How to Publish Your Book!
We at Veronica Lane Books are always enthused to read fresh work from new writers. Our team of experts will guide you through the entire process and work alongside you to make your publishing dream come true. However, in this article, let’s discuss the best way to get your book published.
“You are now a published author!” Everyone who writes in any format has this ultimate dream of getting published. Getting your book published is serious and hard work. Ask yourself if you are really ready to put in the required time and effort.
The fear attached to going through the process of publishing is so much that for many of us it becomes a deterrent to even write. After all, what is the point of writing something if it is not going to see the light of the day?
Most of us have also heard stories of how manuscripts are thrown into the bin without even being opened. The idea of your painstakingly created work lying in some trash can somewhere send chills down your spine.
Well, we cannot let fear rule our lives and we definitely cannot allow scary publication procedures to stop us from exploring our creativity and giving words to our thoughts.
So today we are going to talk about things that you can do before and after writing your book that will make your pathway to publishing a little bit easier.
Let us first start with the things that you can keep in mind before starting to write.
There are always certain topics that are trending. Once you decide on the genre that you would like to write in, find out what is trending in that particular genre. It may help to have some elements in your novel that are currently in demand amongst readers. It not only increases the chances of someone taking an interest in publishing it but will also help in sales of the book.
Unless you are absolutely confident about your story, we would advise you to stay away from any controversial or politically charged items in your book. Publishers always tend to play safe and if this is your first rodeo as a writer, better stick to a good fictional story that doesn’t ruffle any feathers.
Having said this, we would still urge all aspiring writers out there to write first and worry about publishing later. There is a lot that you can do once you have your manuscript ready in hand.
Let us assume that you have a story that you want to tell the world and now you are looking for someone to publish it.
You must first understand the different types of publishing that exist and how each one works before you approach anyone with your work.
1. Traditional Publishing
Traditional Publishing is generally related to big and medium publishing houses. Here the publishing house signs a contract with the author after the agent has done all the preliminary work. This contract allows them to publish and sell your book through booksellers and retailers that they have tie-ups with.
Once a publishing house signs you, they take over the process of getting the book publication-ready. They may even suggest a few changes in the book, title, etc. to make it more saleable. They will also design a suitable cover page. Remember that at this point they are investing their money into your book as they see the potential in it. So they will do everything in their power to launch it the best way possible and generate interest through various ways in your book.
Once the book is published, you as the author will receive a certain percentage from the book sales as royalty. These details will be clarified in the initial contract that you sign.
You will also be asked if you are allowing them just print publishing and selling rights or even signing over screen adaptation rights.
It is very important to make sure that you go through each word in the contract and take your time in checking everything before you sign the contract.
Traditional publications don’t want to waste their time or money and will only consider books that they are 100% sure about. It is all about the sales figures and your book will solely be judged on its saleability. This makes it extremely difficult for a first-time author to get on their radar, as they literally have hundreds of manuscripts delivered to their office daily.
Traditional publications also have tie-ups with literary agents. They depend on these agents to recommend books to them. Hiring an agent is another option for someone who is looking at getting published traditionally. But it is costly and you have to be prepared to incur the expense involved. This is a good option if you have faith in your book and genuinely believe it has chances of doing well if published properly. As then you will have a person with connections in the publishing industry working on your behalf to make sure your book gets noticed.
2. Independent Publishing
Independent publishing or Indie Publishing is often confused with self-publishing. This is not the case and both are quite different from each other.
An independent (indie) publisher is defined as one that operates on its own, rather than as part of any large corporation or conglomerate. It’s as simple as that.
Most of these publishers are very open to working with first-time authors. They have their ear to the ground and look for new and interesting work to publish. Another advantage is that they will take a personal interest in your book and also guide you through the entire publishing process. With indie publishers, you may have to pay for certain services like editing, graphic design and cover and cover art. The best thing about working with an indie publisher is that you keep complete creative control of your book. The indies also get your book out to the market much faster than the bigger, traditional publishers, plus they find smaller, niche markets to sell in that do not attract the bigger publishers. You will also not make as much money as you make with a big publisher.
