How to Get a Book Published with a Publisher
So you have self-published your eBook and have experienced some success. Now you want to get your story published in print form. You want to see your book on the shelves of your local book store. The bad news is that there is more work involved in publishing a book than an eBook.
The good news is that it is no longer that difficult and thanks to user-friendly platforms such as Amazon’s KDP you can take on this challenge with confidence.
You have two options:
1. Submit your manuscript to a publisher and hope they want to publish your work.
2. Self-publish your book using an online service such as Amazon KDP, Lulu or Lightening Source.
1. Build Your Platform.
You may be surprised to see that ‘building your platform’ is at the top of the list. I have posted many articles about the importance of having a platform to connect with your target audience and to also have a way of communicating with your readers.
Your platform is how you can be found. Publishers love writers and authors who have already established a connection and have a loyal following of fans. Why? Because if you already have 10,000 subscribers to your online newsletter, blog and social media sites then you have a ‘ready-to-go’ audience of potential customers. So as you write, you must also devote time to developing a bog, an interactive author website or connecting via social media with your ideal readers.
If you wait until your eBook is published, or ready to be sent to a publisher, before building your author platform then you will have wasted some valuable time and you truly will be publishing as an ‘unknown’ writer or author.
You Can Start with:
- A blog
- Author website
2. Study and Understand How the Publishing Process Works
The increased popularity of eBooks and self-publishing created a generational shift that rocked the traditional publishing model. This was a good change for authors as it shifted the power to them. Now agents and publishers can be seen chasing writers to publish their work.
I must stress again the pint that if you already have a strong following from your target audience then you will be a ‘more attractive’ opportunity in the eyes of a publisher.
From personal experience, I received an offer from a small publisher many years ago who wanted to publish my tennis eBooks and turn them into books. They knew that I had an existing ‘large’ subscriber list from my website and hence was recognized as an expert in this field. The problem that arose was that they wanted to take too much of the profit and have too much control of my current and future eBooks.
So I politely rejected their offer and went down the path of self-publishing.
Publishers work to more stringent guidelines when publishing a book. The manuscript passes through their editing department, their in-house graphic design team creates a book cover and the process seems to move at a slower pace.
In saying that, there are many benefits associated with having a publisher do it all for you. You just need to review all options before signing a contract. This is where an agent may be good for you.
3. Write and Produce a Compelling Manuscript that Demands Attention
Publishers are very busy and receive thousands of manuscripts. Most manuscripts only receive a few minutes of attention from the person reviewing the manuscript before they make a decision to review it further or put it in the ‘NO’ pile.
You must have a unique story, a strong plot, compelling characters and you must be prepared to edit, rewrite, edit again and rewrite again before submitting your final manuscript. The last thing you want is for your manuscript to be rejected because it is full of spelling and grammatical errors.
4. Write a Compelling and Convincing Letter
Writing a standard letter to accompany your book is not what you want to do. It is up to you to convince the agent or publisher to take a serious look at your manuscript and simply stating that you want your ‘amazing manuscript’ published will not work. Nor will overstated claims such as it being a potential ‘best-seller’ will work.
5. Prepare for Rejection and Redirect Your Efforts to Self-Publishing
Oh how wonderful it is to write that you now have an alternative option if rejected by a publisher. In years gone that would have been the end of your writing career. Now you can travel down the ‘self-publishing’ path and still know that your book can indeed become a best-seller.
POD (print on demand) is how you can get your books printed and distributed to stores and individual customers. To learn more about POD click here. The majority of writers get rejected from EL James to JK Rowling and many more have been on the receiving end of a rejection letter. Getting rejected is just part of the ‘getting-your-book-published’ process so prepare the right mindset when submitting your manuscript.
6. Self-education Will Empower You With the Knowledge to make Better Informed Decisions
If your manuscript has been rejected then you know you have other options available. If you learn how to self-publish your book through a POD service provider then you will be sure to make a better-informed decision for each step in the process. If your manuscript has been accepted (well done!) then you should also continue to learn about the process so you have some control of the success of your book.
7. Never Stop Writing!
The best-selling authors are often prolific writers! They never stop writing and publishing. A comment I remember from Hugh Howey had to with you never knowing which book will become a best-seller. And if one book does, then you can leverage your back-list to sell more.
As you wait to hear from the publisher whether or not they will publish your manuscript, you should continue on writing and learning. Once you have published your book or eBook, you must have another one ready to publish as if you receive positive reviews then you will have a hungry audience wanting to read more. Hence the popularity of ‘trilogies.’
Learn how to develop a marketing strategy specific to your book. Learn how to successful engage, connect and communicate with your ideal readers. Learn how to become a successful author and take control of your writing career!
- Write a first draft.
- Edit! Edit! Edit!
- Revise manuscript.
- Finish final draft.
- Submit final draft with compelling letter and promote your existing author platform.
- Continue learning about the process of publishing and also studying how to self-publish.
- Never stop marketing and promoting your book.