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How to Get Your Book Published

Do you want to know how to get your book published? In this article, you will learn the simple steps in publishing your own book in no time.

If you are a first time writer who wants to get your book published, you have probably done your research of the do’s and don’ts of publishing your own book. You may also find that it can be challenging for a first-timer to publish a book and the bits of advice could be overwhelming.

There are different ways on how you can publish your book. We’ll cut through the fog and provide you concrete tips that you need to get your book out there for readers.

Let’s do the first step. You have to choose if you want to go through traditional publishing or a self-publishing route. 

Traditional Publishing

In traditional publishing, the publisher takes all the responsibility of publishing your book. All you need to do is just need to submit your raw manuscript. 

If you want to go through traditional publishing, you must first identify your book’s right category. The book category list includes, but is not limited to action and adventure, classic, comic book or graphic novel, detective and mystery, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, literary fiction, romance, science fiction (Sci-Fi), short stories, suspense, and thrillers, and so on.

Most writers need to find an agent who will market the writer’s book to the editors and publishing houses on behalf of the writer. Some agents and publishers will also require that you write a proposal for your book to get published. They may also request the synopsis of your book as well as parts of your manuscript. 

A rule of thumb is to compile a list of agents to whom you would like to submit your query letter as you should expect some rejections. This does not necessarily mean that your book is not remarkable. 

Some reasons why agents usually reject a writer’s query letter:

  • Failure to adhere to the submission guidelines.
  • Not finding out what genres grab an agent’s attention.
  • Poor writing of query letters or proposals, including spelling errors.

Once your agent makes an offer and before signing you with your agent, you must carefully review the contract, review your agent’s track record, and discuss your book and writing career goals. Once you have settled your agreement, your agent will start submitting your book to editors and publishing houses. 

After your raw manuscript has been accepted, an editor will review it. The editor will then determine if it is right for the publishing house style and decide to reject or publish it.  

The publisher usually buys the rights from the writer to publish the manuscript and pay the writer in advance and future royalties (about 10 to 15 percent royalty). Once a contract between the writer and publisher has been signed, the publisher will shoulder all the expenses from editing, typesetting, designing the cover, printing, marketing the book, and disseminating the copies.

And then, the edits begin. You will be communicating back and forth as you work on polishing your book. Once the content of your book has been finalized, it will be submitted to a copyeditor. This takes several weeks to months as it will go through several rounds of copyediting and communication between you and copy edit for any changes in the content. 

Once finalized, the copy editor will send your book to other department teams: design, formatting, marketing, publicists, printer, and so on. After going through these steps, you will receive your book’s final copy and your book launches.  Do you want to know how to get your book published? In this article, you will learn the simple steps in publishing your own book in no time.

Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is the publication of media by the author (whether print or electronic like an ebook) without a publisher’s involvement. The author usually uses self-publication platforms, such as Amazon Kindle. Authors can choose to DIY (do it yourself) or get assistance in publishing their own books. In DIY, the author bears all the costs of designing, marketing, and book distribution. The other route is to get assisted with professionals. They can choose to work with designers, freelance editors or proofreaders, and marketers. 

Pros and cons of self-publishing

There are some advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing a book without using a traditional book publisher, and here are some.

Benefits of self-publishing

1. Gain more creative control

You have greater creative control with your book over traditional publishing. When you are publishing your book in a publishing house, there are several gatekeepers who will have an opinion on the overall content and appearance of your book. You also need to meet the requirements of multiple parties, including the editor, designer, and marketer. Self-publishing allows you to take control of your book every step of the way.

2. Greater loyalty rates

You can potentially make a greater amount of money with self-publishing than traditional publishing, up to 70 percent more. In traditional publishing, the publishing houses pay the author royalties with each book sold. That is around 7 to 25 percent, and the rest of the earnings go to the publishing house. 

3. Market your book faster

With self-publishing, you can complete your book in less than a week. Publishing a book through traditional publishing may take six to 18 months. Using the power of the Internet, you can complete a book today and publish it in a few weeks. Thus, you can market your book and make money from it right away. 

