The most important question most new writer’s face is regarding publishing the book. If you think that you have finished all the heavy lifting by completing the book and getting it proof-read, then publishing is also not a small task either. It is also a complex process but can be accomplished by breaking it into smaller tasks. Going through each of these steps will take you closer to your dream of becoming a published author of your first book.
Complete the work: A book that is completed is different from a book that is finished. A completed book is ready to hit the book stand and is of professional standard. Ensure that the completed book is proof-read, edited and feedback incorporated. There is a great chance of your work getting rejected if there are errors.
Hire a literary agent: For every genre and type of writing, there are different agents. The agents specialize in a type of work and have contacts with publishers and rarely accept other types of work. Ensure that you submit work to people who show interest in the genre you have written. Make a list of agents which suits your requirements, research about their reputation on the web or through the help of other writers. Submit your work to more than 10 agents and be ready to submit it for more as there are chances of rejection.
Edit your work: Once an agent accepts your work, there may be some edits as they have knowledge of the publishing world and what sells. There is a need to balance the vision you have with the agent’s view of what sells. You should take a sensible approach and edit the book which leaves you and the agent happy with the content.
Submit it to the publisher: Your agent will submit the work to many publishers. It can either be rejected wherein the agent will continue to submit it to others or your work is accepted or they will be interested.
Signing the contract: If the publisher makes an offer you like, you can take it. The agent will then help you negotiate the deal about advance payments, a percentage in sales, etc. It is the job of your agent to get the best possible deal irrespective of you having one or multiple offers. Ensure that you understand the terms and conditions before signing the contract.
More edits in work: Once the publisher accepts your work there may be further edits based on the knowledge and experience. Again, you should follow a balanced approach between where you want to change and how much. As there can be many edits, be prepared and flexible about it. Be professional about the whole process.
Publication: If all goes well between you and the publisher your book will be ready for publication. Also, be prepared for a change in status quo as sometimes, publishers lose interest in a book due to various reasons like market trend, staff changes, etc. Even if your book is accepted for publication, it takes time to be printed and distributed. Meanwhile, advertise and market your book.