The Self-Published Author’s Complete Guide To Writing & Publishing A Novel
Thriving Scribes
Shares

The Self-Published Author’s Complete Guide To Writing & Publishing A Novel

Shares

Hey Scribe! We're all writers here, right? And while in my Author's Journey Roadmap I outline the Author's journey mindset & strategy-wise, I wanted to also offer a roadmap writing-wise. So here it is - the Self-Publishing Guide To Writing & Publishing A Novel!

Keep in mind that everybody writes differently. The content within this guide is very much based on my own process and what I've observed from other author friends. Everybody has their own process and what works for one author may not work for every author.

So, why are processes important? Productivity and less guess work.

This guide is divided into 7 phases from the origional idea of a story to post-publications. It may take one author two months to complete the entire round and it may take another author two years.

Each phase contains multiple steps that builds to the next. I'll also include links to related content for each step. As my own process and the content on this site grows, this guide will expand will be updated right along with me.

Let's jump in!

The 7 Phases Overview

1) Prewriting

2) Structure & Outlining

3) Drafting

4) Editing & Revision

5) Feedback

6) Publishing

7) Marketing


Phase 1 - Prewriting

  1. Identify your "why" (motivation / reason to write)
    • And keep it in sight while writing your novel)
  2. Define your ideal reader (who is this book for?)
    • Hint - It's not everyone.
  3. Deside on a genre.
  4. Find your big idea.
    • Brainstorm plot ideas. Something I like to do is keep a running list of plots, characters, scene ideas, and inspiration settings. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration and a fun organization tool, too.
    • Choose the winning story idea.
  5. Write a 2-sentence pitch. (Your plot summerized in 15-30 words.)
  6. Expand on your idea.
    • Nail down the big-picture deatils on your novel
      • Theme?
      • Stand alone or series?
    • Write a book summery. (300 words or less)
  7. Assemble your cast - who are the key players?
  8. Create the world.
    • Sketch out a map for easy reference.
  9. Decide on POV.
  10. Put together a novel binder.

Related Posts

Phase 2 - Structure and Outlining

  1. Outline your plot arc.
    • Research the plot arcs and decide on which best fits your story.
  2. ​Outline your character arcs.
    • Research character arcs and decide which will be used for each major character.
  3. Decide on a plot structure.
    • Research different plot structures and become familiar with it's beats.
  4. Outline your story's beats.
  5. Brainstorm the scenes to fill the gaps.
  6. Make a spreadsheet outline of each scene based on step 4 & 5.
  7. Write scene summeries or do simple scene blocking.

Phase 3 - Drafting

  1. ​Develop a daily writing practice.
    • Decide on a daily or weekly word count goal.
  2. ​Write a fast first draft using your outline as a guide.
  3. No editing!
  4. Once the first draft is finished, let the manuscript rest.
    • Take a break from writing for at least a week.

Related Posts​​​​​

Phase 4 - Editing & Revision

  1. Revision one - fast read through.
    • Read through manuscript one time, jotting down anything that comes to mind.
  2. Revision two - developmental focus
  3. Revision three - focus on details, flow, and style
  4. ​Revision four - line editing
  5. Revision five - proof reading

Related Posts

No results have been returned for your Query. Please edit the query for content to display.

Phase 5 - Feedback

  1. Go through novel with critique partner.
  2. Send novel to a professional editor.
  3. Send novel to beta reader.
  4. Apply changes, repeat phase 4 as needed.

Phase 6 - Publishing

  1. Decide on which version to release - ebook, paperback, hard cover?
  2. Format novel as needed.
  3. Have book cover designed.
  4. Upload to publishing provider.
  5. Order proof.
  6. Develop book launch plan.

Phase 7 - Marketing

  1. Share sneak peeks + updates to create hype.
  2. Compile a media kit to send out to reviewers, book bloggers, and the press.
  3. Update your author website with your book information.
  4. Announce your book on your author newsletter.
    • If you haven't started one yet, now is the time!
  5. Send out ARCs and review copies.
  6. Organize and update street team.
  7. Hold a book launch party!
  8. Hold a giveaway.
  9. Design your sales funnel.
  10. Stay active and present on social media.
    • Pick your favorite platform and stick with it!

Related Posts


Join The Thriving Scribe Tribe

Here's what you'll get as a member:


  • Exlcusive access to the Thriving Scribe Resource Library filled to the brim with freebies, including workbooks, worksheets, printable guides, templates, and spreadsheets! New content added regularly!
  • Admission into the Tribe Facebook Group, where we support and encourage each other daily and I host free trainings and challenges.
  • My weekly newsletter where 70% of my writing goes (not the blog) These are not notifications of blog posts but fresh doses of inspiration to build your author empire and success mindset.

Pin This

The Self-Published Author’s Complete Guide To Writing & Publishing A Novel
The Self-Published Author’s Complete Guide To Writing & Publishing A Novel
>