You need to take a break. Your manuscript is 100% edited, needs formatting, but it's time to turn your eye to marketing. There are two steps at this stage and the first applies to you ONLY if you have been working on a story and any part of it has been posted on the web. No matter if you will be sending your book off to an agent, a publisher, or if you will be self-publishing, if you have posted any of the story, you must start clearing the field.

This describes the coming process, but is a good warning for the entire Internet as well


On your first pass to go Google and search for STORY NAME along with YOUR NAME. You should only see the reputable sites you yourself have posted on. Simply contact the webmaster of each and ask them to remove the story. If it is a site you regularly post on, be sure to warn fans it is coming down. If you have feedback and comments on it, now is the time to save those. Simply take a screen shot (or use a program like SnagIt).

Now if any sites have reposted your work on this search try and contact the webmaster. If that's not possible, read on for how to fix it.

Now repeat the search with simply the title of the story, and then do a final search but use the first line of the story. Now you will have the results of who has stolen your work.

If only plagiarists were this cute



If it has been stolen on a free site, you can try to have the webmaster remove it, but you'll have more success getting Google to omit it. The first step is to file a DMCA Takedown Notice. However...this is slow at best. You need to do it anyway, but you can do something a little faster alongside it: The Google URL Removal Tool. This is to be used when personal information is on a third party site. Simply tag the specific URLs as sharing personal information and Google will remove these from their searches. the DMCA Takedown Notice will have the site pages shut down long term.

But what do you do when you wrote a novella, posted it on a site, and all this time you've been rewriting it into a novel only to find someone took your novella and is selling it on Amazon? First, take a deep breath. Then contact Amazon's copyright office and then also file a DMCA Takedown Notice. Then get onto your own blog, social networks, and blast the hell out of the thieves. Sadly this happens all too often.

Don't be afraid to ask your friends for help!


It's important to note that if you decide to self publish, you need to check Amazon to see if your book was purchased and then resold by a thief. You must be ever vigilant, the dishonest never rest.

Now once you've cleaned up the Google search, had the legitimate sites take it down, and gotten the law on your side to defeat those plagiarizing for profit, you'll need to wait a little while for all to come down. You may have to do this a few times, but it has to be done if you have published any part of your work previously.

Even if you didn't, did you post any of it to a critique website? Did you email it to anyone? It's sad but true, you can;t trust anyone and you never know. Always be sure to Google it. Be sure to master this process, if you self publish you'll have to do this for your books two or three times a year.


Sorry, but it's true: eternal vigilance is the price of self-publishing


Now to prepare for the next step of preparatory marketing, know your genre. KNOW IT COLD. There are thousands of possibilities. If you're not sure, go onto Amazon, look at the possible genres, and before we get to Writing 103: 3-B you must know your genre. Almost everything to come depends on it.

And if you think that you can invent a new genre with your first novel...no. No you can't. We'll go over why next time. Until then, good luck searching!

Go ahead...click it! You know you want to!