Writing a book is only the first part of the publication process—unfortunately, you still have an incredible amount of work ahead of you. If you’re about to dive into the publishing world and get your book published, get ready to conduct extensive research, painstakingly craft synopses and query letters, and persevere through rejection letters.
As for the query letters, you can lighten your workload by hiring professionals to craft a highly effective query letter for you. However, the rest of the process remains arduous, which is why we’ve compiled the following tips on how to get a book published.
Finish writing everything you need
The requirements for getting a book published differ for fiction and nonfiction writers. If you’re trying to get a fiction book published, you generally have to have the entire manuscript completed before you even start looking for agents. If you’re a nonfiction author, however, publishing a book starts with writing a book proposal that specifies your intentions for how the final manuscript will look.
Find a literary agent
How do you publish a book traditionally? In almost 100% of cases, you need a literary agent to represent you and your work to publishing houses. With their extensive experience, excellent reputations in the field, and countless contacts, literary agents will work hard to sell your manuscript for you and ensure it lands with the right publisher.
Finding a literary agent is a difficult task, and you’ll need to do a lot of research to find the right one. You don’t necessarily have to do that research yourself, though. You can hire professionals to compile a list of suitable agents for you, along with their contact information and details about their submission preferences.
Land a contract
Once you find a publisher willing to publish your book, you’ll be asked to sign a contract. The contract serves as a legally binding agreement between you and your publisher, and it’s a necessary part of how to publish a book. Read it carefully and make sure you agree with the content, because it details your rights and obligations, as well as the payment plan.
Once you sign the book contract, you no longer own your manuscript—the publisher does. Dozens of people who know how to get a book published will be involved from this point onward. Your manuscript is likely to undergo numerous changes, but you’ll generally still be involved in these processes.
Work with your editor
If you want to get your book published, you have to listen to your editor and work cooperatively. You may not like the changes you’re asked to implement, but you have to be willing to compromise. In this process, you may have to rewrite major sections of the manuscript, omit entire chapters, revise parts of the plot, or change the title.
Cooperate with the editorial team
Though the most crucial part of the editing process is with your editor, as outlined above, getting a book published entails additional editorial work. The editorial team oversees elements such as fact-checking and cover art, and you should keep an open mind when processing their suggestions or decisions.
Let the production begin
Once you’ve completed the final manuscript, the next step in getting a book published is sending it to the copyeditor, who saves you from embarrassing typos and grammatical errors. Then, the book production department finalizes the layout, design, printing, and e-book coding processes.
Be active in marketing
Publishing a book is one thing—selling it is another. Marketing is a major part of the publishing process, and you should be ready to dive right in and promote yourself and your book. The marketing and sales departments will aid you, but you’ll often be left to do a lot of the promotion yourself, so it’s best to build up an audience base before you even pitch to publishers.
Or at least you will be. Your book is on the publisher’s publication calendar now. But your work isn’t done—now it’s time for the publicity campaign. Work hard to market yourself so your future readers are counting down the days until your book officially comes out.
So, what’s harder—writing a book or publishing it? They’re both an arduous process that can be overcome only with dedication and effort. But if you’ve already written a book, you’ve proved that you have what it takes to publish a book, too. Still in the process of looking for an agent? Let us write a top-notch query letter for you!