Kate is a bookworm whose favorite authors include Danielle Steel, John Grisham, and Stephen King.
When you are an aspiring author, it is highly likely that your number one goal to get published. After all, getting your manuscript on print means that you are standing right at the starting line of your dream career. Just that one book will give a sense of realism that you are indeed a successfully published author.
Step 1: Write the book.
What will you have published if you don't have a manuscript yet? You need to outline the plot. By outlining the plot, you can decide on what complications the novel should have as well as the steps to take to resolve them. Once you have the plot skeleton, you have to put in the details. Don't be afraid to edit your plot over and over until you create an exciting flow of your novel.
You may not be able to create a good plot on your first try. However, things will be easier as you write more and more stories.
Aside from the plot, you also have to create your character. Focus on the main character and the antagonist. The secondary characters should be given depth too.
Step 2: Proofread it.
Proofread your story. Cut out the irrelevant plots. For example, you may have fleshed out a minor character too much that it some details are already necessary. Revise this point to ensure that the readers don't get bored.
To efficiently proofread your novel, let it sit for several days. If you are trying to beat a deadline though, you can just leave the book for several hours. By staying away from your novel for several hours/day, you will have a fresh pair of eyes when you look at it again. You can lower the chances of missing out on misspellings and grammar mistakes when you are refreshed.
Step 3: Choose a good publisher.
Many publishers are in existence nowadays. Some are the major traditional publishing houses while others are small printing presses. It is also good to note that there are now those self-publishing presses or the vanity presses.
If you opt to go the traditional route, then prepare multiple copies of your manuscript. You may have to send this to a potential publisher via email or snail mail. The top publishers in the US are as follows:
- Penguin Random House
- Simon & Schuster
- Hachette Book Group
- Perseus Books Group
Traditional publishing is okay, but it is okay to go the self-publishing route as well. One of the self-publishing companies that should help you gain good sales for your book is Legaia Books USA.
Step 4: Talk to an agent.
You either find a publishing agent or the publishing agent finds you. The publishing agent will assist you in having your manuscript published. If you are confident with your work and want to see positive results, only deal with trustworthy publishing agents/consultants.
Here are some of the characteristics that a trustworthy literary agent should have:
- Excellent track record of sales.
- Professionalism (i.e., timely communication and transparency)
If you find a literary agent, that doesn't mean that you can be laidback. Take the initiative to help your literary agent. One of the things you can do to make it easier for your literary agent is to properly format your manuscript according to industry standard.
Step 5: Check the contract.
Checking the contract is the step to take into consideration when you already have a publisher interested in your book. Check the contract inclusions, especially about the remunerations and royalties you'll be receiving once the novel is released. Also, don't forget to scrutinize the details about the copyright.
In the case when you are entrusting your manuscript to a self-publishing company like Legaia Books, you'll also receive a contract. Self-publishing means you won't be selling your copyright. Thus, what you should focus on is how the profit is divided, if ever this is included in the contract.
Don't hesitate to ask questions from your literary agent if there are parts of the contract that are unclear to you.
The last thing that you have to pay attention to is the release date of the book. Your chosen publisher should provide you with a timeline or expected release date. Some publishers will hold on to your manuscript without ever releasing them. See to it that the interested publisher is really set in publishing your novel.
Step 6: Market your book.
Marketing the book means increasing its exposure to the market. Even if the book is not yet on sale in bookstores, advertising your masterpiece ahead of time is a good idea.
As a newly published author, your chosen publication company may not allocate a huge marketing budget for your book. Do remember that the lion's share of the company's annual marketing budget is always given to the established authors. Make the most out of the resources the publishing company provides you.
With self-publishing with companies though, you won't have to worry about marketing since they will do it on your behalf. With a marketing professional assisting you in marketing your book, your sales are guaranteed to be higher than when you do the marketing on your own.
Getting your book published is a long process, especially when you have limited resources. However, as long as you keep a clear head, research thoroughly, and stay informed, you should be able to get through this jittery experience. In the end, once you have the book in your hands, all of the hard work you've put into the process will all be worth it.
Kate Roux (author) on February 06, 2018:
Thanks for the compliment! I'm glad that you like my article.
It's brave of you to go the traditional publishing route. I'm a bit afraid of hearing harsh rejections from traditional publishers that's why I'm still having second thoughts sending my manuscript to them.
Anyway, here's to wishing you success in the traditionally getting your work published soon! :)
QueyJacqueal from United States on February 06, 2018:
I really like the straightforward tone and style if your writing. It is clean and easy to follow along. I feel like its a bonus that we get some valuable information on publishing.
I am personally going the traditional publisher route, but I always encourage others to look into other options too.