple, but you wouldn’t believe how hard it is for some people to actually say the words “I am an author!”.  If you cannot refer to yourself as an author, then how is anyone else supposed to see you as one?  You do not have to be published to be an author.  You simply need to be writing.  I am an author.  I write blog posts for my audience, and I author those posts.  Say it: I AM AN AUTHOR.
  1. Find someone that you connect with.  Someone who will push you and help you to grow outside of your comfort zone.  This will typically be someone outside of your inner-circle.
  1. SOOOO important!  I cannot stress this enough.  It doesn’t matter how you intend to publish – if you want to be taken seriously as an author, you need a professional editor.  Your coach can help with basic editing, but someone who is focused on editing will help to polish your work and make it ready for publishing.  Nothing makes me lose interest in a book like poor editing does.
  1. Your coach can fill this role, but you should really have more than one extra set of eyes on your work.  I’m currently reading Game of Thrones, and I have found typos.  Proofreading is Priceless.  There will always be something that is missed – but strive to get at least close to perfection!
  1. Illustrator/Designer. Unless you have training in these areas, PLEASE do not do it on your own!  Having been an acquisitions editor myself, I have seen some pretty awful stuff come through as cover art/illustrations.  It’s great if you are simply conveying your ideas/concepts to a design team, but you should not insist on your crayon drawings, or your attempt on the Paint program in your computer, be the final product.  It doesn’t look good.  And, although we’ve tried forever to make it stop, people do indeed judge a book by its cover!

This list is helpful as you are going through the writing process.  As you become ready to publish, the list will grow a little.  Don’t let this list scare you away from moving forward!  Take baby steps, and grow as your budget allows you to.  If budget is an issue, reach out to your network.  Many people will help you in return for being mentioned in your book, or for referrals, or even just for a free copy once it’s published…or, for a nominal fee.

In all of these cases, if you are to pay a fee, only agree to flat fees (single fee/per month fee) or “per word” fees.  Do not pay “by the hour” fees.  You lose complete control over charges at that point.  I mean, really – if you were being paid by the hour, would you work quickly?  I’ve seen many authors unable to move forward with their project because it is held up with someone waiting to be paid their hourly charges.  Protect yourself from that.

Keep writing!

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