The complete guide for first-time writers!

From Manuscript to Publishing – The complete guide for first timers!

If you are reading this, I suppose you are ready with your complete manuscript and have had gone through a lot of articles and publishing-houses’ websites.

A little bit of introduction, so that you can have a crosscheck of my genuine research and work! I am a very fresh writer. Started writing in around September 2017 and finished it in last week of November 2017. Then, edited my work, designed the cover myself and researched for full one month about self-publishing and finally published my first book – Single Rule For Success.

So, what I’ll do is… start from the beginning…

  1. Manuscript – First and foremost is to write down whatever you have in mind. While you are writing, there will be several thoughts emerging in your mind, do not let them leave, even though they might not in the sequence of your manuscript. Note down all of them in a rough notebook and include these thoughts while going forward in your story.
  1. Type of writers – There are two types of writers- One who writes for money and the other ones who write to share their thoughts with the world. You need to ask from yourself what type of writer you are. If you want money, you should always keep your readers in mind while writing the manuscript. Few things which you want to write can backfire if your readers don’t find it attractive or repulsive in worst case scenario.

If you want to write for sharing your thoughts, then write your heart out and don’t worry about anything. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that it should not affect anyone negatively.

  1. Editing & Formatting– Do not edit your manuscript while you are writing it. Complete it and then leave it for a while, maybe 2-4 weeks. Then again, read it carefully, word by word, and make the corrections. A friend in need is a friend indeed! Find friends or relatives who are trustworthy and give them a few chapters to read and take their feedback.

Everyone has a different view of seeing things so do not panic if you get not so good feedbacks. Give the complete manuscript to a friend whom you can trust completely and who are good in the grammar part, and ask them for making corrections.

I used MS WORD for making all the grammar and spelling corrections. Red underline shows spelling mistakes and green shows grammar mistakes.

Typesetting is important for giving your manuscript a final touch. Justify alignment should be done and page breaks should be inserted at the required spots. Do not miss page numbers!

  1. Cover Design – I asked several designers to design cover for my book but I wasn’t satisfied by any of the designs. I thought to do it myself and I guess I did a good job. It wasn’t an easy task though. I did a lot of research for this too! Color contrasts, attractive fonts, placements and many more small things which mean a lot.

I just used a little bit of Photoshop and a little bit of online graphic designing websites and a lot of time, but in the end, I was satisfied by my own design.

  1. Types of publishing – Traditional publishing and Self-publishing. Traditional publishing is where you do not have to invest a single penny. You need to submit your manuscript and wait for the call. In India, on an average, it takes 6 months for traditional publishers to go through your manuscript and if it is selected, it will take another 24 months to get published. They will send a good amount of royalty and your book will be available at almost all the places.

Self-publishing is a quick way of doing all of this and so it requires investment. There are several self-publishing houses and all of them have several publishing packages. Services include – editing, formatting, publishing, marketing, and many more things.

I went with the third option and that is print-on-demand or print-on-order. As I didn’t had any money to invest, I thought it was the right option. Books are printed whenever there is an order, so no investment is required. The loss in this case is the absence of your book in bookstores. You need to handle the marketing part too!

My Book –

  1. What all can I do for marketing?
    1. Make a facebook page and a Facebook group for your book or author profile. Keep it up to date and keep on posting stuff related to your genre. Check out –
    2. Make an Instagram and a Twitter profile and keep it up to date.
    3. Share the link to your work as many times as possible.
    4. Make a website and post your blogs…regularly. Check out –
    5. If possible, make a YouTube channel and post videos regularly.
    6. Apart from all of this…TALK! Go to schools and colleges or wherever your audience is and talk about your book…your experience and convey what you want your readers to learn from your book.

Never be disappointed if the sales isn’t that good for your first book, keep on writing!

All the best… write back to me at [email protected] for more details.

Comment below the link of your first book and many more people will get a chance to see your work!


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