National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Is Over! What Should Writers Do Next?

The focused frenzy that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) ended on November 30. Thousands of writers around the world spent last month striving to hit ambitious daily writing goals in order to complete the first draft of a 50,000-word manuscript. Everyone who participated and made an effort should pat themselves on the back. Participation alone is an accomplishment. Even if you didn’t finish your manuscript or write 50,000 words, you started your book or made progress toward finishing it. Kudos to you!

But now that NaNoWriMo over, what’s a writer to do? Here are our top 3 tips for writers who just finished NaNoWriMo:

One: Keep the momentum going—It takes incredible discipline to fit daily writing into a busy schedule. If you achieved this during NaNoWriMo, you accomplished something important. You created a new routine and you should keep it going. If you didn’t finish your manuscript, keep writing with the same dedication you showed during NaNoWriMo. If you did finish your first draft, repurpose your writing time for editing and learning about next steps in your publishing journey. It’s a great time to write a description of your book and start working with a professional cover designer. Both are vital marketing assets that can be used to let readers and booksellers know your book is coming. You can even use the cover and description to create a preorder campaign and start selling copies of your book while you finish the editing and file preparation. Bublish rough cut book bubbles can help you promote your book during this period. We’ve had some authors engage 100,000 readers before their book launch! Check out Bublish’s Weekend Reader Marathon to learn more.

Two: Put together your publishing team—If you plan to self-publish your book as an independent or indie, you’re opting to be both an author AND a publisher. As the publisher of your own work, you’ll want to learn about the book business: positioning, production, marketing, metadata, global distribution, and so on. There’s a lot to learn and it can be a bit overwhelming to go it alone. If you’re interested in finding a partner for your publishing journey, it’s a good time to start thinking about putting together your team of professional editors, designers, marketers, and distributors. How can you find reliable publishing partners and vet them? The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) has a wonderful list of reviewed service providers, including Bublish. It’s a great place to start your research.

Three: Create a timeline for your book’s launch—Now is a great time to create a launch plan for your book. Do you know the best time of year to launch a book in your genre? Have you created a calendar that takes into account editing, design and production of your book as well as prelaunch, launch, and post-launch marketing activities? When is the best time to send out Advance Reader Copies (ARC) in order to secure editorial reviews before your book’s launch? These are the types of questions you’ll want to ask and answer early in your publishing journey. You’ll make better choices, if you’re informed. After all of your hard work during NaNoWriMo, you want to create a roadmap for your book’s success. Planning out a production and marketing schedule early in the publishing process will give you and your book a strong foundation and, as a result, stronger outcomes when you launch.

It’s an exciting time to be an author and an even more exciting time to be an indie author. The number of self-published titles grew by 40% in 2018, and self-published authors now generate more than 20% of the publishing industry’s revenue. That’s amazing! Here’s to seeing you contribute to those numbers next year. With continued momentum toward your writing and publishing goals, you can kickstart 2020 and begin the new decade as a successful author. Let us know how we can help.

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