Do you dream of one day being a world-famous author? It’s said that “everyone has a book in them”. Consequently, many people come up with ideas for books that have the potential to inspire and captivate readers.
So if you’ve come up with an incredible idea for a book, you may want to get your book published. But how do you go about doing this?
Well, first of all, you will need to submit your book to a publisher. This informative guide will lead you through the process of submitting your book so that you can become an amazing author!
How To Submit Your Book To A Publisher?
1. Look Into Different Publishers
Before you can submit your book, it’s best to research different publishing houses. This will help you to identify a publisher that is suitable for you.
Some of the largest publishing houses include:
- Penguin Random Group
- Macmillan Publishers
- Simon & Schuster
- Hachette Book Group
Each of these publishers specializes in slightly different areas. As the name suggests, Scholastic tends to specialize in educational books. Your best bet is to opt for a publisher that caters to your genre or style of writing.
Aside from this, other factors must be considered when picking a publisher. Namely, you must read through the contract, as this will impact things like the royalties that you receive.
2. Decide What Category Your Book Belongs To
Marketing your book will be much simpler if you can categorize it. Specifically, you must be able to say what genre it fits into.
Is this book fiction or nonfiction? Is it a horror book? Is your writing autobiographical? Answering these questions will help you to define your book. Once you have picked the category that best suits your book, it will be much easier to submit it to a publisher.
This is because you can find a suitable publisher. For example, some publishers will only be looking for poetry. So if you have written a science fiction prose novel, you will automatically know that this publisher isn’t suitable for you.
Certain genres and styles of writing are more popular than others. As a consequence, there is more of a demand for them. Romance and thrillers tend to be quite popular.
On the other hand, nonfiction books can be tricky to sell. This is particularly true if you are not famous or a qualified expert in a specific field.
All genres also go through trends, meaning that they are more popular at some points in time than others. It’s worth researching these trends.
3. Ensure That Your Book Is Ready
It’s worth triple-checking your book before sending it to a publisher. This is because simple mistakes, such as spelling errors, can discourage readers. As a result, a publishing house may reject your submission if it’s littered with errors.
This likely goes without saying, but never submit a handwritten manuscript. Publishers are unlikely to read anything that hasn’t been typed. Ensure that whatever font you have used is clear and easy to read.
Write multiple drafts of your book to ensure that it’s in top form. Editing is a great way of ensuring that your book is as close to perfection as possible.
4. Follow The Submission Instructions
If a publisher has liked the outline of your manuscript, they may request your entire manuscript.
Every publisher will have slightly different instructions for submitting your proposed book. So it’s important to carefully read the guidelines before you submit your writing. This may include things like adding page numbers or having a specific line spacing.
When you submit your novel, be as friendly as possible. Politely ask for feedback, which will increase your chances of getting advice if your book has been turned down.
5. Manage Your Submissions
After submitting your book, it can be hard to keep track of submissions. This is especially true if you have sent your book to a large number of publishers.
As a result, you may want to create a longlist to manage your submissions. This will include keeping the name of any publishing houses you have applied to and the status of the submission.
Utilizing a spreadsheet, such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, is a wonderful way to keep on top of these applications. Regularly update this spreadsheet whenever you receive news from a publisher.
6. Enlist An Agent
You may think that agents are just for actors. But the truth is that agents are employed in a range of different industries, including publishing. A literary agent is designed to represent the author and help them get their work published.
For some of the larger publishing houses, such as Penguin, you will be expected to have an agent. So it may be worth finding an agent to help you on your quest.
7. Consider Self-Publishing
Self-publishing is an alternative method of getting your book out there. Instead of using a traditional publishing house, a writer will have to pay for the printing of their book. In the modern world, it’s becoming increasingly easy to publish your own writing.
There are lots of advantages to self-publishing, such as having increased creative control. Plus, your book will have a longer shelf life than if it was published through a company. Not to mention, the higher royalties mean that it’s possible to make a larger profit through self-publishing.
Self-publishing may seem too good to be true. That’s because it is! There are also lots of disadvantages of self-publishing that you must consider before publishing your own book.
For instance, you will have to take on more responsibilities, such as designing and promoting the book. Furthermore, self-publishing will be costly for the author. It can also be harder to reach a large audience when publishing independently.
Therefore, though self-publishing may seem like a lucrative option, it’s best to consider whether using a traditional publisher is better for you.
8. Avoid Vanity Publishing
Vanity publishing may seem similar to self-publishing, but in reality, these are two very different practices. Vanity publishing refers to the process of paying someone else to get your writing published. These upfront fees are usually substantial.
Essentially, vanity publishing is a scam. These publishers profit from authors who have continuously been rejected by traditional publishers.
Therefore, it is advised that you avoid vanity publishing. Research your options thoroughly before turning to vanity publishing and make sure that you are not preyed upon by scammers.
9. Prepare For Rejection
In an ideal world, your book will be immediately accepted. But the sad truth is that it can take numerous attempts to get your book published, no matter its quality.
Even world-renowned authors were originally rejected when they first attempted to publish their books. For instance, Stephen King was turned down by 30 publishers for Carrie. Meanwhile, J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 different publishers for the first novel in the Harry Potter series.
This just goes to show that publishing is a competitive industry (see also ‘How Big Is The Publishing Industry?‘). If your book has been turned down, you may not even receive a reason for its rejection.
It can take years for your book to be accepted by a publishing house. Therefore, you will need to develop a thick skin and bounce back after receiving a rejection.
Though the process of getting your book published can be strenuous, it can be worth it if you are an aspiring writer. With any luck, these tips will help you to get your wonderful piece of writing published!