Just get the words on the page! You can’t revise a blank page!
NANOWRIMO– National Novel Writing Month every November gives you a reason to stop your excuses and get that story on paper. Join thousands of other Wrimos as they aspire to write 50,000 words in November. There is also Camp Nanowrimo in April and July. And if you’re wondering if 50K is barely even a story, The Great Gatsby is 47,180 words. However, all of A Song of Ice and Fire books are over 298K, so you know, 50K will pretty much let you outline your epic story.
LITERRATER- Allows you to write and edit your story for free. You can also receive input from fans and grow a following. Literrater was the first site of its kind to allow fans to read your work while you write it.
NOW NOVEL- Holds your hand as you outline your story and develop the overall mood and setting. If you want more features you have to subscribe. Great if you have a story but need help thinking of the main details.
4TheWords- Helps you make a habit of writing every day. You can earn badges as you battle monsters to finish your timed word count sprints. Fun if you’re looking for motivation and rewards.
RescueTime- If you have a hard time with online distractions then RescueTime is the answer. It keeps track of how much time you’re spending being productive and how much time you’re messing around on Facebook and other sites. You can also block distracting websites for a given amount of time while you get some work done. Check it out. The lite version is free!
Let it rest, then revise, revise, revise.
YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS- When you finish your first draft recruit some personal cheerleaders like your closest friends to be your alpha or beta readers. Sometimes you need some encouragement before all of the revising. They’ll be your first fans too!
Find a graphic designer that reflects your story’s style. Because let’s be honest, people do judge books by their covers. Cover Art is your first impression.
REEDSY- Is an awesome resource for editors, proofreaders, cover designers, publicity and marketing. Get quotes from your favorite industry professionals and take your projects to the next level. Check them out if you’re serious about your work.
If you want to go the traditional route, then skip looking for a cover designer and query some agents.
AGENT QUERY- Is one of the biggest databases of literary agents and tells you their submission guidelines. It also has examples and resources for writers.
WRITER’S MARKET- Is a good resource for freelancers looking to sell their articles. And if you finished your book or manuscript and want to know who to query or sell it to, you can do a search and get updates whenever new markets pop up.
And just know, most of the big publishers will only take queries from an agent.
If you want to self-publish you should probably compare some packages and decide on your budget. Do you want to print-on-demand or do you want to have ebooks? Here are just a few of your many options.
FAST PENCIL- Easy and fast publishing. Generous royalties and global distribution. You can upload your work and preview before you print or convert to ebook format.
BOOK BABY- Turn your manuscript into ebooks, print-on-demand, and make custom printed books. Can be distributed through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Scribd, etc.
CREATESPACE- If you want the highest quality books you can get without signing with a traditional publisher, this is the way to go. It’s like 90% the same quality of big publishers. Print on demand and you will receive your commission after they take their royalties. One of the highest royalties in publishing.
SMASHWORDS- Publish your ebook and keep your rights. They have non-exclusive agreements.
Best of luck!