Thursday, June 8, 2017

I Wrote a Book! Now What?

Hey everyone! I want to welcome Tamara Beard, owner of Wrapped Up Writing, to share a guest post on some essentials after writing your book. I've known Tamara since I started blogging and her drive has always amazed me. She's going to do big things with her career!

I Wrote a Book! Now What?

CONGRATULATIONS! If you are reading this, then you are probably already finished writing a book or you are getting closer to the end. Either way, you deserve a round of applause for all that you have accomplished. While I would love to tell you that all the hard work is behind you, there is still a lot to be done between now and hitting the publish button. Today, I am going to provide a list of all the services you need before putting your book on the digital shelves. While the list is neither all-encompassing nor a complete explanation of each service, it should be a great starting point to help you understand what your next steps should be.

Cover Design

The first thing your potential readers will see is the cover of your book (and, yes, people do judge books by their covers). This is why it is so important to invest in a professional cover designer. You should make sure that the person you choose has a website with examples, price plans that layout exactly what you will get, and a written contract of some kind. There are so many different people that offer cover designing services that it can become daunting, but there are a few things you can do to make the decision easier. First, talk to fellow authors who already published a book and see who they used for their cover. While you should never base your decision solely on a recommendation, this can certainly help narrow down the possibilities. Second, look at covers in each designer’s portfolio to see what you like. If you find covers that match your style and vision, there is a pretty good chance the cover designer could probably make something you love.

Best Cover Design nominees for Penned Con 2017

 Best Cover Design winners for UTOPiAcon 2016


Hiring an editor to go over your manuscript prior to publication is absolutely essential. Many people feel as though it is not necessary because they are proficient in spelling, grammar, and syntax. However, there are two major flaws in that argument. First, you have been spending months, maybe even years, working on this book. At this point, you have spent so much time with it that you will not see all its errors, because you knew what you meant when you originally wrote it. The second issue with self-editing is that those aspects of the English language that you have mastered probably do not encompass the entirety of editing services. For example, spelling, grammar, and syntax are just a portion of copy editing. Not only is there more to copy editing, there are other types of editing as well. For example, developmental editing and line editing are very different than copy editing. You will need to objectively decide which editing services you need. Many authors utilize all three (and there are discounted packages to accommodate this), but some feel like they only need one. Once you’ve decided which type(s) of editing you need, you will be able to narrow down your perfect editor by price, credentials, and personal taste.


Sometimes, authors do not feel totally satisfied after getting their book back from an editor. If this is the case, you may want to consider hiring a proofreader. Proofreaders are people, who often provide editing or beta reading services as well, who will look over your manuscript and catch any errors that an editor may have missed. If you used a fantastic line and copy editor, this service probably is not necessary. However, everyone needs peace of mind every now and again, and a proofreader can provide you with that regarding the editing of your manuscript.

Beta Reading

Beta Readers are dedicated book lovers who read books before they are published. While some Beta Readers charge a fee, many of them will happily do it for a free copy of your book and the satisfaction of helping authors. You do not need very many Beta Readers, because as always quality is better than quantity. The Beta Readers you choose should be good at giving constructive criticism and detailed feedback. You can find Beta Readers by inquiring on your Facebook fan page or seeking recommendations from other authors or book bloggers.


Every e-reader has its own ‘language.’ This becomes tricky when you attempt to use the same file for everything, because the formatting will mess up. Have you ever read a book and eventually gave up reading it because of its insane formatting? I certainly have, and this is when a formatter becomes worth their weight in gold. Formatters are professionals who understand the ins and outs of document creation. They ensure that every reader gets the best visual experience possible while reading.

Publicity Services

The people who fall under this category go by a variety of names (Personal Assistant, Publicist, Marketing Assistant, etc.), but they all work hard to get your name and book in front of as many readers as possible. These services may include hosting an online release party, organizing a blog tour, managing your social media accounts, or making book “swag.” As you can see, this is a very broad category that will include many different types of businesses, as well as a wide variety of price packages. Publicity services certainly are not required, but they do prove to be extremely helpful in marketing your book. When looking for these services, keep in mind that you may need to hire more than one person to get exactly what you want, since many professionals only specialize in certain areas.

A few final notes about purchasing these services. First, do not forget the legal side of things. For example, nondisclosure agreements are very important when giving your book to anybody prior to publication. This contract prevents them from sharing any part of your book. While we all wish this were unnecessary, it is always better to be safe than sorry. The second note of closing is about defining professionals. All of the services we talked about above can really help your manuscript be the best book possible. However, that is only if you hire the right people. The people who are providing you with these services should have credentials of some kind to back up their work. It is becoming increasingly more popular for bloggers and readers to offer services to authors. While they are well-intentioned, it is important to make sure that their skills transcend those things and are actually applicable to the services they are charging you for.

I know that this information will seem overwhelming as a new and emerging author. but I hope this guide has helped you better understand the different services you will need to utilize prior to your book’s publication. Remember that writing is an adventure, and yours has only just begun!

Tamara Beard is the owner of Wrapped Up Writing, a business that provides editing, proofreading, and content writing services. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a writing concentration and communications minor, from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She currently lives in Nashville, and enjoys reading, traveling, and volunteering in her spare time. Connect with her on her website at or on Facebook (@wrappedupwriting).