If you want your book to be successful, here is a great rule to follow: Do not try to do it all by yourself. Savy authors get outside help and so should you. Hire professionals when you need them and develop a support team that can make your book the best it can be. Specifically:
1. Get editiorial and design help.
Book editors and other book professionals are definitely a good investment. They can contribute their years of experience and expertise to your project. They can save you from mistakes and help you polish your work. In short, they are worth their weight in gold. For more information about the types of editors that are available, read Cheryl Ann Gardner's in-depth article.
2. Hire a proofreader.
Kim Staflund has written an excellent article that includes a nine point checklist most professional proofreaders adhere to. The best advice is, do not try to proof read your own work. You are too close to your manuscript and are sure to miss some typographical errors among other things. You need a professional with "fresh eyes" to proofread your work. Your computer's spelling and grammar checkers are good for a first pass, but never rely on them exclusively. And remember, there is more to proofreading than just punctuation and spelling. Having your manuscript proofread more than once can be a wise decision.
3. Solicit peer reviews.
When their manuscripts are nearly complete, smart writers look for peer reveiwers, at least four experts, each to review a chapter. Some experts might agree to receiving two or three chapters but, if you want to get a timely response, most should get only one. What you get back from these reviewers will be extremely valuable. For example, they may suggest adding more items to a list you have created. They may suggest deleting or changing sections where a practice has changed. They may occasionally identify a comment that may be inaccurate. In short, their opinions will help you mold and "fine tune" your book.
Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One-Minute Manager Library, once said, "I don't write books, my friends write them for me." What he was actually describing was peer review.
When your book is finally published, if you have used outside professional help, chances are you will receive far less adverse reader reaction because your book will have been bulletproofed - at least to the best of your ability.
[This post was created from excerpts from Successful Non-Fiction, authored by Dan Poynter.]