So, you just wrote your first book and now you’re wondering what’s the next step. Well, I’m here to walk you through the process. As a self-published author and currently on a mission to transition into the traditional publishing realm, I have a few tips on how to successfully publish a novel.
The first tip is to make sure that your novel is ready to be published. This starts with getting an alpha reader. An alpha reader assists writers by offering a reader’s perspective for a manuscript after an initial draft. This is what you need right after you finish writing your novel and need some critical and professional evaluation of your novel that isn’t from a friend or a relative.
The next step is to decide if you want to self publish or traditional publish. Each path has its steps for publication. So let’s get familiar with what each path offers. Self-publishing is independently publishing your book on a platform like Amazon without the need for a traditional publishing house. With that comes a lot of responsibility. You’re in charge of your own copywriting, marketing, editing, designing a book cover and all of the technical work. That can get pretty costly if you don’t have a set budget or a huge following that is going to guarantee your book to sell.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into the benefits of self-publishing. It is best for creative control, faster time to market, and higher royalties. Niche books can reach an audience and sell by any means in any global market, as you retain the rights. The cons to self publishing are the upfront costs, finding a reputable publishing team, potential financial lost and the responsibility of marketing your novel.
The other alternative is going the traditional route. Traditional book publishing is when a publishing company buys the rights to an author’s manuscript. Usually, an agent representing the author negotiates the deal with the book publisher and in return gets a percentage of any monies earned from the sale of the author’s book. The pros for traditional publishing involves the prestige and ability to get featured on the New York Times Best Selling list, print distribution in bookstores is easier, working with an established professional team, there are no upfront financial costs, and there’s usually some kind of advance against royalties. Some of the cons are the loss of creative control, the process is slower, and low royalty rates.
Steps To Self Publishing
Now that you know the routes you can take to publish, let’s get into the details of the actual process. For Self-publishing, you need to make sure that you hire an editor to make sure your novel is free from any critical errors. In that process, you need to do your research on the editor and the type of edit your novel needs. Editors can be as low as 50 dollars up to 1,000 dollars. After getting your book edited then you can choose which distribution company you want to go through. For example, Amazon is a popular one and will have your book properly formated. Fiverr is a great place to find a freelancer to format your novel and create a catchy book cover. Follow the instructions through amazon and you’re published!
Steps To Traditional Publishing
When publishing the traditional route you don’t need to hire an editor, especially if you don’t have a budget for it. You can self-edit your book then get a beta reader, which is an unpaid test reader of an unreleased work of literature or other writing, who gives feedback from an average reader to the author. You will also need to research literary agents that represent your genre. Afterward, follow the submission instructions to submit your novel. Usually, you’re going to need a query letter, a short synopsis of the novel, and sample pages for the submission. The next steps is up to the agent. Either they will request for a partial or full manuscript or you will receive a rejection letter. When an agent likes your work they contact you to sign with them and the rest is history. Congratulations, you are now a published author of a book!