7 lucky steps to publish your book
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Writing is one of the most popular hobbies for millions of people. Then more you write than sooner you’ll face the idea of sharing your story with the world. The only thing that brings more joy than writing is the knowledge that someone else is inspired by your efforts and talent. Cinderella stories like Joanne Rowling who wrote the first Harry Potter chapters at napkins are truly rare. In most cases, there is a massive job and a lot of effort behind any published book. Even if you are an incredibly talented author it does not mean you’ll be noticed immediately. Do you imagine how many manuscripts any publishing house gets daily? You’ll increase your chances to get a contract if you do some market analysis in advance. Our tips are useful both for beginners and experienced authors.
1. Define “your” publishing house
The easiest way to do it – go to local bookstores and find books related to your topic. Then check what publishing houses published it and take note if these books belong to any books series. If your book is suitable for book series it might be a good start as many publishers do not want to invest in unknown authors with a single book.
2. Be ready to present yourself
You defined your book’s genre and made a list of publishing houses that might be interested in your manuscript, that’s great. The next step is to impress them. To deliver your book’s idea properly you should think of synopsis, abstract and autobiography. A synopsis is a short review of the story’s plot; try to make it short but informative, no one can describe the main idea better than its author. An abstract is your book’s marketing and it might combine both the plot’s description and referring to readers (especially if you write for some narrow audience). Nice tip is also visiting a bookstore and reading other abstracts on covers. Autobiography presents author and should include your full name, contact information, professional and educational experience and list of publications if you have one. This information you can send to publishing houses of your choice. Do not forget to attach a short part of your text (not more than 10 pages), the best one in your opinion. Some publishers advise you to make a call – be ready to intrigue publisher in 30 seconds and to present your synopsis quickly. Be patient and ready to edit your book if needed. It might take from month to a year to get a response from publishing house and in most cases, you’ll need to make some extra job to shape the book to its final version.
3. Crowdfunding works
You’ll be surprised how many famous projects started with crowdfunding. It is also a good way to get the first audience. The first steps are still the same: choose a platform, write interesting synopsis, and share your idea and the first chapter of your book with the world. Trust me you will find where to spend this money very soon: editorial process, book cover, translation (if you want to reach a bigger audience) and even self-publishing (for paper copies) costs something. Another side of crowdfunding – searching for “real” investors, for example, visit libraries, book clubs in your area; present your ideas and ask what they would like to get for collaboration.
4. Writers competitions
Many publishing houses or writers associations publish information about competitions in different genres. Subscribe their newsletters and wait till “your” competition comes or maybe you’ll get new inspiration through their competition topics. Usually, winners of these competitions are published in a collective book or independently. Competition is a good way to get a better list of publications for free and to improve your writing skills.
The most famous platform for self-publishing is Amazon. Many authors started their way via self-publishing. Online publishing platforms have good editorial tools and let you quickly share your ideas and get an impressive portfolio. Self-publishing also able to make paper copies for you (usually cheaper than in traditional publishing houses), provide ISBN (international standard book number) and make many important formal steps easier. If you realize that your book is selling good in e-format – that’s great news and one more reason for a potential publisher to listen to your suggestion.
6. Be ready to invest in your dream
Let’s turn back to the crowdfunding point. A qualitative book is your key to a good contract. On this way, you’ll need a good book cover (better to rely on a professional designer, the cover is important) and illustrations, editorial services (even if you are writing good you saw the text so many times that it is hard to catch mistakes), promotion (like reviews in online communities)… You already put so many efforts into writing; your story deserves to be heard.
7. Find an agent
Many professional agents agree to work with new authors and they know how to do their job and have some useful contacts. Agent’s services also cost money but it might be cheaper to hire a professional than to make the book's promotion by yourself. Choose wisely and do not hesitate to ask the agent’s portfolio. Check authors and books your agent promoted – how successful are they? An agent might become your most important colleague in achieving success and professional help saves your time for writing and improving your book.
We hope these tips will help someone to start a journey to a dream. If you already achieved your dream and have your book published – we are happy to hear your experience, you can make our tips list fuller and help young writers to find their place in the industry.