You’ve done it. You’ve typed that last word, and your novel is complete. After countless sleepless nights, the book you have dedicated your life to is now written. The weight of a million paperbacks has been lifted from your shoulders as you bask in your creative glory, but not long after, the daunting question arises:
Now that you have a full manuscript in front of you, the goal of most writers is to get that stack of papers published. However, publishing your work isn’t as easy as calling up Penguin and making a bid. In fact, the business of publishing is an intricately complicated maze, that if you don’t know what you’re doing, can mean the end for your novel.
While difficult, getting published isn’t impossible, and can be made easier with these tips and tricks:
The best way to help your book get published is to make it the best possible version of itself that it can be. Never query books that are incomplete, and don’t be afraid to rewrite large chunks to make the overall work better. Getting a deal on a polished book is much easier and attainable than trying to sell a first draft manuscript.
Find an Agent
Do your research, and reach out to agents that you think would be a good fit for both you and your writing. Agents are your friend in this industry, because they are always looking out for your best interests – both creative and financial. Your agent will work for you, putting your book in front of the right publishing houses, and getting you the network connections you need to succeed as an author.
Do it Yourself
A valid, respected way to become published in today’s world is to simply do it yourself. Take a class on self-publishing, and start to sell your book in that way. Be mindful though that when you do choose to forgo traditional publishing, your book will realistically only be available in small markets and electronically. If your dream is to see your novel on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, this may not be the option for you.
Publishing takes a long time. From querying agents, to selling your book to a publishing house, to getting the final draft printed, getting published can take years. Don’t give up if publishing is your dream, and instead use this time to your advantage by learning everything you can every step of the way, and continuing to write every day.
Are you a published author? What did the process teach you?