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.
If 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!
You might also like» Procrastination: Ditching the Block that Stands Between You and Your Book
» 5 Top Tips for a Great Writing Session
» Publishing a resources guide
» How to do Market Research for Your Book in a Bookshop
» Cutting text when revising your book