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Read Me Before You Write

Read Me Before You Write

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Read Me Before You Write

97 pages
1 hour
Feb 7, 2013


Do you have a dream of writing and publishing a book? What you don’t know could cost you countless hours and thousands of dollars. Award-winning author Evelyn Puerto shares the lessons about writing, publishing and marketing books she learned the hard way: through trial and error.
Packed into this short book are tips on improving the quality of your writing, increasing your chances of landing a publishing contract, marketing your book and saving money on publishing and marketing.

The last chapter lists helpful resources for learning to write, finding an agent and publishers, setting up websites, using social media more effectively and much more.

Read Me Before You Write gives writers who have not yet tried to publish their work a realistic view of the world of writing and publishing, so they have an idea of what it takes to become a successful author. You don’t have to waste your time and money repeating mistakes others have made. Read Me Before You Write will give you the start you need so you’ll be more likely to succeed.

Feb 7, 2013

Despre autor

Evelyn Puerto left a career in health care planning to serve as a missionary in Russia for seven years. A few years after her return to the US, she got married and inherited three stepdaughters, two stepgrandsons, and a cat. Award-winning Beyond the Rapids is her first book.

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Read Me Before You Write - Evelyn Puerto

Read Me Before You Write

What You Need to Know About Writing, Publishing and Marketing Your Book

Evelyn Puerto

Copyright © 2013 by Evelyn Puerto

Smashwords Edition

License Notes

This eBook is for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, the please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: How I Wrote my Book and Found out I did Everything Backwards

Chapter 2: My Biggest Mistake

Chapter 3: Master the Building Trades: Learn the Craft

Chapter 4: Draw up a Blueprint: What is your Message?

Chapter 5: Start Spreading the Word: Build Your Platform

Chapter 6: Lay a Solid Foundation and Develop Your Structure: Outline Your Book

Chapter 7: Put up the Walls, Hook up the Plumbing and the Electricity: Write, Rewrite and Rewrite Some More

Chapter 8: Pay Attention to the Finishes: Editing

Chapter 9: Special Features: Illustrations and Other Extras

Chapter 10: Sale by Owner or through a Realtor: The World of Publishing

Chapter 11: Make the Sale: Marketing

Chapter 12: Resource List

About the Author

Chapter 1 How I Wrote my Book and Found out I did Everything Backwards

What’s your next book going to be about? I am often asked

Usually my answer is 101 mistakes I made in writing the first one. Sadly, that’s not much of an exaggeration.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started writing.

My plan wasn’t to be a writer: the writing found me.

For seven years, I served in Russia as a missionary. I helped obtain humanitarian aid for hospitals and doctors, and tutored MBA students. During those years, I traveled to Ukraine numerous times to meet up with a group from my church from St. Louis. My role was to act as an extra interpreter and help in the medical clinics we held in different churches and villages.

While we were there, we met an amazing family who had endured much for their faith during the years of communism. These people told their stories with warmth and humor, and captivated everyone who listened.

After I returned to the United States, a woman who had also gone to Ukraine approached me. Someone should write a book about that family, she said.

Good idea, I said. Good luck finding someone to do it, was my private thought.

You need to do it. You know the family, you know the culture, and you can write the story so an American audience can relate to it.

I thanked her and declined, saying I wasn’t a writer. While that may have been a little false modesty at the time, it’s now obvious to me just how true that statement was.

Anyway, I eventually agreed to write the book that became Beyond the Rapids. How hard can this be? I thought. All I have to do is interview these people and write up their stories.

Fast forward eleven years. After the investment of countless hours and several thousand dollars, with almost 400 copies sold, and a Readers’ Favorite bronze medal to show for my labor, I learned just how hard it is to write well, and how even more difficult it is to sell the finished product.

Which leads me to why I am writing this book. I don’t want anyone to spin their wheels in frustration the way I did, much less spend thousands of dollars that don’t need to be invested in the pursuit of a writing career. Read on, and I’ll freely share my mistakes—and successes—with you. You’ll benefit from all my research, my learning by trial and error, and all the I wish I had known stuff that would have been so helpful to me along the way.

You may be thinking that all you want to do is write a book and you don’t care about sales or readers. Then skip those parts. You will benefit from the writing resources and sections on publishing options, which could save you lots of money.

But if you want some financial gain for all your hard work, keep reading. Much of my advice will pertain to anyone getting into publishing, whether you choose traditional publishing, subsidy publishing, or self-publishing. To keep things clear, I’ll be using those terms as follows:

Traditional Publishing means the publisher bears the costs of publishing the book, which includes editing, printing, cover design and some marketing.

Subsidy Publishers perform the publishing functions for an author, managing the editing, cover design and printing processes. The author pays the costs of publishing and marketing.

Self-publishers are the authors managing and financing the entire process themselves.

Chapter 12 contains a list of all the resources mentioned in this book (and many more) with links to make it easy for you to find them. This book isn’t meant to teach you everything there is to know about writing, publishing and book marketing or to be the only resource you’ll need, but I hope that it will give you an idea of what resources are available and save you time in finding ones that will be helpful.

May your writing bring you much joy and success!

Chapter 2 My Biggest Mistake

When I started writing Beyond the Rapids, I thought my main goal was to produce a good book. While I ended up with something that won an award, I could have saved myself a lot of time and re-writes.

I also thought that once the book was written, all I had to do was find a publisher and collect the royalties. Sadly, this is not how it works.

Although the list of mistakes I made while writing my book is a long one, I can easily pick out the top nine, the errors that cost me the most in

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