Yes, I am a reader. A writer, not so much. They say that good writers are avid readers, so maybe there is a future for me in writing books about books! LOL. Because I am not a professional writer, what follows is not going to be expert advice. But being around books all the time and overhearing a lot of conversations about people working on trying to get their writing published, I think I can offer some simple and sound advice about walking the path of publishing a book.
First of all, I am going to restrict my writing to novels, only because that is what I know the most about. A lot of people are working on novels because that is one of the genres that is in highest demand. People like reading about other people, fictional or otherwise. People like drama. That is obvious because if there isn’t any around they will create their own. No, I am not a drama queen, in case you are wondering.
But back to the issue at hand. There are three main way you can get your book published. The first is to take the traditional way of going to a publisher with a finished product and submit it for review and editing. Your writing will be edited, so get over it. Many people enlist literary agents who have connections to a number of publishing houses to get in the door. Since this is a preferred choice of many experienced writers, the competition is fierce and the wait before getting approval is long. However, should you make it through the process, the chances of getting your name and your work in the eye of the general public is much greater than using the other ways.
The second choice, which is becoming more and more popular with first time authors, is using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. These are primarily e-books that will be shown on Amazon’s web site, which translates into free advertising. Like the traditional publishing route, every writer wants to get free advertising, so getting noticed is more than a matter of simply submitting your book for publishing. There is a royalty that Amazon takes from each sale, depending on the price of the book. The advantage to using Amazon’s service is you can get your book to market quickly with a minimum of red tape and processing.
The third possibility is to self-publish. If you are thinking that there is not an editing process with this method, think again. The best self-publishing companies have a set of standards that must be met before they will accept it for printing. But the advantage is that you have control of the entire process. No intermediary agents and no royalty fees per sale. It can be more profitable but you have to cover the publishing costs and do all the marketing and advertising on your own. Unless you are an experienced marketer or have advertising experience, the time and effort you spend getting competent at this part of the publishing process may be better used going a different route.
So there it is – your starting point. Keep writing, and reading, and you may one day find yourself on the best seller list.