Before you get started publishing your book you need to get organised. If you walk into a publishing house it can look as if there are random piles of paper everywhere – that’s usually because publisher’s lack the space they need to store the proofs they have for their many titles. In fact, editors are, of necessity, staggeringly well-organised. If they weren’t, they would sink under the sheer weight of paper in their offices.

Take a leaf out an editor’s book and get organised right from the off. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to handwrite your book or type it straight onto your computer you still need one place to keep your various drafts, print-outs of your documents and different versions of your book as it goes through the publishing process. Whichever way you choose to write, make sure you keep your work safe, secure and easy to access.

get organisedIf you are using a computer, keep a backup copy of your book and save different versions (first draft, version 1, first pages, final copy, etc) as separate files. If you don’t have a backup routine or service, simply save your book onto a flash drive, CD or even in a second (and completely separate) drive on your computer.

Even if you are writing your book on your computer, you will have handwritten notes as well as documents such as your sales copy, schedule and book plan to store. Set up a paper file such as a wallet folder or ring-binder for these documents. Use section separators to identify different types of work (research, notes, marketing, etc).

You can keep printed copies of your book here, too, although a shelf is often an easier way to store your proofs as they can be far weightier documents. Editors add each set of proofs to the one before, so the bottom of the pile is the manuscript with the first page proofs and each subsequent set of proofs on top so the most recent copy of the proofs is always at the top of the pile. Make sure different versions of your book are clearly marked, too, i.e. first draft, first pages, final pages etc. Also, keep your book plan handy and make sure you update your schedule regularly.

You can’t be too organised when it comes to writing and publishing a book so get organised before you begin and you will be able to keep on top of the paperwork rather than sinking beneath it!

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Deborah Taylor
Deborah Taylor

Hi, I'm Deborah Taylor and I'm a publishing consultant and book-writing mentor. I work with established business owners who want to share their message by writing a book but are struggling to get started (or finished). I help them write, publish and launch a stand-out, attention-grabbing book that will raise their profile, reach more of their ideal clients and grow their business. I am a trained editor with over 15 years' publishing experience with major blue-chip UK publishing companies such as Hodder & Stoughton, BBC Books, Cassell and Pearson. I have produced books on every subject under the sun and with professinals and experts from a wide range of professions, from chefs and gardeners to life coaches and career consultants. I would love to help you write a book you love and that will raise your profile, attract new clients and bring you exciting new business opportunities.