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James Altucher


Items for a checklist after you finish writing your book

These are just some suggestions. Some of them might be necessary. Some aren't. And probably some more are needed.

    1. First, and most important, celebrate

    Too many people forget to celebrate the small successes in life. We are often told that we should be equally stoic on negative events and positive events.

    The problem is: it's REALLY HARD to be not negative when negative events happen. Which means you withdraw from the emotional bank of internal energy when that happens. So to put a deposit back in that bank, you need to be celebrate and be happy over the positive things.

    Else, emotional bankruptcy is the result. Eventually.

    2. Try this: take out the first and last paragraph of each chapter.

    Then read the chapter. Does it read better? You'd be surprised how often this simple little trick makes a more readable book.

    3. Run the text through an F-K calculator

    The Flesch-Kincaid Calculator determines the readability of your text. I'd run every chapter through separately.

    Basically, it tells you the grade level of your text.

    As an example: "Old Man and the Sea" is roughly a fifth grade level. "Harry Pottter" is at a 7th grade level. Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" is at an 11th grade level. Academic papers are at around a 20th grade level.

    You get the idea: a 7th grade level is the most readable. You want your text to be readable at around a 7th grade level.

    The F-K score basically values fewer syllables per words and fewer words per sentence. I'd also add (if I could manipulate the score a little) fewer sentences per paragraph.

    If your F-K score is above a 7th grade level, then start simplifying it until each chapter ends up at a readable level.

    4. Just a quick blood test

    For every story you write in the book, does it bleed a little.

    5. Get a line editor

    Someone who can go over line by line to check for grammar and spelling. At Fiverr.com you can find line editors cheap.

    OR...you can use wordtune.ai. It's actually a very good AI-based editor and will cost you nothing.

    6. Get a book editor

    A book editor will read the book deeply and have much more structural questions like:

    "Can you flesh out this particular story more?"

    "Can you move this chapter to here instead of there?"

    "I'm not sure I understand this particular story explaining this concept. Can you elaborate further?"

    Many people think they don't need this but they do. Again, find this on Fiverr.com

    7. Cover designer

    Don't use the free covers offered by Amazon's KDP. Go to 99designs.com

    8. Interior designer

    An interior designer picks fonts, does layout, figures out margins and spacing and much more.

    9. Make an audiobook

    Best not to do it yourself but you can. If you do it yourself make sure you check with Audible so you make it to their specifications.

    Also google what the ideal equipment would be for an audiobook.

    Best to hire an audio producer to make the entire audiobook and hand you all the files finished. This will cost about $300 for every 10,000 words. It's worth it.

    You will make more on the audiobook than the other formats combined (maybe). I still get checks for the audiobook on "Choose Yourself"(published in 2013) that top what I get for the other formats combined.

    10. Load up to Amazon and hit publish

    Go to kdp.amazon.com . They will tell you step by step what to do.

    11. Celebrate again!

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