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Finalising your text before self-publishing

How do you know when a book is ‘ready’ to be published? 

There comes a time when all writers need to down tools and declare a book ‘finished’ - whether it goes onto be published or not. There is particular pressure on this for indie authors, as that decision is often made by the writer, and will result in the final text being read by actual people. So, what can you do to finalise your text and make it ‘publishing ready’?  

WEBINAR: Use out of copyright works to inspire new ideas (FREE for members) 

19 August 2020. Join Melissa Addey for the final part of her ‘Getting New Ideas’ series, this time focusing on how you can take inspiration from old texts, to inspire something new.  




COURSE: Finalising your text (FREE for members) 

Taken from the Self-Publishing video course, this module looks at what you need to do to finalise your text before pressing the ‘publish’ button, covering editing, titling and branding.  



BLOG: How to typeset your own book 

This guest blog shares tips on turning a Word manuscript into publishable book, including using Word-based tools and what to add before and after your main text.  


MENTORING: Two new mentors have just been added 

Work on writing or editing your book alongside internationally bestselling thriller author, Holly Seddon, or renown ex-literary agent and current Commissioning Editor, Tom Witcomb.  


Your last-minute self-pub checklist 

So! You have a ‘finished’ book that you want to self-publish. Here is your quick checklist to ensure you’re ready to hit the ‘publish’ button.  

  • You’ve had a Structural Edit of the book. This means that someone (preferably a professional, but if not – someone with a very good eye for these things!) has given you feedback on character, plot, structure, theme – basically all the big stuff. You’ve made changes and are happy that the story is as good as it can be.  
  • You’ve had opinions from multiple ‘beta readers’ you trust. You don’t have to agree on all their points, but it’s good to know what kinds of comments you can expect from readers before they start leaving Amazon reviews.  
  • You’ve had the text proofread / copy-edited. Again, this can be by a professional, but more-often-than-not, this is just done by eagle-eyed friends.  
  • You’ve added preliminary pages / acknowledgments / a link to your mailing list at the end.  
  • You’ve had it converted into an eBook file and you are happy with the layout of all pages on an eReader.  

Remember, eBook files are easy to switch and change if you spot typos later on, so try not to feel the pressure for perfection too much. That being said, it’s worth taking the time now to ensure your book is at a high level before making it public. Have you got anything to add to this checklist? Sign up for free and share your thoughts in the Townhouse here.  

Sarah J x 

Plus, don’t miss: 

Summer Festival Latecomer tickets (Discounts available for members) 

Join 1,000 writers from all seven continents around the world for just a fraction of the price, with our discount latecomer tickets. August/September tickets now available.  

Self-Edit your novel bursary 

Under-represented writers are invited to apply for a free place on September’s Self-Edit Your Novel tutored course, with one-in-four alumni now published. Closes 31 August. 

Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members)

Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 


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