So you want to self publish your book? Great! Technology is in a place right now that makes it a great time to do just that. Googling a few phrases like " I want to self-publish" "Is self-publishing for me?" "Tips to self-publish" "How can I be a published author?" "Will traditional big box publishers offer me a book deal" "How do I find an agent?" will tell you most of what you need to know, so I won't go on about that.
What I will say is this: Write well.
Today books can easily look like a book published by a large publisher. You'll need a nice cover design, orderly interior page design, ISBN and a good Print on Demand printer. That's it. So to compete in the marketplace you'll need to have a well written manuscript before you approach a literary agent, traditional publisher or a book sherpa, like myself. DIY self publishing does not really give you a pass for not completing these important tasks at a professional level of expertise. Keep in mind though, you don't have to be "THE PROFESSIONAL" in all those areas. You can find experts to help.
Manuscripts that come to me are usually years in the making and the authors often have had a book coach or strategist to massage their story preparing the way to go to the next stage of copyediting. Sometimes book coaches are also copyeditors and can do that work too, but in publishing, more eyes are always better.
Copyediting will ensure that the voice, syntax, and grammar is correct. They will also check that the writing style is consistent, either AP or Chicago. Errors of story holes or inconsistency will be questioned and fixed. This process is sometimes hard as the author thinks the submitted manuscript should have been good-to-go, but really this process is like making sure all the frosting gets on the cake. And cake is always better with frosting, right?
Proofreading is the next step. The proofreader needs to be someone who has not spent hours of time already looking at the manuscript. A fresh perspective is needed. If you have gotten this far in the writing process then good for you! You may be ready to upload your files and get published. If you’re not sure or want to have a partner that can help you, now is a great time to find one. As always, I am here to help.