(Click to watch the Vlog)
The details involved in getting a book ready to publish may not seem like much, but they do matter. I wanted to touch on some of the details included in books that readers expect even if they don't consciously realize they expect it and allude to why it takes as long to publish as it does to write.
I've noted before that when I thought I was ready to publish my first book, I was shocked to find that my book was missing some rather essential elements. Namely a cover. Laugh. It's funny. I'm still laughing about that. I had a story, but I wasn't near ready to publish.
Admittedly, I may be the extreme example, but it does illustrate the point. A good book even if it is digital is a bit more than a manuscript.
So the obvious list of things to add to a story to make it a book includes a cover and copyright along with the edited manuscript. But those aren't the only things.
Headers and Footers
There are also a few other things that I feel are necessary for a book. I include these in every full-length novel even if I know that some of it won't appear in the e-book format. The first detail is the subscript with pagination.
I prefer a book to feel like a book. So even if I am still writing it, I set it up to have that feel from the beginning. I also want my book's pages to remind the reader of the author's name. It helps with the 7/11 rule (see blogs about marketing) and makes it easier for a reader to choose another of my stories in the future.
Also, pagination is rather important. It's nice to read and know where you are in that process. Believe it or not, this is also nice for the writer as it helps to know where one is in the process.
I don't do this consciously. I mean I am not a plotter, but I have realized that the stories I felt were the best were the ones that have some sort of significant action every 50 pages or so. In romance, there might be a steamy scene and in fantasy, there should be some event, major understanding, or significant twist.
E-readers keep your place, but page numbers are still the rule in paperback or hardcover especially if you want to discuss parts of the story with someone else who is also reading the story.
In this example from A Pack Forms, you can see the title of the book, the page number, and my name. It's easy to set a doc file up to auto-fill this in the footer. It makes for a much more professional appearance and a better-finished product.
If you are reading this and thinking that's too much but you still might want to write, it's Okay. Draft 2 Digital has awesome manuscript formatting that will handle all of that for you. In that case, minimal formatting on your part is all that is required. Type in 12 point font style Times New Roman. Center and bold the chapter headings at 16 point type. D2D will do the rest. No worries.
First and Last Pages
Other important things are The First Pages: the table of contents, a title page, and art pages. These were once the end pages in a hardcover book. In the realm of e-books, this art might be illustrative of some aspect of the story like a story map or a family tree, etc... I use Draft 2 Digital but other manuscript formatting software will handle all of it except the author extras like art and illustrations. Those might best be placed as pictures on the pages of the manuscript.
Don't forget to add your table of contents, especially in a longer work with many scenes. (Your formatting will usually do it for you, but you have to tell it to do so. Not all books will have a table of contents but most longer prose works should have one.)
Readers like to see that the book is broken down into parts. It adds to the idea that the story is well defined and gives a preview glimpse into the subject matter, story length, etc... With Boxed Sets, I often take this idea a step further and place the table of contents on the cover of the set.
I also add a list of other books available from my library. This helps readers to know to look for other books when they finish a book. In the ebook version, this is nice because each title has a live link that allows readers to click on other books in the Saga and continue reading.
Draoithe: Tantalu *Prequel
Draoithe: The Thread *Prologue Volume 1
Draoithe: A Pack Forms Volume 1
Draoithe: Arctic Fox *Prologue Volume 2
Draoithe: The Council Volume 2
Draoithe: Magic Calls to Magic Volume 3
Draoithe: Dragons Come Volume 4
Draoithe: The Ruiri Complete Volume 5
Draoithe: Light and Dark Magic Volume 6
Draoithe: The Dark Gift Volume 7
Etc... There are now 20 Volumes in the Draoithe Series along with many spinoff novels, short reads, and other tales. But rest assured links are in all the published ebooks so you can simply click and continue reading.
It's a bit of monetization, but it not only allows the reader to see what other works are available; it also more importantly alludes to what is planned. Personally, I won't buy a short series until it's completely published. I know I'm not the only one. I also won't buy into a longer series if several of the books aren't already available to aid me in getting my fix.
Hello, my name is Ophelia, and I'm a book addict. No, I'm not seeking rehabilitation. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll die a bookworm. I'm good with that.)
More End Pages
I always add an about the author page that includes my fantasy biography and my social media contacts. People want to know about the author and some people even message me about the books.
About the Author
Not who everyone thinks she is.
The product of someone’s imagination.
The end result of a lifetime wishing to get out.
Do not buy the lie.
If you live in fear, you give up freedom.
Taking the risk and making the leap.
Too much of anything is a bad thing.
Innuendo floating on the mist that rises above the water.
Walk away and leave it all behind.
Telling the story that haunts a fantasy.
Catching a dream.
She does not exist.
Email Ophelia Kee
Follow Draoithe on Facebook
Follow Ophelia Kee on Instagram
Follow Ophelia Kee on Twitter
Follow Ophelia Kee on Pinterest
Follow Ophelia Kee on Tumblr
Subscribe to the Ophelia Kee channel on YouTube
Pick up a FREE short read, get updates on the characters, information on release dates, and behind the scenes of the dream. Visit OpheliaKee.com
If a reader has time and wants to continue reading, I don't want the end of a book to be the reason they have to stop. So links and opportunities to further immerse oneself in the dream universe are important.
Links make it easier for readers to leave comments or ask questions and also allow the experience to continue uninterrupted. That's the beautiful part about worldbuilding. When a world is crafted well, it remains in the reader's mind for a long time even when they finish a good book. It's nice to be able to expand the way the dream feels by offering other ways to experience it such as the videos on Youtube and Facebook. It does tend to alleviate some of the book hangover effects.
Back to the Day Job
I hope you enjoyed my checklist and the brief insight into my behind-the-scenes process for becoming Ready To Publish. My author's walk has been fantastic fun. I have learned a lot about how to publish and market my books. It continues to be a grand adventure. I truly appreciate the support I've received from all of you who have enjoyed my books. Thank you. Please tell others and share the dream...
Now Free to Read!
As many of you know, I gave up the idea of a full-time author's walk. I would still love to be a full-time author, but the learning curve is steep and a few months is not long enough for me to figure it all out. (It wasn't ever likely to be a permanent thing anyway, just a pipe dream. Now, it's just summers off mostly.)
Real-life pulled me out of the dream and back into the classroom. Bills must be paid. I do still continuously work at learning the marketing side of things, but the writing always wins when the scene is fresh in my mind. Limited time only means that things take that much longer.
While I love to write and publish my stories, I've never lied about the fact that they don't make enough money for me to remain free of the professional world, yet. So once again I have put my love of books on the back burner. Even so, I refuse to turn that burner off... If you want to see what I am working on now, head over to Exclusive Content and check it out. The two stories there will be in the works for a while, but I promise to update regularly.
I have to get busy. Until next time, when you read, be kind and leave your review, pretty please.