by Kathy Cannon Wiechman
We’re all familiar with the phrase “It takes a village.”
Writing a novel—a good one—is one of those things that requires an entire village.
A writer may sit alone at a computer, but likely he’ll need to consult with a village of experts somewhere along the way. The consultation might take place one-on-one or by reading books the experts wrote.
The dictionary, thesaurus, and grammar guide are villagers, too.
And the village needs reviewers to critique the manuscript. A new pair of eyes helps tremendously. We get too close to our work to see it clearly. I recommend several critiques.
Editors are also part of the village. They can help the writer focus on what the book still lacks. Good editors get the writer to rethink and smooth things out. They help us see the book as a reader will.
And a copy editor is a must! Today’s self-published works are pretty good stories sometimes, but from what I’ve seen, they scream for a copy editor. I have yet to read a self-published novel that doesn’t have multiple typos. If you want to self-publish, invest in a good copy editor.
Your village also needs a lawyer, someone to make sure your interests are protected.
Unless the writer intends to sell every copy of his book from the trunk of his car, his village needs marketing people. Social media can be part of the marketing village, too. So get your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to join your village. It’s today’s version of word-of-mouth.
So write your book, but don’t forget to gather your village around you. And hopefully your book will find a whole village of readers, too.