The hope of a successful self-publishing experience seems about as realistic as the plots of some ill-fashioned fantasy novels. The costs associated with self-publishing have long held it out of reach for the average novice. How much money will you devote to publishing your novel? Make sure that your budget maximizes the use of all of the amazing free or inexpensive resources found online. Doing so will drastically reduce self-publishing costs. Encounter these new tools by navigating the destinations of a fantasy island that we will call Publisha. If you avoid the costly pitfalls and move your manuscript through each station, you will save hundreds of dollars at the journey’s end.
Destination One: The Wizard’s Desk
The first step of the journey is the one most often skipped, leading to failure at the end of the mission. Before you can write a novel, you need to read all types of novels. You should read bestsellers and poorly reviewed novels equally to get a good idea of what works and what does not. In Publisha, you can find book reviews and copies of all types of literature at the wizard’s desk in the Forest of Enchanted Dreams. In the real world, log on to Goodreads. Using the reviews as your guide, choose a novel from each ranking status of one to five stars. Then, head to the local library to rent a copy of each novel for free. If not stocked in your library, check how you can acquire the book by means of interlibrary loan.
Destination Two: The Three Winds
Equipped now with knowledge gained by observation, turn your attention to the voices calling your name in the Forest of Enchanted Dreams. These creative voices contain all the works of literature that are in your mind to produce. If you have trouble with the writing process or if this is your first attempt, enroll in a writing course. Many community colleges offer non-credit courses to the community at extremely low rates. You can obtain a copy of the current course catalog by visiting the school or its website. One company, Writer’s Digest University, offers workshops online.
Destination Three: The Mountain of the Wiseman
Once your manuscript is complete, you need to start editing. This can be the most expensive step if you are not careful. If you can get the opinions of your family and friends first, this can save you money and time. How? The criticism that they provide may motivate you to tweak the plot or the organization of your story. By working out these issues in advance, you avoid the necessity of a second edit if you change the elements of the story after it has already been edited. Find willing and interested readers on online forums such as Critique Circle.
Destination Four: The Witch Doctor’s Shack
Take your manuscript in its most polished form to a witch doctor, or professional editor. A visit to any type of doctor, including a witch doctor, can be extremely expensive. Therefore, it is imperative to weigh your options. Freelance editors, found on a website likeElance, will often work for less or negotiate their rates. The Grammarly.com website offers a free grammar checker online, and its reports will help to improve your English writing skills over time.
The dangers of overspending on a self-published book are almost overwhelming if you do not avail yourself of cost-effective resources along the way. Try to keep your budget intact by navigating through the process using the resources mentioned in this article. The three winds are whispering encouragement: Do not skip the preliminary reading and research. Ask for feedback from friends and family. Heal the wounds of your novel with professional editing. Before you know it, you will see the sands of the island that lies on the other side of Publisha. It is the island of Authorship! We hope to see you there.
By Nikolas Baron
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