By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins
As anyone who has even done it will tell you, publishing is hard work. While you can do it alone, it’s probably not a good idea. You will inevitably miss things; not only errors in your writing, but also alternative perspectives that will make your book better. In order to publish the best work you can, you need to hire a team. Here are some team members most writers will benefit from having on their side.
There is no way around it, you will need an editor. While some writers can benefit from a developmental editor, you will at the very least need a copyeditor. A copyeditor will go through your entire work, line-by-line, to make sure that what you want to tell the reader is actually being told. Editors also help your words come out with authority and clarity.
Even eBooks these days need cover designers, because it helps your book stand out from the crowd. Besides, even when browsing for eBooks, a digital publication with a little picture hinting at what is inside will be more attractive than no picture at all! Make sure that your cover designer knows a little bit about book cover design. A graphic artist may not necessarily be your best fit, you might have to look further to find a good match for someone to design the face of your work.
Publicist and/or Marketing Expert
If you happen to already have an impressive following and know exactly how to engage them, you may want to skip this step. That is okay. If you can get the word out there on your own, then you are already ahead of the majority of published writers. If you have no idea where to begin, you should hire a publicist. They should also know the publishing industry, so be careful about whom you choose.
Panel of Readers
Your panel of readers ideally shouldn’t be family or friends, unless they can be very honest with you about your writing. Too often, your loved ones attempt to be supportive, regardless of the content of the book. If you have a wider audience in mind, build a panel of readers who will help you make the book better. They can be other authors, other editors, or just hand-picked strangers who you believe are your target audience. Getting feedback from these people is invaluable. Use it to improve your product.
If you’re either spending money or selling books (hopefully both!) then you will need an accountant. They will help you keep track of your sales, how much you spend and help you prepare to pay your taxes. Yes, you have to pay taxes on your sales and royalties. It is unavoidable; so just do it.
These are just a few of the team members you will need to help you get your book ready for publication. Getting your book ready for market requires a different team. That team includes a typesetter/layout person, a lawyer, a distributor, and a few others. That will be addressed in a future post.
Which of these team members do you have already? How did you find them? Let us know about it in the comments.