You’ve finished the writing; the rewriting and you’ve been through your manuscript over and over and over again.
Moving forward takes a lot of hard work. And, sometimes moving forward doesn’t even feel like moving forward. Preparing your manuscript to send to a publisher can feel like you’re spending a lot of time procrastinating, but what you’re really doing is better preparing your manuscript so that you can truly thrive as a successful writer, confidently.
Please don’t hesitate to submit your story here when it is ready. It’s likely a few errors will slip through even the best checklist. And remember that a few simple errors will not be what keeps your story from being accepted.
This checklist is designed as a helpful last step before you send your masterpiece to a publisher, not a tool for procrastination!
1. Read your book out loud. It enables you to get a feel for how your book will be read by someone else. Make notes anywhere the plot seems to get lost. Anywhere it seems to slow down when it shouldn’t, or hurry when it shouldn’t.
2. Look really hard at your opening. Do you pull readers right into the story? Did you introduce the protagonist and the conflict in the first few pages? Have you included emotional responses for characters that are guaranteed to touch the reader as well?
3. Read the end of each chapter. Do you compel your readers to keep reading to find out what’s going to happen next? Do you have an opening that excites, a middle without sag, and an ending that pleases?
4. Make sure your chapters flow from one to the next. Look to see if your paragraphs are clearly connected with no holes in your story.
5. Check the notes you made while writing your first draft. If there’s research you need to do to correct facts and authenticity, do it now, and insert them into the appropriate places in the book.
6. Check each page and chapter for any repetition of words that will stand out. You can use “Search in Document” which highlights your word search.
7. Are all your sentences the same length, or do they vary in length and construction? Do you have any long sentences? Any words you don’t need? Be sure you vary lengths and structure.
8. Check each page for adjectives and adverbs. (Many adverbs can be found using “Search” or “Find” tool and searching for “ly” endings.)
9. Is the language in your novel clear and understandable?
10. If more than one comma is in a sentence, should it be two sentences?
11. Remove clichés and replace them with your own descriptive phrases.
12. If you’ve changed a character’s name, make sure you’ve not left any instances of the former name.
13. Make sure chapters begin on new pages. Make sure chapter numbers are sequential.
14. Self-edit your book and check for any overlooked errors, ensuring your writing is clear. Have you run a spell check on your entire manuscript? (If you have problems with the passive voice, run a grammar check too.)
15. Get feedback from friends or an editor if you need help to shape the content of your book. If you require editing assistance you can email here.
16. Choose a publisher. Publishing your book is an extremely personal and important decision. It’s important to choose a publisher who believes in your book, and can support you throughout the process.
You’ve been through your checklist and you’re happy with what you’ve created.
Is there that one scene that still doesn’t seem quite perfect? If it bothers you, it’s going to bother the reader. And lastly, have you checked that, wherever possible, you’re ‘showing’ and not ‘telling’?
Congratulations, it’s time to submit your book for publication.
Yellow Rose Publishing helps turn writer dreams into reality. We are currently open for manuscript submissions and offer book coaching, writing mentoring, editing and publishing packages to transform your book into a flourishing publication.
Good luck on your writing journey!