Ready to Begin? How Do I Get Started?
Whenever Erin shares she's an author, people tend to tell her that they or their friend wants to write a book and is there anything she could say to help them. Below you'll find an ever-growing list of things Erin has shared often and what she is excited to share with you now.
BE SURE you always have complete control over your book.
• Always make sure you remember that GOD CALLED YOU to write your book—Therefore don't allow an editor or publishing company (should you feel led to go somewhere else) to rewrite it. This was something Erin learned the hard way. Her first editor often rewrote what Erin was saying until it no longer sounded like her! In the RYM book where it talked about snooping, her editor added "instead, go bake a cake." Obviously her "flippant" attitude was due to my editor never traveling a similar journey. That's one reason why we train our proofreaders and editors to be very careful when making changes, to really know that person well. These are your best proofreaders and editors. For most books I've written I have had several and sometimes several for the same book.
• Don't allow proofreaders to be an editor. Once again this was something Erin learned the hard way. Over the past 3 decades, she's had dozens of proofreaders—her first was her mother who was excellent with grammar. But many times proofreaders take liberties reserved for an editor and will also make changes that are not wrong or incorrect at all!
An example was a proofreader who began replacing Erin's favorite long dash— designed to emphasize what she wants to stand out. It's her personality and a trademark. You deserve to write and express yourself to sound like you, after all, it's your book!
Here are a few FACTS or truths that took Erin years to know.
- FACT: Your book will never be perfect. Even the best authors, the best writers, and publishing companies miss things.
- So if you see a typo or grammatical error, please copy and paste then send it to our email@example.com so we can look into it and fix it.
- If you keep showing us our mistakes, you may just find we offer you an opportunity to proofread for us as one of our independent contractors—training to expand your new workers@home business and we will probably provide you with a raving review!
- FACT: If the content is worth consuming it doesn’t matter how messy it is.
- My first "book" was horrendous. Seriously. Misspelled words, the worst punctuation you could even imagine, nevertheless, because it came from my shattered, stomped-on heart, there were women coming from every direction saying how it changed their lives.
- We can help you with grammar, punctuation, a great cover, title, etc. What we can't do is put the meat in your book and I'm not talking plant-based content either figurately speaking that is.
- FACT: The more places you can use the built-in spell check, the better. HOWEVER, if you really are ignorant to that punctuation mark, like my proofreader changing all my long dashes— for a colon: then you might think that the long dash was wrong when it was just the proofreader's “preference.” I wouldn’t have known that had God not sent me incredible editors, like Vivian from Singapore who is brilliant and successful and who later told me “Erin you really don’t need an editor, your writing is so good” that later another brilliant friend told me when I shared something I wrote, not asking her to edit or proofread but since she said errors just “jump out” I was hoping she’d find something so I could fix it.
- FACT: Overusing adjectives or using a thesaurus is hard for your readers to consume—it's like a burger that is layered so high you can't bite into it and eventually all the ingredients end up falling out from the bun. The only time I use the thesaurus is when I keep using the same word or I simply can't think of the word I am trying to say.
- If you don't use the word when you are talking to someone, don't use it.
- FACT: Some of the people closest to you can be your first proofreaders and/or editors.
- "One of the first times I helped someone with a book they've written, this Aspiring Author had written her book, dozens of pages, over a couple of days. There were no paragraphs, no chapters, no sentences really, and no punctuation nor capital letters. She'd had it for years and it's only when her relative married into our family that I was asked to maybe help.
- "At the time I was so busy I really couldn't help but that was part of God's plan so I could see how what I've said for years "just write and let it flow, don't worry about punctuation" was confirmed. So I explained how to tackle this project. Two of this woman's daughters worked on the book and got it to different phases when I'd look at it again and pass on more of how to do it."
- FACT: Choose who you ask to read what you’ve written. I choose wisely. By the time my mother began proofreading for me, I’d spoken just about everything in my heart to her—so she knew what I was trying to say. Women listen from their hearts so the closer the woman is to you, the more she can help you express your thoughts and feelings for readers who don’t know you.
- FACT: built-in grammar and spell-checkers are not foolproof, I know, because “I am a fool God enjoys using to confound the wise.”
Since you may be writing your novel as it’s happening, as you are on your journey, it may go from one book to another as it happened with me while writing the Abundant Life series. Even though it may have been done by adding another section or part such as finding the abundant life and part to live in the abundant life, the book seem to complete, and also short not to want more to want to read the book.
Do you want to create that kind effect in the reader? If so, break your book into parts. If you'd rather give the reader a more subtle or continuous experience of the flow of the book, rather than announcing transitions so blatantly, don't break it into parts.
That's a question for each book, even each book in a series. Even if one book benefits from explicit breaks between parts, that doesn't mean you need breaks in every book. (I don't know whether the two following books in King's series are separated into parts.)