The publishing industry can seem confusing to those who are new to it and want to go about publishing their work. There are a few basic steps that everyone should be familiar with – continue reading to find out more.
Hire an Agent
Your agent will represent you and your work and will be the one submitting it for you. There are good agent databases online which you can sift through in order to find someone reliable. A good agent will have useful contacts within the publishing industry and will be responsible for selling your manuscript to the highest bidder. They may also suggest some brief edits or revisions before sending your book to any prospective publishers – be patient and listen to them, as they would more often than not be in the right and help you pinpoint your book’s USP.
How do I Contact an Agent?
- Prepare a synopsis. This should be a brief summary of the book of not more than 1000 words. Explain the plot and the outline in simple terms but in a way that’s interesting and lively enough to spark the agent’s interest.
- Write a covering letter. Send the agent a brief description about yourself, including the title and genre of your book and a couple of paragraphs saying why you think your work deserves to be published and what makes it stand out. Agents receive many offers, so this needs a little extra effort in order to get your book noticed.
- Contact multiple agents. As with job hunting, keep your options open. Don’t be impersonal and treat each agent as an individual as far as possible. This enhances your chances of someone remembering your name.
Once You’ve Found a Publisher…
Sign the book contract. Be prepared to make further edits if necessary and keep in mind that the industry has to toe the line with what the market wants and what your target demographic would be. This can be a frustrating process for a writer attached to their work but the best thing to do is listen and negotiate as best you can.
At long last, congratulations! – your book has been published. Be sure to do a little side promotion of your own along with the in-house marketing of your chosen publisher. Advertise on social media and spread the word online for some extra publicity with a personal touch.
It’s good to be aware of the fact that many authors these days are choosing to self-publish and thus forgo the traditional route via an agent entirely.
Sometimes called digital publishing, it often attracts writers who come from a marketing background themselves and who don’t particularly need the money. Advantages of self-publishing include more control over your work, saving time and money by not having to go through the process of hunting for agents and publishers, and in doing so not having to make any creative compromises either. Many writers who self-publish are tech-savvy and publish their work through a website in the format of an E-Book.