Extreme Makeover –
Home Author Edition
The television show Extreme Makeover has garnered fans all over the world. Host Ty Pennington and his crew gut, resurface and rebuild homes for people who’ve made a difference and deserve a leg up. The show stars real-life contractors, engineers and carpenters who invade a home en masse and make short work of the remodeling process. Anything can happen and it’s probably what keeps people watching week after week.
What about authors? What if there was an Extreme Makeover Author Edition? How would it go? While some might entertain fantasies of facelifts and shopping sprees, others dream of bestsellers and audiobooks.
Is it time to do an extreme makeover on your manuscript? Have you finished it, maybe even published it, only to realize the pages need a little remodeling or paint? One of the great things about self-publishing is that it’s never too late. And there’s no time like now to start.
You wring your hands as you wail “But what do I do now?” That’s fairly easy believe it or not. Did you send your work to an editor? Was your book cover professionally designed? What about formatting – are there errors that glare at the reader? Maybe you should have given that some thought too – perhaps hired a professional formatter?
If you’ve already published the book how about doing a revision? This is something you should wait to do until you have all your ducks in a row. Be sure you take a good overview of the story. Grade it for plot and dialogue, description and flow. If you didn’t have a beta reader in the past get one or two now. Listen to their comments. If you have book reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, or any place else, take a really good look at them. Do the negative reviews have a thread? Is it something you should change?
Next, send the beta-read manuscript to a formatter who will tweak the pages so the reader enjoys the visual aspect of the book. Some of you may be good enough with Word or whatever other writing program you use to achieve this. You know who you are. If you aren’t sure of yourself hire someone.
Once the book has been read and critiqued and you’ve made the changes you feel necessary find an editor to give it some class. It’s easy to see which authors believe in being professional. Their book packages are slick, edited and scream “read me!” Isn’t that how you want yours to look? It can happen, but you’ll have to do it. Don’t stand back because you think it’s too expensive and as a starving writer don’t have the money to spend. You’ll find a way. Many editors offer attractive packages to writers. Get feedback on them and solicit recommendations from other authors.
Your book cover should stand out in the crowd. If it doesn’t, have a cover professionally made. Be sure to choose a designer who not only fits your budget but also gets your vision for the book.
So, you’ve done the remodel, beta readers, editor, formatting and cover. When you receive the final copy give the book one last critical check. If you like what you see you’re ready to do a re-release. You’ve been the star of Extreme Makeover, Author Edition. Now you’re on your way to the top!
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