7 Must Do Tasks To Complete When Your Manuscript Is Finished

7 Must Do Tasks When Your Manuscript Is Finished

Your manuscript is finished. It is off to your editor, line editor, proofreader, or beta readers, so you wait? No way. You’ve got a lot of work to do.

There are 7 very important tasks you can get to work on while your finished manuscript is in the hands of others.

You will be so busy; you won’t have time to worry about how long your beta readers take in getting back to you.

So, let’s get you to work. (You can follow the links in each section for more detailed information.)

1. Research your book title

Your book title is going to be more important than anything else in attracting potential readers, so it is time to do some serious research into it.

You might love your working title, but that means nothing until you are certain it is going to work.

You need to know how to find a great book title that is unique and will attract readers’ interest.

Not only that, you (could, should, ought to) have a sub-title. Why?

Because your title and sub-title are your most important pieces of metadata, and metadata is what is used by the Internet and Amazon in their search algorithms.

A title and sub-title that are highly searchable will attract more people to your book. More on metadata later.

The most important issue when deciding on your book title is to make sure it as unique as possible.

Joining a long list of books with the same or very similar title is not going to get you many sales.


Related reading: You Know You Need A Book Editor But You Can’t Afford One


2. Get a fantastic cover.

No, don’t even think of creating your book cover yourself unless you are a graphic designer and an expert with Photoshop.

Get a cover or a series of covers designed professionally, but of course, stay within your budget.

Great book covers are second only to your title in importance, so don’t take cheap shortcuts.

One simple factor often overlooked when deciding on a book cover is how it will look like a small thumbnail image.

This is what potential book buyers first see, so it is vitally important that your cover is as appealing as a thumbnail as it is in full size.

Do your research again, and check the top-selling books in your genre to see what their covers are like, and again, how appealing and eye-catching they look in small sizes.

Another factor to check is the fonts and colors that are used in popular books in your genre.

You may get a surprise here, as many popular genres use a minimal range of colors. Think chic-lit? Pastel pinks, blues, and green.


3. Write your book description.

Yes, I know. Every author hates this task.

However, it must be done. And again, it will be a vital part of your book’s metadata, so it needs to be extremely well written.

Writing a great book description is not an easy task, but again, check top-selling books in your genre and take a few notes.

Unlike your book of thousands of words, your book description needs to hook a reader’s interest inside 15 seconds, or 150 words.

It can be longer, of course, but these first words and seconds are the most important of all.


4. Research your categories and keywords.

Without seven carefully selected Kindle keywords and two categories, your book will be lost, so choose them extremely carefully.

These, along with your book title, are the most important pieces of search data. Researched and selected well, they will help readers to find your book.

They are so important that their power to sell books is greater than you can achieve with any form of paid advertising, blogging, or social media.

You can’t expect to have an online audience of your own numbering in the hundreds or thousands.

But your carefully selected categories and keywords will give you access to millions of online book buyers.


5. Start your book promotion.

Do not wait until your book is finally published to get the word out about your new book is great advice.

It’s never too early, but it can be too late.

Build some momentum on your blog and social media and give your audience information about why, how, where, and when you wrote your book.

If you have a selection of cover ideas, why not ask for opinions on which one people like?

Involve your online audience and keep them informed of your progress with a blog post or two.


6. Plan your book launch.

Will you make your book available by pre-order? Are you going to purchase paid advertising? Will you make your book exclusive or open publish?

Ask your beta readers for their book reviews so you can add the reviews to your book sales page.

Plan ahead and ask book bloggers if they would be willing to help you with your book launch.

Do you want to book a virtual book tour? Do not press the publish button without planning your launch.

You only get one chance to launch your book, so plan it carefully and well in advance.


7. Decide on your price.

Setting the price for your ebook and/or paperback is crucial.

Having a clear book pricing strategy is not as simple as it sounds.

There are many factors to consider, such as competitiveness in various geographic markets, the differential between ebook and paperback, as well as pricing for turnover or pricing for profit.

Book prices are never set in concrete, so think about when you might discount or increase the price.

Are you going to offer a free ebook, and on what schedule?

Should you increase your price before offering your ebook for free and then reduce it afterward?

Again, do some research and write a brief pricing plan for your new book.



Yes, your manuscript is finished.

But with all this work to do, you won’t have time to worry about when it will come back to you for your final edit and proofread before publishing.

There is so much to do before publishing a book.

Give your book the best chance of success, and don’t rush to publish.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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3 thoughts on “7 Must Do Tasks To Complete When Your Manuscript Is Finished

  • Avatar for Carole
    March 17, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Fantastic advice as always. Especially the addition of a subtitle.

  • Avatar for Sterling Bennett
    March 17, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks for the sound advice!

  • Avatar for Michael Thomas-Knight
    September 12, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Great Advice. I write in the field of horror fiction and I am shocked at how many other horror authors title their books with such overused, common, and cliche’ words. The Dark something, The Black something, The Night of the something, really does nothing to get me to want to read. In fact, without an original creative title I think, how original can the writing be?

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