How to Publish a Book: Everything You Need to Know
Finishing your first book is a great achievement, but it does not end there. After completing the writing process, you will start your journey to publishing. It is only the beginning. Similarly, traditional writers have always maintained that “writing is rewriting.” Writing and completing a book is every aspiring writer’s dream! Some quit in the middle, while others manage to create a masterpiece. Publishing is the final step that comes before you can reveal your work to the public. So, the main question now is how to publish your book? Although the process of publishing sounds complex, it is, in fact, not very complicated. With detailed guidelines and a step-by-step process, publishing can become a whole lot easier for you! This is where we step in. We have all the details and information that you require for publishing your book.
You have probably searched all the pro’s and con’s and the do’s and don’ts of publishing a book. This research has no doubt revealed that there are two paths to choose from now. You can either take the traditional route or you can self-publish. It is common knowledge that an agent will assist you in the publishing process. At some point, you will need to take risks. Several trial and error procedures may be necessary to land a suitable agent. Hiring an agent is essential if you want your manuscript to be read by a publisher.
Traditional publishing or self-publishing? What’s the best way to publish a book? Where should I post my book? How should I publish my book? You must first tackle these questions before moving to the next step. At this point, it is advisable to first become acquainted with both styles of publishing.
A claim about traditional publishing states that it’s all about risks. A conventional publisher publishes books and pays for everything that the book publishing process entails, such as the editing, printing, binding, cover selection, shipping and even promotion and advertising in addition to paying the author royalties. It sounds like a dream, right? Agents publish books by managing the entire process. Nevertheless, many publishers refer to themselves as traditional publishers but are either co-op or hybrid publisher who will require some sort of payment from you. They are not traditional publishers.
The term self-publishing is a bit of an inaccurate designation as it is a misplaced misnomer because when it comes to self-publishing, you will pay for everything. You are the sole individual responsible for every decision. Everything will need your approval, and it is up to you to accept it or reject it. Either way, you will pay for the costs of publishing. This is why it is a bit of misnomer because you can simply get paid and published rather than printed but instead choose to pay to get published.All the tasks of traditional publishing become your sole responsibility if you choose to self-publish. However, there are also many advantages of self-publishing as many writers argue that by self-publishing you put in all the effort and make more than the royalties of 25% as settled with a publisher. These factors should be considered in choosing which type of publishing would be best for publishing your book.
When it comes to self-publishing, you should always consider the logistics of getting your book published. Because many writers underestimate the actual cost of self-publishing when they argue about the profits they forfeited by choosing a traditional publisher. If we look at the numbers, it is likely that the profits after paying for the publishing process is the same percentage you would be getting as royalties from a traditional publisher. Essentially, after excluding the expenses paid for the printing, marketing, advertisement of the book, the profits you earn are almost the same as with traditional publishing.Aside from this, another disadvantage to self-publishing is the enormous effort you will have to put in to obtain the form of a physical copy in your hand. With little to no experience in advertising, designing the book cover or even the marketing of the book can take a toll on you. Self-publishing is itself a full-time job that would eventually take priority over the time you could be spending writing a new book and can take a toll on your creative mind. Regardless of the odds, there are still many writers who self-publish their books and also gain a broad audience and become best-selling books.
- Sometimes drafting proposals for traditional publishers can be very tedious and exhausting. Choosing to publish independently can bring some relief at this level.
- Failure to close a deal with a traditional publisher does not mean that your writing is inferior to that of people who successfully closed a deal, but it can be discouraging. Thus, choosing to self-publish can bypass this difficulty.
- Sometimes we write or self-publish something that is not intended for a mass audience but rather for a selected audience, such as a poetry book or a book by a university professor with a field of expertise that has a small interest group. In this case, choosing to self-publish is an appropriate choice.
When a writer begins to consider the topic of “publishing my book,” there are many different ways to choose self-publishing. The main concern here becomes selecting a supplier who you can trust to do the tasks that you pay for. There are many previously mentioned hybrid publishers who would publish anything as long as they receive payment. Quality hardly seems to be a factor for them and, therefore, you, as a writer, must be careful. It may be that your book will indeed look self-published with
- Unprofessional art cover
- Many editorial mistakes
- Insufficient proofreading and
- Multiple spelling mistakes
that can have a negative effect on drawing an audience.These results, however, are highly unlikely if you make a significant effort to properly time and plan the publication of your book. Be sure to proofread your writing well. You must also do your own research on publishing to increase your chances of securing a good deal for much less than the $10,000 expenses that self-publishing would involve.
If you want to attract a traditional publisher, you have to first and foremost submit a book proposal that includes a synopsis and a brief one to two chapters if you have written a non-fiction book. In the case of a fiction book, you are expected to submit your complete manuscript for consideration.
- The greatest disadvantage of traditional publishing is that you have minimal control over the process of publishing your book. As traditional publishers generally take responsibility for the book, they have the right to make decisions regarding the cover, the design or the marketing of the book as well as the pricing of the book. These issues are, however, negotiable because they want the writer to be satisfied, but the final decision always remains with the publisher. The only stalemate you have is to withdraw the book.
- Too many writers overestimate the income of publishing a book by focusing on seven-figure deals for best-selling books. They, however, do not consider the possibility that their book will not attain sufficient sales and, therefore, they will not receive significant royalties.
