Putting together the heart of a book takes blood, sweat and tears. The heart of a book is what I consider to be the manuscript itself. But, what about the other parts of your book, such as the table of contents, preface, index and glossary? Have you compiled all of those nice little tidbits that make your book an actual book? If you are not sure how it all works and what you need to do to put a complete project together, I have found you some helpful tips on how to make your book organized.
The Book Designer is a site where authors can find every topic imaginable for self-publishing your manuscript. I have found this site useful for any author looking for help on book design, self-publishing, formatting and more. Check out this article on how to get your book organized so that you can be the professional author you want to be.
Many writers who think about self-publishing are taken aback when they start to put their book together for publication. It’s one thing to work on a manuscript, sometimes for years, getting the ideas right, the words to flow, the overall thematic arc to shine through for attentive readers.
But how do you turn that manuscript into a book? After all, there are lots of things in books that you’ll never see in a manuscript. Things like running heads, page numbers, half-title pages, indexes… stuff like that.
I follow C. Hope Clark. She is the brains behind the newsletter Funds For Writers. She has been a helpful entity in regards to me learning more about the world of writing. Recently I read a post that actually made me chuckle out loud. It made me realize how far I have come in the writing process. This post talks about writers and what types of credible writing they have done. It also mentions that publishers and agents need to hear from writers who are actively pursuing a writing career. What made me chuckle was that I (years ago) never thought of mentioning when I submitted a manuscript that I am a technical writer. I did’t think that applied because I wanted to be a children’s author. So, I guess if you’ve written anything, published an article, won a contest, that qualifies as experience in writing. Check out the article. It’s short, sweet and to the point.
How would you reply if asked this question? Indignant? After all, everybody has to start somewhere, plus you’ve been writing various pieces for years.
Everybody has to write the first manuscript. But few of them need to publish that first manuscript.
If you went to the doctor, needing an operation, you might ask, “Have you done this sort of operation before?” What if the reply is, “No, but I’ve been studying how to do it.” You’d move on to another doctor, because no matter how long he’s read the books and tested on cadavers, he hasn’t proven himself. Read more here.
Writing for the middle grade genre does not feel like it should be a difficult task. As a matter of fact, I am having a lot of fun doing it. It’s my first project and I just want to write the story. Now that I am almost done with the first draft, I’m wondering if I am using the write voice and words for my characters.
I found some information that helped me clear any questions I might have about voice. Kids are very intellectual these days and we as writers need to be sure not to dumb down our manuscripts. Here are some helpful tips I found at YA Highway. Kristin Halbrook has written an excellent article on The Middle Grade Voice.
It’s important as a writer to capture the essence of each character, one way of doing that is to hang out with kids in the age group you want to write for. I have done that am hope that my manuscript will connect with my middle grade audience.
What has been your experience writing for the middle grade audience?
As writers we know that revising our projects is crucial in regards to getting our work look at by an agent or publishing company. I know for a fact I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to rewriting. It’s natural and normal for a writer to be this way. We want our stories to be perfectly polished. We want someone to want to read our story and be able to enjoy it without stumbling over the type-o’s and unclear scenes.
Speaking of stumbling, I came across a really fun blog where Assistant Agent, Natalie Fischer is offering some great advice on how to revise your manuscript successfully. Her wonderful blog is Adventures in Agentland. Stop by and visit and get some great advice.
If you’re a writer and getting closer to finishing your project, you’ll need to start figuring out where you will submit your manuscript. It’s tough getting started because you have so many options and so much competition. Investigating the right place to send your “baby” can be an overwhelming task.
Over at Jennifer Represents, literary agent Jennifer Laughran, has some wonderful tips on getting started creating a list of editors to submit too. She gives great examples on what to look for and how some of these companies are sub-divided. It’s really confusing if you’re just getting started.
One thing you will want to keep in mind, is that, before you submit a manuscript to an editor be sure you research them. Many of them have a website or blog with guidelines that should be followed. You certainly don’t want your manuscript going into “file 13” before it’s even had a chance to really be seen.
To read Jennifer’s post “Crafting The Editor Submission List” please go here.