It's been said that it takes a village to raise a child. The same can be said about writing a book. People don't typically realize the amount of work that goes into writing a book. And it's more than just an author sitting down in front of their computer, putting words to a page. It takes a crew of individuals working together to ensure that a story is ready for the masses; especially if you're an indie/self-published author.
Today, I'd like to give props to the people who put their time and effort into making authors look good.
Let me start off with editors. There are not enough words in the English language for me to express my appreciation to my editor, Rose David. She's my grammar guru. The trick to working with an editor is to always keep in mind that they are there to perfect you. You must trust your editor to be honest with you, no matter bad your feelings could be hurt.
Proofreaders are also essential. You can never have too many proofreaders. I have some fabulous ladies who read my work for me. Each one has a special talent, and I feel honored to call them my friends. However, not anyone can proofread a story. Be careful who you share your work with. You need to be able to trust your proofreaders to keep your information private, but you also need to feel comfortable that they will not attempt to make your idea their own. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I hate to say that it does happen.
After all that, you need a great graphic artist. My designer, Jada D'Lee Designs is a master at capturing the written word in a visual aspect. With a graphic artist, it helps if you give them an idea of how you see things. Provide them pictures to refer to, and then let them do their magic.
When all of this is said and done, the next step is formatting a book. You can do this on your own, but let me tell you, it's a headache. I would highly suggest hiring someone. Jo Matthews of Written Elegance is a wonderful person to work with, and she provides a variety of services (including editing, graphics and blog tour scheduling). Another wonderful person to work with is FS Meurinne. She too handles a conglomerate of services, and is a joy to work with.
Which leads me to my final point. So you go through all of this and it comes time to publish your book. That's the easy part. The hard part is marketing. You can never do enough PR. I promise you; the more you do, the better off you are. Blog tours (bloggers are your friends, people. They are sweethearts and love to help authors out), Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, giveaways, friends, ARC copies....all of these matter!
So, the next time you read a book, think about all these people and remember, there's more behind the story than an author and their vision. It took a whole village to bring that book to life.