Wednesday, March 13, 2019

How to Get Published

A few weeks ago, one of my friends asked me, “So, Christie, how do I get a book published?” By the way, that’s the number one question I get asked as a writer.

Well, there are several steps to getting a book published.
  1. Write something good.
  2. Decide how you want to publish it.
  3. Research your options.
  4. Start submitting.
Seems simple, but it’s much more detailed than that, so I’m going to break it down for you.

How do you get a book published? You have to have a great book, make an important decision, do lots of research, and be very, very patient.

Write Something Good

Having a good idea is not enough. It has to be well written too. Make sure it’s been critiqued, revised, and edited a LOT.

If you don’t have a critique group, look for resources online in forums or Facebook groups. If you write for children, check out the Verla Kay Blue Boards.

It’s important to write well before seeking publication because if your first book is terrible, you’ll likely never sell a second one.

What’s Your Publishing Route?

There are basically two paths to publication, or rather, two different publishing options. One option is to seek traditional publication. The other option is to self publish.

Both are great options, but not necessarily for every book. Most books will see greater results with one of the options. Some books have a better chance for success with a traditional publisher, while other books really fit the self publishing model. A few rare gems will see great success no matter which route you choose.

Traditional publishing is harder to get into. You have to find an agent, or an editor. But there are more people on your team.

Self publishing is a huge endeavor; it’s not a task for the lighthearted to take on. You either have to do everything yourself, or hire a lot of contractors: editors, cover designers, copy editors, and so much more.

Research Your Publishing Options

Once you decide whether you want to go traditional or self publish, let the research commence.

If you’re going to self publish, you need to decide who will print it. Will you go with a print-on-demand service? Will you order boxes and boxes of books and then sell them later. Or will you go digital and publish on Amazon? Honestly, the latter is the current trend. Research all the how to articles you can find and learn the ins and outs of how to publish online through Amazon.

If you’re going traditional, then keep a reading journal. Make a list of books you read (and like) and list the title, author, publisher, and date. Over time, you will see a trend of which publishers you think will be a good fit for your book. Begin to compile a list of potential publishers to approach.

Submit Your Manuscript

When you have a polished manuscript, a well-written query letter, and a list of publishers to submit to, take a leap of faith and start submitting. Be sure to keep track of where you send the ms, when you sent it, the required wait time, the date you hear back, and the final answer.

Waiting to hear back from an editor can feel like forever. But if you’re busy writing the next book, you’ll hardly notice after 8 months go by. These days, many guidelines will tell you that if you don’t hear back by a certain time frame (maybe 3-6 months, depending), then it’s a pass.

Once you finally get a yes - and you only need one - the last thing you need to do is sign a contract. Technically, signing the contract will begin the next leg of your publication journey. But this is how you get started with getting your book published.

Happy writing - and submitting!

Will you pursue self publishing, traditional publishing, or both? Share your comment here.

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  1. Hi Christie! Write and read and write and read and write and read and write and write and write. Then, research publishers:)

    1. Yes, indeed, Lauri! "That's the way it has to be, 'cause that's the way I liiike it!" Thanks for stopping by! :)


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