Once you finish your MS, the hard part begins.

Once you complete your final re-write, send your MS to an editor. You might have a wise and wonderful book, but if its not readable, its worthless. A good editor will save you heartache (and money).

While your book is with the editor, you have a lot of work to do. You must have an exciting front cover, the spine formatted and a dramatic back cover layout. There are specific necessities to each of these, the rest is up to you.

For the front cover to catch the eye of a potential reader, you need professional help. If you are a shutter-bug or an artist - or know someone who is - try it yourself. If not, get help. Like an editor enhances your own style, the perfect front cover picture will illuminate your book. There are no do-overs once your book is in print.

Keep your book's spine simple - the title and author's name. If the book is thick enough to print the words upright, do that. If not, have the title printed from top to bottom with the top of the words toward the front. Don't make the print too small and don't experiment. If the reader cannot read it in two seconds, you've lost them.

The back cover is critical. Use short words, short sentences. Select each word with care. You have about 200 words to draw the reader in before they are looking for another tale. Add some questions to entice them to pick up the book and flip through the pages. Remember how you read a book's back cover of an unknown author? Make them feel they Must read your story to keep their life fulfilled.

Include your picture and bio on the back, especially if this is your first or second book. Readers like to feel comfortable with the writer. They will not take the book's journey if they do not trust and feel they know something about the writer.

By this time, your MS should be back from the editor. Read through the suggestions and re-write. Your editor knows what sells so follow your editor's advice. Come to a compromise on everything they suggested because you both want the same thing.

When you finish the MS, the book cover, the spine and the back - send it to the printer. Then, read and follow my advice on how to promote your book.