The Writer's Life

Five Steps an Author Needs to Take After Writing a Book

Written by Jina S. Bazzar

Once an author has finished writing their story, there are steps he/she will need to take before making the manuscript available to the public.

These five steps are:

Revision and Self-editing

After the author finishes with the first draft, the story might have been told, but the manuscript is far from complete. The author should then go back and check for spelling and grammatical mistakes, plot holes and revise whatever he/she suspected sounded off. If the author is not sure about a paragraph and the way the sentences are structured, sometimes reading it out loud can make all the difference.


Once all the self-editing and revisions are over,  one last read to make sure everything looks great is highly advised. To ensure proofreading has a greater effect, the author can shelf the manuscript for a couple months before taking this step. You’ll be amazed how much difference these few months can make.

Beta Readers

Once the author has polished his/her manuscript to a glowing sheen, sharing the manuscript with beta readers for their opinion on the story will give the author a taste of what may come. This is an important step because the author will have the chance to adjust (or reject) whatever feedback the beta reader suggested.

Professional Editing

A professional editor will give that glowing sheen a polish. For those authors who don’t know how to format, the editor will prepare the manuscript for publishing: a last line by line edit, excess punctuation – or lack of, revision, proofread, as well as suggest any information to dump, unnecessary or unrealistic parts that the previous steps missed. A professional editor will also get the pages ready, indents, margins, line spacing.

Note that what an editor may offer as part of their service may differ from the next, so make sure you know upfront what you are paying for.

A Decent Cover

As with anything else in life, the first impression can and do stick. Surface images shouldn’t determine the contents, but most often than not, that’s exactly what happens. So a cover that looks amateur or like it’s been copy pasted together will send readers scurrying away in the opposite direction. Many readers, especially the young adult, don’t take the time to consider the fact that a cover may be costly and that an emerging author may not be able to afford it, and readily assume the outside work mirrors the inside of the book.

Therefore, a cover that looks professional and impressive can set the book aside and make the readers take a second look. The cover doesn’t need to be expensive, just good. Some authors believe that if the content of the book is good enough, the cover can be overlooked, and a small percentage of readers will agree, but a lot won’t.

If you are wondering where an author can get a cover that looks good, and are two places where an author can get a cover for a reasonable price.




About the author

Jina S. Bazzar

Jina was born in a small town in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she had a fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that eventually caused her to go blind. Currently she lives in the middle east with her mother and three kids.