4. Unlimited shelf life

One of the biggest advantages of a self-published book is that it gives your book a longer shelf life. In traditional publishing, the publisher will only give you a few months of exposure in the bookstores. Your shelf life also depends on how popular your book is. On the other hand, digital books, such as those on Amazon’s virtual shelves, longer shelf life. This gives you more time to build your following, sales and develop your niche gradually. 

You can read the article “Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: 2020 Deep Dive” to help you decide what route to take. Once you have chosen between traditional publishing and self-publishing, you can now work on the next steps to finally publish your own book.

Downside of self-publishing

1. It costs more

In traditional publishing, the publishing house pays for the editing, designing, printing, and marketing of your book. You will also get to pay in advance when you already made a deal. In self-publishing, the writer will pay for all of those upfront costs.

2. Not having the benefit of an editorial team

One of the biggest challenges of self-publishing is having no access to proofreaders, publicists, professional editing services. The editorial team smooths out story issues and ensures the final product is free of typos and other mistakes. To ensure that you will only publish a high-quality book, you need to hire a trusted party to edit your book. You should also hire a designer to make your book attractive and appealing to the readers.

Steps on How to Publish Your Own Book

1. Write your book

The first thing you need to do is plan the draft of the book you are going to write and execute with the actual writing. Writing a book requires investing a lot of time and thought. It is a process that starts in bits and pieces until you complete a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, and then a whole book. 

Writing a book that will actually sell is about finding an idea that will excite you and your readers. 

In writing a book, you must first decide what you are going to write. Is the genre of your book going to be fiction, non-fiction, novel, narrative, or short story? Knowing what genre you will focus on will give you an idea of how long or the total word count that your book needs to be.

For example, most traditional publishers expect a non-fiction book word count to be between 50,000-75,000 words. A fiction book word count is usually 90,000 words to 100,000 words or more.

The total number of words required in a book is quite overwhelming, especially if you are just starting. This is one of the reasons why most writers, 97% to be exact, start to write a book and never finish it. That is why you need a clear writing framework, and this includes setting daily goals.

2. Edit the manuscript

As we have mentioned earlier, when you opt for traditional publishing, the publisher’s own in-house editors and copy editors will edit your manuscript. The process may go through several rounds. 

Each time your manuscript has been edited, it will be sent back to you for your checking, and you can send back your corrections to them for their revision or further checking. Your manuscript may go through several revisions until you and the editor approve the final copy. 

When you are doing self-publishing, you will edit your own manuscript. It is best to bring in a fresh pair of eyes. You can ask for a friend or a family member’s help to read, check, and edit your manuscript. 

Once you have edited your manuscript as far as you can, you can send your final draft to a professional editor. You can find a lot of good book editors on freelance websites, such as Upwork.

3. Format the interior layout (typeset) of your book and design a book cover

In-house publishers have their own typesetters and graphic designers who can work on your book’s overall look or layout. 

It is important that you have an eye-catching book cover. If you are self-publishing your book, it would be much better if you hire a professional to help you with the designing of your book cover and typesetting the pages. 

Also, typesetting or formatting a book is a tedious task and time-consuming. That is why finding a professional that will do this for you will save you time, money, stress, and trouble of getting the design and layout right. You can find cover designers and typesetters in Upwork, Fiverr, Elance, and other freelance websites.  

4. Publish your book

Once you have approved the final draft or copy of your book in traditional publishing, they will be responsible for your book’s printing and marketing.

As a self-publishing author, once you have approved the final draft or file of your book (or ebook), you can upload and publish your book in your chosen self-publication platform, such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

You can upload your book and list it for free. Amazon simplified the process. So, when the reader is interested in reading your ebook, they can buy the ebook or have a print version created for them.

5. Promote your book

Don’t rely too much on Amazon or your publisher to promote your book. There are different ways that you can help start the cash rolling in without spending much. Here are some:

  • Create guest post blogs aimed at readers of your kind of book.
  • Find a content producer in a podcast in your genre and do podcast interviews. 
  • Offer free content for podcasts and audiobooks.
  • Find reader groups online and join the group.
  • Promote your post on Facebook using Facebook ads.
  • Create an email list to promote your book.
  • Create a YouTube channel and talk about your book.

Suggested online courses:

Discover all the aspects of publishing a book, all the way through to promoting and selling with these online courses:

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