Guest Post: 5 Things to Do to Get Your Book Published

This week’s guest post is from web writer Nick Anderson. He writes about The 5 Steps You Need to Take in Order to Get Your Book Published.

Getting a book published is not simply a matter of having an idea. If you are an aspiring writer, or even an experienced one, and want to get your book published, here are the five important steps to follow.

1. Come up with an idea – the idea is of course the basis of the book. Your main concept or idea will determine whether your content is good enough to publish. If you have an original idea that has been floating around in your mind, discuss it with some trusted friends and colleagues who can give you an honest opinion about it. Having an original or inspired idea is always useful, because a calculated assessment of current trends can only help you a certain amount.

2. Do Your Homework – once you have an idea you can think about who the audience is meant to be for your book. Is it meant for children? If so, what age? Is it mainly intended for boys, or girls, or both?

Knowing your audience will help you when you begin writing your manuscript. Your target reader will determine how you develop characters and the style in which you write. Doing your homework also includes making a broad and loose outline for your story. This may help you by acting like a framework when you flesh out the book.

3. Complete your Manuscript – make a schedule and write regularly. Give yourself deadlines to complete the manuscript. Once you have a draft, also focus on a summary. This is what publishers will first read when deciding whether or not to publish your book, so put effort into making the summary as accurate and telling of your style and content as possible. You can find resources and tips specifically on how to write a summary for your manuscript.

4. Consider Hiring an Agent – while statistics on this tend to vary, the fact is that a very tiny proportion of manuscripts ever written get published. An even tinier proportion of this number is by novice or debut writers. This is not because publishers are scared of launching new talent. On the contrary, most publishing houses are on the lookout for new ideas and writers. But the fact is that publishing is a business and in order for it to be profitable, the books published must be saleable, or at least in the publishers’ opinion.

Unless you’re thinking of self-publishing, it may be a good idea to hire an agent. An agent can represent you and your manuscript to publishers and help you find a willing publisher in exchange for a commission.

5. Be Open to Possibilities – there are many ways to get a book published, and while approaching a big well known publishing house is one of them, it is certainly not the only way.

Think about whether you would like to self-publish your book. If you have the resources and the vision, it may turn out to be the easier and perhaps even the more profitable thing to do.

Think about newer publishing platforms like e-publishing or book blogs, wherein the book is published as an e-book instead of a paper copy, or in the form of a live blog that one can subscribe to.

Think also about approaching smaller and independent publishing houses instead of, or above and beyond larger more well-known ones. Smaller publishing houses may be more open to publishing new talent.


5 comments

  1. mary brady says:

    Wow. What a helpful article. It’s just that easy! Five steps & I’m there.

    Also, I learned where I’ve been going wrong all this time. I’ve
    been short-changing the ‘idea’ step. I like research & homework, & my target audience is Everybody (I want to sell LOTS of books), so those steps are no problem. But thinking of a good idea for what to write about is a real head-scratcher.

    Consequently, I type reams & reams of copy about many random topics. (My last project was a re-write of the New Testament–I’m not quite done yet, but it’s good stuff.) I realize now that if I focused on a single idea, I won’t have to write nearly so much.

    On other fronts, I’d like to thank ‘louis’ (his comment is here)
    for clarifying a fuzzy point in the article for me. He expressed it better than the guest author.

    L&K, MaryB

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