I'm Simon Haynes, programmer and author. Welcome to my website.

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From first draft to publication - a list

Work out a plot and populate it with characters.
Write your first draft from start to finish.
• Usually, tear it apart and rewrite it.
• Repeat the above until you have a workable novel.
• Now polish the thing to a mirror finish.
• Read my article on How to Get Published.
• (Optional: employ a freelance editor. Either for proofing or to give their opinion.)
• (Optional: Use online workshops to get feedback.)

Now you have a choice: traditional publisher, or self-publishing?

First, let's cover traditional publishing:

• Prepare your query letter, summary and sample chapters, and start approaching agents.
• (Every agent should be checked out - I suggest Preditors and Editors.)
• Based on the results of your queries, be prepared for rewrites.
• If approached, ask about the agent on Absolute Write.
Do not sign with anyone until you've checked them out.
• This is really hard, but while you're going through the submission process, write the next novel.
• I do NOT recommend writing a sequel. Write a separate book, if you can.
• (If you write a sequel you can't sell it unless you sell the first book.)
• Once the agent sells your novel to a publisher, you'll be working with their editor

Alternatively, there's self-publishing:

• Editing is no longer optional. Seek a pro manuscript evaluation to discover the flaws in your work.
• After rewrites, hire a professional editor for structural edit. (Major plot problems, etc.)
• Hire a copyeditor and/or proofreaders to fix layout issues, inconsistencies and typos.
• Hire a cover artist and cover designer to make your book as professional as possible.
• Either hire an ebook designer for the inside, or learn how to do this properly yourself.
• For printed books, I recommend a pro designer.
• For the previous 3 steps, you can sometimes find a one-stop-shop.
• Once everything is ready, publish and promote!

Whichever you choose, best of luck!

Please remember that none of my articles are meant to discourage. In fact, they're all written for the me of ten years ago, the writer who was ready to take the next step but didn't know what that step was.

About the author: Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series, and works as a freelance writer. Simon is also a freelance programmer, and he designed and wrote all the software on spacejock.com (e.g. yWriter).

If you have any comments, please contact me