How Do I Get Published?
Pretty much every person who decides to write a book finds themselves pondering how they are going to publish their book. You do the research and find results for “self-publishing” and “traditional publishing”. You start seeing things about literary agents, slush piles and scary horror stories about hybrid publishers who just want your money.
So, where do you start?
- Know your budget
- Know your skills/abilities
- Know your time availability
- Know your timetable
- Know your book goals
If you have a zero-dollar budget and you’re wanting to publish a book, you can make it happen. Especially if you’re willing to publish it in electronic format only (e-book). Type it up in a Word document, format it to look how you want (there are even templates!), use a software like Grammarly to check it the best you can, use an app like Canva to create your own book cover, use a website like KDP.com to distribute the book.
This is what most people associate with self-publishing. However…
Your Skills and Abilities
What if grammar and proofreading are so far from what you know, that even a software such as Grammarly is not enough for you to feel confident that you’re putting out a quality product? Or, what if your design skills are so horrible, that the mere idea of designing your own cover stops you dead in your tracks?
Knowing what you are good at, and especially what you are NOT good at, is great awareness. Hiring someone to do those things for you is wisdom. It will save you time, money and stress. AND, you can still be self-published.
Wait!! You mean you don’t have either the time or the tech skill know-how to set up distribution? The good news is you can even hire that out – and STILL be self-published!
Your Time Availability
Often, when a client asks us to help them publish their book, it isn’t because they couldn’t do it themselves. It’s because their calendar doesn’t allow it. They just don’t have the time to do everything it takes to get their book published. So, they hire us or another publisher to do it for them. This is a form of self-publishing, hybrid publishing, or vanity press. It all depends on what the contract looks like, and whether or not you are named as the publisher, or the company you hired is named as the publisher. But, if you don’t have the time to do everything yourself, you will want to look into hiring the appropriate people to do what you need. That can be just the editing, or it can be everything from editing to setting up distribution.
When do you want your book released? If it’s 3 months from now, then traditional publishing is NOT going to be an option for you. The process of getting a traditional contract simply takes much longer than that. In fact, if you are already at that kind of a time-crunch, then self-publishing with help is going to be your best bet. That may end up looking more like hybrid or vanity publishing, depending on the availability of the companies you reach out to, and if they have the resources available to even get it done that quickly.
If, on the other hand, you have years before you care about your book releasing, then traditional publishing may be more of an option for you. You’ll have the time to build an audience, develop a marketing plan, submit to literary agents, and await the much-coveted traditional contract.
Your Book Goals
What are your goals for your book? For some people, it’s simply a bucket list item – Get Published! They just want to see their book in print. Self-Publishing is great for this! Sometimes, it’s been an enormous goal to get their book published and they want to improve their business or help others with their story. Self-publishing, vanity/hybrid, and sometimes traditional publishing are the way to go here. Then there are those who crave the big stage. The New York Times Best-Seller list is the only way they will feel satisfied. They have a large audience, a marketing plan, thousands of people ready to pre-order their book. For these people, traditional publishing may very well work for them! Knowing your plans for your book will help you know which publishing option is best for you.
At the end of the day, the important thing is that you get published. Publishing has changed so much over the years, that there is no longer a stigma attached to any certain way of getting published. The important things to getting your book selling are:
- Great editing and proofreading
- Great book cover design
- Great marketing plan and execution
- Great understanding that YOU are ultimately responsible for how well your book sells, no matter how it’s published.
If you have more questions about how to get your book published, you can contact us at: email@example.com.