5 Things New Authors Should Know Before Publishing a Book
Writing a book is no easy feat, but getting it published can seem like an even greater one. With that in mind, we’ve put together this guide for new authors. (Just in case you needed a little pep talk!)
Looking for more professional guidance? We provide a variety of services for authors just like you.
What you should know as a new author
1. You can learn
The publishing process is a lot to absorb at first. There are many things to learn, and you may have already come across numerous steps you weren’t even aware existed. It’s tempting to say “Forget it!” when there is so much to take in.
However, you CAN do it! Give yourself a moment to feel overwhelmed, then take a breath and tell yourself you can get the hang of this. After all, your dream is to have your work published, and you want to make sure that you’re doing everything correctly. You don’t want to kill your book’s chances because of an industry convention you weren’t aware of, such as single-spacing your manuscript or using the proper font.
Research the industry in small chunks so you don’t stress yourself out.
2. You have options
When most people think of getting published, they think of traditional publishing with a well-known publishing company. While that’s an option, the reality is that most authors won’t get a book deal with a big publisher. Luckily, there are other paths available.
There are smaller presses, many of which could be better fits for a particular genre or niche audience. Also, smaller publishers are more willing to sign with new authors, which gives you a better opportunity of getting discovered and published.
Also, don’t forget self-publishing. More and more authors are taking this route, and the stigma attached to self-published books is (thankfully) on the way out. Anyone can easily self-publish their book with the right resources. Amazon, for instance, lets you do it, and so do many other online retailers. If you decide to self-publish, do your research to make sure you are choosing the right platform for you and your book.
3. You need to market your book
This seems obvious if you decide to go the self-publishing route since you’ll be in charge of every aspect of the publication process. However, most new authors don’t realize that they’ll have to promote their books even if they sign with a traditional publishing house.
Publishers spend their money where they can get the best return on investment. This means they will likely use their marketing budget on more well-known authors with a following. If you’re brand new, then you’ll need to learn how to market your book. (Even better, check out our book marketing package!)
4. It will be an investment
There’s no way around it: Publishing a book is an investment for the author, of time, money, or both.
If you decide to self-publish, you’ll obviously need to invest time to do a lot of things yourself or invest money to hire professionals.
Even if you use a traditional publisher that has an in-house team (for cover design, editing, typesetting, etc.), you will still need to invest time: time to submit proposals to publishers, time to find an agent, or time to market your book.
5. Don’t give up
Rejection is part of publishing. Plenty of published books have been rejected, and many have been rejected multiple times. Don’t let rejections discourage you! There will always be obstacles in your way, but you need to summon the strength to overcome them and pursue your publishing dreams.
If your book is rejected, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth publishing. It means it was the wrong publisher or the wrong time. An editor may be interested in a specific market trend, there may be budget constraints, or a publisher may have too many manuscripts in the same genre.
There are a hundred reasons why your book may have been rejected. So, what can you do? Research. Learn about a publisher’s brand, who its audience is, what it is looking for, or even small gaps in the market that your book could fill. The trick is finding the right publisher for you, at the right time, so don’t give up!
(And don’t forget this: If you are a self-published author, YOU decide if your book gets out there!)
This may seem like a lot to take in, but remember that you CAN learn and reach out to professionals wherever you need. Don’t forget to check out how we can help get your book ready to publish.