In the modern world, there are two different ways to get your book published. The fastest and easiest is to have it made available for download on Amazon or other ebook sites. The second is to to follow the traditional route and find a traditional publisher, who will print up copies to go into bookstores and (of course) be sold online. This is what we are talking about here, you’ll find other articles on this site that cover Kindle and other ebook publishing.
If you think that writing the book was the hard part, you might be in for a shock. If everybody knew what it took to appear in print, I suspect not many people will be reading this article! Whatever brings you here, I’m sure we can pass on some useful information.
So you have finally completed the last chapter of your book and I’m sure it’s absolutely brilliant. Very possibly the next literary blockbuster. (I do hope so, genuinely). Time to share to the world what you have to say, but where to start? Getting your book printed and “out there” is not always easy. In fact, some of the most successful books to ever see the light of day had to rely on a combination of writer’s talent, luck and some serendipitous event to get them noticed.
Relying on just plain luck and hoping someone somewhere will discover what a wonderful novel you have with you will not do much for your career as a writer. Learn to take charge right now and find out how to get published successfully.
How To Get A Book Published #1: Getting Started
The first thing to discover about becoming a published writer is the importance of preparedness. Ask yourself, ‘Am I ready to be published?’ It’s all very well knowing how to get a book published, it’s another to be able to fully grasp the opportunity that’s being offered you. You only get one chance at having a debut novel published and you have to ready to exploit all the promotional opportunities that are available.
In their excitement, many first time writers fail to fully understand that being published comes with a certain amount of responsibility. One of the most important of these is being able to produce excellent quality work. Learning how to get a book published is wasted if your work is below standard. When you approach a publishing firm with a draft of your novel, you should be able to offer them the best quality work that you have. Your draft is not only a reflection of your talent and creativity, it is also a reflection of your character and reliability as a writer on their roster. This is why you should never, under any circumstance, attempt to submit a manuscript that needs to be edited heavily. It is not only unprofessional and impolite, it is also detrimental to your goals as a writer.
Once you have completed your manuscript, take a few days to re-read it to check for any inconsistencies in the timeline, the characters, relationships and events. Check for any spelling and grammatical errors. Do not rely too much on spellchecker applications on your computer since these do not always produce accurate results. If you are capable of producing a high quality novel, it makes it easy for a potential publisher to snap up your work and see you as a very promising new writer.
#2: Choosing Your Publication Route
There are many ways you can get your book published and each one has its own advantages and limitations. The most traditional method is of course finding a publisher and getting them to print and launch your book for you. However, this is not as simple as knocking on the door of a publishing house and leaving them a copy of your manuscript to read. Keep in mind that you are not the only aspiring author in your city or maybe even in your street. Most publishing houses receive hundreds of submissions each day, many of which have representation from a literary agent. It will be difficult for a newbie writer to compete given the sheer volume of submitted works that editors have to review. Knowing which of the available publishing methods to use will help you leverage what opportunities are available to you and benefit from them.
#3: Do You Need Representation?
Majority of writers who become published are represented by a literary agent. The agent is responsible for marketing the manuscript, finding a publisher and helping the writer negotiate terms and conditions with the publishing house. There are thousands of literary agents who are available to take you on as a client but not every one of them may be right for your needs. If your manuscript belongs to the adult suspense/thriller genre, for example, and the agent specializes in young adult romantic fiction, he or she may not be able to give your work the kind of exposure it needs. As a new writer, you not only need to find the right agent, you also have to be able to convince him or her that your book is worth representing.
#4: Doing Business As A Writer
When you are looking to get your book published, keep in mind that the industry is a business first and foremost. No publisher will bother with a manuscript if they do not believe it will have a ready market. A publisher has to spend money on the initial expenses required to get your book out. These expenses can include cost of printing and raw materials, manpower and labor, marketing and advertising, among other things. If the publishing company thinks that your book will sell enough copies to cover for these expenses and turn a profit, they will be more than willing to pursue a relationship with you.
Writers have to be aware of the marketability of their work and be able to convince the publisher that it can sell. It is never enough to just have a brilliant idea or even a very entertaining book – you need to be able to show that readers will want what you can offer. If people want your book and are willing to buy it, you earn as a writer and so will your publisher.
#5 Are You Right For The Market?
John le Carre, JK Rowling, Stephen King, William Golding, Beatrix Potter, Meg Cabot, Ursula K. le Guin and William Faulkner all share a certain similar event in their lives – they all got rejected multiple times before getting published. However, none of them gave up. If they had, we would not experience their works and they would not be enjoying their respective successes today.
Many new writers are terrified of the next step after completing their books. Rejection, after all, is not easy on anyone. However, keep in mind that you do need to get your feet out there to achieve your goal and if you do get rejected, simply find someone else. Katherine Stockett, author of The Help, was famously rejected 60 times, finally finding the right publisher on her 61st try. In many cases, it is not because the book you wrote was not good enough, it is that it may not be right for the market the publisher is catering to. Overcoming this obstacle is just one of many you will have to be prepared for.