Polishing your first book – Part 1

You’ve just finished your first book and now you want to publish it. Before you decide on how to publish, look at your work again. Preferably, after a three month cool down to clear your head. When you go back to it, keep a few things in mind.

Look at your word count. This might not seem like a big issue, but it can be. If you’re trying to go through a publishing house, check their requirements. You don’t want to give them an excuse to delete your submission. And don’t think they won’t. Agents and publishers have a mound of submissions to go through. They might even delegate the work to a bunch of underlings. Put yourself in their shoes, if you have a thousand submissions a day, and only eight hours each day to work, how are you going to get through it? Remember, most agents and publishers only take a few books a year. I’m talking count on one hand type of thing.

But I digress. We were talking about word count. This is one of the biggest mistakes new writers make. Your manuscript might be 350,000 words long, but FlyByNightPublishings requirements are 70,000 to 90,000 words. No more, no less. Why is this? Because big word count books are expensive to publish. Even the self-publishing printers will give you grief if you go to high on the word count.

Have you ever gone to a convention or book fair and spotted an author trying to sell a 300K count book? I have. Those tomes look intimidating. Not something you’d spend an afternoon reading. And the print, the warning labels on your aspirin bottle has larger print.

If your story hits 100,000 words, it’s time to figure out if you need to make it more than one book or consider whether you over wrote your story. This is where editing comes in. don’t worry I’ll get to that in one of these posts.

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