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NaNoWriMo: The Next Steps

NaNoWriMo 2020 is done! Did you win? Whether or not you made your goal, congratulations for getting as far as you did!

Now, in a standard physical book, 50,000 words is about 200 pages. Whatever your desired word count is, that's a pretty big chunk of story. But what are you supposed to do with it?


Your book isn't complete

Two hundred pages is a lot, but that's small for a fiction book (depending on your genre). You probably still have a long way to go, and finishing your novel after an intensive month is going to be hard!

Make sure you set more goals for yourself in the coming months. You'll likely slow down after NaNoWriMo, but that isn't an excuse to stop. Keep the momentum going while you have it.

If you're struggling to finish your book or put it all together, create a detailed outline of the story and figure out what's needed. Is it a series or standalone? Either way, how can you end this book in a way that will make readers hungry for your next one?

It's time to work on your digital presence

If you haven't already, now is time to create your author website and start posting about your book on social media, drumming up anticipation for its release.

Digital marketing is the most popular marketing route for new authors because it can be cheap, but incredibly effective. With tools like Facebook ads, you can target your audience directly to their feed. With your mailing list, you have a direct access to your audience's inbox and can send them highly specific newsletters to guarantee they buy your books!

If you already know a bit about marketing and you're comfortable DIYing, Reedsy's courses are a great place to get more information. If you're a total newbie and know you'll need help, there are plenty of freelancers available with book marketing expertise (like me!).

Start building your team

Your team as an author differs depending on your publishing route and your budget. Either way, you need to start thinking about who you need to get your book from a Word Doc to a bestseller!

If you want to publish through a traditional publishing house, you have to polish your book to its absolute best (by yourself or with the help of an editor) and start querying to agents.

If you want to self-publish, an increasingly popular option, you need to build your own little publishing house to get your book out into the world. This may include editors, designers, formatters, printers - anything you can't DIY! Visit this blog for a more detailed breakdown.


Well done for completing this year's NaNoWriMo challenge! If you need help with where to take your book from here, head to my contact page.


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