Rather than go through the sometimes tedious process of asking questions and making suggestions, we are tempted to just tell the author what to do to make the story better—or, at least, make it better to us. And that is the one thing we must not do.
In the book publishing industry, fact-checking should happen before the book is made available to readers. This means that from the early editorial stages, editors should be working on fact-checking, but this isn’t quite an industry standard yet. As time goes on, the need for fact-checking in editing is becoming clearer and clearer. So how do you even begin?
Because traditional publishing is so saturated with submissions, and is therefore tricky to break into as an emerging author, many new authors decide to self-publish their first book as a sort of stepping stone into mainstream publishing.
According to Michael Shymanski, one of Ooligan’s Acquisitions Managers, think of your first page as the reader’s initial impression, much like “meeting your friend’s spouse for the first time.” First impressions can be insignificant, even disastrous, or they can be absolute magic. If the magic is there, an editor will know it immediately.
During discussions about branding strategies with my college peers, it is common to hear about the importance of searching for the value a reader is looking to find when they are browsing through books, and then focusing on producing manuscripts that target these values. This initiative probably works well when producing and marketing most products, but how effective could this strategy be in the book market?
If you’re looking for a fun way to get your manuscript out in the world, check out #PitMad, a Twitter event put on by the organizers of Pitch Wars.