How to Get Your Manuscript Published
Publishing a manuscript can be overwhelming, especially for emerging and first-time authors. You have no doubt heard horror stories about writers trying for years to get their books published, all their efforts to no avail. These stories can be disheartening, and you may be tempted to throw in the towel before you even try. However, you should keep in mind that rejection is just a part of the business and, eventually, you will find the right agent or publisher for you.
Still, getting your book published is a long, arduous process. Not only do you have to write the entire thing yourself, but you also have to put your work out there, pitch to agents, submit to publishers, and market yourself and your story. Yup, it’s not all staring out of windows, drinking coffee, and pulling all-nighters. Getting a book published takes much more than just writing it.
Still, don’t get discouraged! Millions of books are published around the world every year, and we’re here to help you through the entire process. From developmental editing to custom query packages and targeted lists of agents and publishers, we can increase your chances of becoming a published author. Below are a few steps you can take to ensure your manuscript gets into readers’ hands.
Self-publishing has undoubtedly changed the industry. Even some established authors are going this route nowadays because it allows them more freedom and control over their own work; plus, they don’t have to pay any commissions. With a seemingly endless array of tools, services, and platforms designed for self-publishing, it’s easy to see why so many writers are choosing this option over traditional publishing.
However, self-publishing isn’t for everyone—it can be an expensive and lengthy process, so do your research and go with what’s best for you. Lots of retailers, such as Amazon, offer self-publishing services, but before you commit to anything, make sure it is the best fit for you and your book. You obviously want your work to be in the best hands possible, so take the time to research all of your self-publishing options before you decide for or against one.
Marketing is key
Big publishing houses expect writers to do a lot of the marketing themselves, so whether you’re signed by a traditional publisher or taking the self-publishing path, marketing will be a key element of your process. Blogs and social media are great ways to market your book because they serve as a type of portfolio that allows your target audience to give you feedback, interact with your work, and help you spread the word.
In case marketing isn’t your greatest strength, we suggest doing lots of research and even taking a few courses if possible because more sales mean more money and a broader reach, which is ultimately the goal. You can also enlist professionals to help with your marketing, but this will be more expensive.
Rejection is part of the process
No one likes rejection. Whether it be in love or in work, we don’t want to hear that we’re not good enough, but if you want to see your book published, you need to come to terms with the fact that rejection is part of the deal. It’s also important to keep in mind that publishers tend to reject books more for business reasons than the quality of the work itself, so try not to take it too personally. Allow yourself some time to mourn the loss, then pull yourself together and try again. Even some of the most prominent authors have had their ideas rejected at some point, and the only reason we get to read their books now is because they didn’t give up.
Not every agent or publisher will be the right fit for you, so take any constructive criticism in stride and let negative comments fuel your passion to get published. You have to believe in your book before anyone else does, so as hard as it can be (and it can be hard, we know), keep putting yourself out there until you find a team that shares your vision.
Publishing isn’t cheap
Successful authors can make good money from their books, but it doesn’t mean getting there was easy or cheap. Whether you’re represented by an agent, have signed a contract with a publisher, or are self-publishing, getting a book into people’s hands costs both time and money. From proposals and queries to editors, designers, and marketing events, a lot has to be invested into a book before readers can buy it. Hopefully, that investment will pay off as your sales soar, but you can’t expect to get there as soon as you finalize your manuscript—that’s only the beginning.
Publishing isn’t a straight path, and it definitely doesn’t look the same for everyone, so study your options and choose what works best for you. If you’re confident that traditional publishing is the best choice for your book, we offer customized lists of agents and publishers guaranteed to be great candidates. We can also prepare a query package for you to send them, getting you one step closer to achieving your dream of becoming a published author.