- The first 5000 words of your book
- A one page outline of the story
- An intense edit of your first 5000 words
- Pointers, suggestions and pitfalls
Two things come up over and over again when I talk to new writers about the process of self publishing.
1. The biggest delays in the writer's anticipated publication schedule come from the second draft
2. The biggest costs come from content and copy editing
I think both arise from a hangover from pre-self-pub days, which is:
So whether your work is a 40k novella or a 300k epic, you have to write all 40k or all 300k before you show it to anyone.
In fact, a lot of editors (myself included) insist that your manuscript should be finished, and be at a "best draft" stage before they will even look at it. It should at least have had one round of beta-readers and a couple of self-edits.
If you've already been through that process, pause and think how much time all that takes you.
And how much a content editor charges for a full edit of 100k words. And how much a copy editor charges for 100k words.
If the last 5 years, the last seven million words, have taught me anything, it's that mistakes that you make in the first couple of chapters, you will continue to make throughout the rest of the book.Whatever is worst about your writing, whatever you (and, let's face it, I) will most want to eliminate, will be in those first couple of chapters.
It seems to me that writing an entire manuscript before you let anyone else see your work is rather like setting out on a journey and not checking to see if you have the right map until you reach what you think might be your destination.