James, what a great question! A lot of writers—both nonfiction and fiction—wonder what to do when their book is finished.
First, congratulations on all you’ve accomplished. You’re tackling the hardest part right now—finishing your book. Your breadth of work shows your dedication. Seriously, that’s the hardest part.
Now what to do?
Step 1: Hire an Editor
First, we highly recommend having your book edited by a professional editor. This is a necessary step to make sure you produce a strong piece.
Step 2: Find Beta Readers
Then, to ensure that you release your best work, secure a few beta readers, volunteers who are willing to read your book closely and help you identify any weak points. You’ll find that different beta readers—and editors—have unique strengths.
In the case of fiction, beta readers can help you with various aspects of your book. Some will help you with overall story arc. Others will help you sharpen your dialogue or your characters. And then there are the grammarians who can spot a dangling participle from 50 paces. We love them! These are all people who will make sure your final piece is the best you can produce.
Beta readers are powerful for nonfiction too. They’ll let you know if your thoughts aren’t connecting or if there are one too many bunny trails or unsubstantiated opinions that weaken your overall point.
Step 3: Get it to the Right People
Once you’ve polished your book, it’s time to get it into readers’ or an agent’s hands. If you haven’t checked it out yet, we have a free download, How to Get Your Work Noticed by Agents, Editors and Readers. We found simple ways to get it to the right people who can help you make it a success.
Step 4: Build Your Platform
The next step to take when your book is finished is to build your platform. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel. Chris is putting together videos on tech solutions that can help writers like you build their platforms in easy, do-able ways. He’ll be explaining the platform-building solutions he’s found—ones we use ourselves—and how to use them so you can get up and running quickly.
He’s passionate about this because he loves tech but also because we see so many writers who are pulled between writing (which they’re good at) and marketing (which they may not do so well). And yes, even traditionally published authors need to know how to market their books—publishers expect it today.
We hope these steps will make your the publishing process easier once your book is finished. We wish you the best, James, with your book…and with future books. We look forward to seeing how your success unfolds.