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The next three Writing Tips are part of a series on DIY versus Professional publication. Obviously, being an independent author, I opted for the DIY method. Today’s tip looks at utilizing your pre-existing skills and knowledge in the editing and cover design stages of writing.

This is a lesson I learnt after I decided to publish my book independently. With no publisher, I had to do everything that needed to be done pre-publication myself. With no cover artist or editor, things like the book’s cover and editing of the rough draft fell to, you guessed it, me.

So, what did I do?

I did as much as I could with my own abilities, which, at the time, were limited to a creative mind and a good grasp on the fundamentals of grammar and sentence construction.

For the book cover, I had several ideas in mind, but my lack of familiarity with programs like Photoshop and graphic design limited my options. In the end, I chose to create a cover that was both visually appealing and easy to make, going for a cleaner and simpler look that I could manage with my meager skills.

In this instance, I used a fantastic design website (Canva) to visualize the layout and choose a font. Additionally I browsed dozens of images on sites like Shutterstock to find one that I believed best represented Awakening. Combining the image with Canva’s layout, I created the book’s cover.

Side note: Don’t forget to purchase the copyright to the image if applicable!

Editing, in contrast, was substantially simpler. I wrote several rough drafts over the course of many years, relying on my own knowledge about grammar and updating sections that I felt were lacking in terms of story content or flow. Mostly, this approach worked for me, although I did have a problem or two due to some erroneous beliefs about grammar (hint: its and it’s). Ultimately, I finished editing the book and felt largely satisfied with my work (I do apologize for the rare spelling mistake and spacing error, I am only human after all).

As you may have picked up, cover design and editing are only part of the work that goes into publishing a book. The rest will be covered in the two subsequent posts, so look forward to next week’s “If You Can’t, Learn How”.

And remember, Never Lose Your Stride!