Posted 4 months ago
I've been writing a book for the last few years and I'm finally ready to get it published. It's almost done, just have to make a couple more changes. I'm a little worried about sending it out though - what's the next step?
If you already have a novel, or short story, or book of poetry complete, that's awesome! Definitely be sure that you've had someone read it over carefully for any errors or weird grammar usage. Publishers want to pick up submissions with as few errors as possible. When it comes to getting published, I would suggest you research publishing houses that publish books similar to yours. For instance, if you write a fantasy book, it will not get published by a house that published non-fiction books. Every publishing house will say what kinds of books they specialize in on their website.
In many cases, publishers will be accepting submissions, BUT they will ask that you do not send out multiple submissions. This means that they only want you to send your manuscript to them and no one else. It may take them weeks to get back to you, which is a long waiting time. This is why researching publishing houses to see if you fit within their book list is so important. As an author, time is incredibly valuable. The reason for this is that some publishing house will consider your manuscript, take it to a few editors, and do some preliminary work to see if they really want to take it on. This means that they spend money on your book. A publishing teacher of mine once told me that a publishing house she worked at spent thousands of dollars on a manuscript, and when they told the author, he revealed that he'd already been picked up by another house. Publishing houses try to avoid that.
But it's not always the case. Some will accept multiple submissions.
And as most writers know, it may take you LOTS of submissions before someone picks up your book. The best rejection letters will have some constructive feedback to strengthen your manuscript. Don't give up.
What about self-publishing options? I know Kindle has an online publishing service that anyone can sign up for:
I can see a lot of problems with that though, because then you need to be able to promote your book in a much larger pond, and with no support from a publishing house. I'm guessing it also makes getting reviews and press more difficult as well.
Anyone tried direct publishing?
That's totally an option! The biggest issue with self publishing though is that anyone can publish a book, so it loses some of it's prestige.
I think the best way to use self-publishing would be to build up a following of readers. Whether it's on your own blog, or contributing to another outlet that already has a lot of followers, people will begin to look for your work. And when you have a nice following, you can publish your own book and you will have interested buyers.