This is the easiest option available today which was not there for writers earlier. All you have to do is write, edit, publish, market, and sell your book. Sounds fun? Well, it’s definitely cool, to not just have your name as the author but also as a publisher in the book. But the entire process is easier said than done.
First let us talk about platforms like KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), Smashwords, and LuLu that offer services and tools to help you self-publish. These are platforms where you can publish your book for free and even earn royalties. But do keep in mind that these are online platforms and you will not be having any copy in the local bookstore.
The biggest advantage of self-publishing is that it is free and easy. But if you are not satisfied with just an online presence and actually want a book that you can sell then you can consider approaching various agencies that do self-publishing.
Before you start jumping with joy, let us inform you that these are paid services.
They have various packages that include services like editing, designing and marketing, number of printed copies and distribution.
Signing up with these agencies is fairly easy. They don’t have any approval process. They will print your book if you pay them. The obvious disadvantage is that you have to shell out a substantial amount of money to get published. And the amount keeps increasing if you go for the premium packages. Plus, these self-publishing companies are not really interested in marketing your book, as they receive all their earnings up front.
The Case for Independent Publishing
Before we go ahead, we would like to emphasize the fact that there are no absolute rights or wrongs when getting your book published. As a creator, you have to weigh the options that are available to you at the given point in time and select an option that you feel works best for your book.
Having said that we advise first-time authors to go for Independent Publishing, there are a few reasons for that.
- You stand a better chance with them. You may try, but the chances of getting the attention of a major publisher, especially without hiring a literary agent is difficult.
- They will be more involved with your book as they have fewer projects on hand.
- They are easier to approach, friendly, and are always on the lookout for new authors to publish.
- They have a loyal fan following who love and read all the books published by them.
- Most independent publishers only agree to publish if they resonate with your book. This makes them emotionally invested in your project and they will do their best to promote it.
You may start with publishing a few stories online. Create a name and fan following and then move to an independent publisher who will do justice to your work.
Having said that, many first-time writers have struck gold with big publishers. Like we said, in the beginning, it is all about what you feel is right for you. So, if you have absolute confidence in your work, by all means, don’t be daunted. Keep pursuing the major publishers till you find success.
So, What Next?
We have given you all the information and the advantages and disadvantages of the three different types of publishing. Let us now move forward and discuss what you can do to get published with any of these.
There are a few things that are common no matter which way you go.
A clear demarcation of the genre your book belongs to.
Being ready with a proof-read manuscript. Nothing puts off a publisher as a glaring spelling or grammatical mistake.
Be ready with a gripping and impactful story synopsis and well-drafted letter. You will require both.
- Most big publishing houses cater to all types of genres so you don’t have to worry if they will cater to your book or not.
- Do your research and find the emails of major publishers and their editors.
- Arm yourself with patience. It will not happen overnight. You will have to face a lot of rejections. Sometimes just getting a publisher to read your work can take months or years.
- Publishers receive scores of emails daily. Make sure your mail stands out.
- Hire a professional editor if you can.
- Hire a literary agent if you can afford one. This will increase your chances of acceptance.
- Most of them cater to certain genres or certain types of books. Do your research and find out ones who have published books similar to yours in the past.
- They may be more approachable than big publishers, but will not just meet anyone. Try and build a connection before you approach them.
- You can still find an agent. Most agents have personal relations with indie publishers and can be very useful in connecting you to the right publications.
- Be ready with your vision for the book, small publishers sometimes take their decision not just on the book but the vision of the author.
- Be prepared to do all the work yourself. You will have to work on all the aspects of the book yourself.
- Work tirelessly to promote the book. Since you don’t have any publisher backing you, you will have to sharpen your marketing skills.
- Sometimes because it is so easy, we take it lightly. Everything that is published in your name will be there forever. Take this as seriously as you would traditional publishing.
- Connect with someone who has self-published before to understand the entire process.
- If approaching an agency, research their credentials before you make any payment.
We hope this article helped answer your questions and we were able to demystify the process of publishing for you. We at Veronica Lane Books are always enthused to read fresh work from new writers. Our team of experts will guide you through the entire process and work alongside you to make your publishing dream come true.