- Traditional publishing is a slow process that can sometimes take years.
- No expenses out of your own pocket
- You don’t have to put in hours to edit your manuscript as you will be assigned a team of professional editors
- A professional team will manage the advertisement and promotions
- Some publishers will also give you an advance payment
Process of Traditional Publishing
The greatest advantage for securing a deal in traditional publishing is to be a ferocious self-editor because the quality of your writing will decide everything. Even if you choose to self-publish, make sure your manuscript is worth pursuing. As stated in the beginning of this article, all of your writing is rewriting. Put everything you’ve got into it. Make your manuscript worth the read because the first readers will be acquisition editors. They are the hardest to convince because after only 2-3 chapters, they can tell if your script is worth pursuing or not.
Many publishing houses will not even consider your manuscript if it’s not sent through an agent. In this case, it will be worth the entire 15% of whatever you make from your book because agents are familiar with the market, the industry and how it works and how to pitch your manuscript. Having an agent will significantly reduce the effort you will have to put into self-promoting your book. Among other things, agents will
- Guide and support your publishing process.
- Coach you on how to write a perfect proposal to pitch your manuscript
- Make sure you have creative control as they manage the business aspect of publishing books.
- Be your cheerleaders for the manuscript.
- Know the publishers and be able open doors for you with a good recommendation.
A query letter is your opportunity to make a first impression and the initial sales call that could decide if you’re manuscript is sold or not. It serves to determine whether the publisher is interested in your manuscript or not. The following are a few steps on how to write an effective query letter:
- Always advertise yourself as a colleague, not a fan, as that will determine the level of professionalism in your work ethics.
- Use a one sentence summary of your book, a so-called elevator pitch.
- Give a synopsis of your book in a one-paragraph review that details what will happen and how things will turn out in the rest of the book.
- Add your personal information, so the publisher can see what kind of a platform you have made for yourself.
- If you have a fiction book, be sure to include a synopsis of every chapter.
This is the only document an agent will require from you before a publisher asks you for your manuscript. Make sure your proposal attracts the interest of the reader. Your goal should always be to persuade the agent to read the entire manuscript by briefly describing the details of the book. Also, make the proposal very intriguing so the agent has to read the entire manuscript because many agents can determine from the proposal alone if the manuscript is worth reading or not.If your book is non-fiction, make sure to address all the issues covered in the book in your proposal. The proposal itself has many parts. Be sure to include the following in yours:
- The elevator pitch
- Overview of your manuscript
- Target audience
- Analysis of the book
- Samples of the chapters
- Marketing and endorsement ideas
- As the author, you will have complete control over the editorial process
- You have complete authority over the price setting
- You have full control over the book design
- You get to determine when to publish the book
- All the profits will be yours, excluding the expenses
- It’s also possible for you to simply publish online
- You are in charge of promotion and marketing
- You will determine every creative process of the book
- Self-publishing sometimes lacks professionalism in the cover design.
- Anyone can do it. The market is brimming with best-selling authors turned self-publishing authors. The competition is fierce.
- You are solely responsible for all tasks. Omitting something may have consequences.
- No exposure or visibility as the marketing standards for self-publishing are very low compared to traditional publishing where publishing houses have their own marketing teams.
- Experts report that only 5% of self-published books make it to bookshelves. Thousands of them end up on online registers on the Internet.
- Many self-publishing predators or scammers can obstruct your progress. Make sure you do your homework.
With the competition in the market of self-publishing, your book can stand out from other books if you pay for a professional editor. It might be expensive, but it is worth the expense because, with self-publishing, the greatest and most oft-repeated mistake every self-publisher makes is paying large amounts for a book cover rather than a professional editor. Quality writing will always set you apart in this market and will give your book the value it deserves in the market. With self-publishing, you will again have to choose between working with a self-publishing company or working on your own. Working through a self-publishing company, you will have access to numerous resources. Additionally, you have complete control over the entire process as well as your work. This process will enable you to find your own solutions rather than be controlled by a third party.
There are many scammers in the self-publishing industry who promise you the benefits of both traditional publishing and self-publishing. It would take a lot of sales of your book to recoup the losses accrued through such services. However, there are some trustworthy enterprises among the scammers. To weed through it all, you must do your research and seek recommendations from honest people.
Many platforms allow you to publish books online, such as
- Kindle Direct Publishing: Publish on Kindle apps worldwide and Kindle through Amazon.com.
- iBook: Apple iBook store gives you the opportunity to publish and distribute your book anywhere you want on the Internet.
- Amazon’s CreateSpace: This has a print on demand option and also prints copies ordered via the Amazon website.
If you are still asking yourself where can I publish my book, there are other options as well:
- Go to the author’s website and create an account
- Format your manuscript
- Upload your manuscript on the website
- Purchase an ISBN for your book.
Many experts recommend that you should always check every option before making a final decision. It is still better to be able to make an informed decision, rather than diving right into it. Self-publishing could cost you $5000-10,000 depending on the company services you choose and their royalties policy. You also have the option to publish online without all these expenses. However, if you are fortunate enough to land a traditional publishing deal, you won’t have to worry about anything. Everything will be arranged by the publishers and their professional teams.Knowing the market is essential here. Regardless of what you choose, you will still get the best results if you invest time and energy into the publishing process.