“John, what is the best way to get my book published?” After years of experience in the publishing industry, this is a question that I am often asked by new authors. At one time, many believed that there was only one viable option for publishing your book, and that was to approach the large publishing houses. Fortunately, the publishing landscape has changed over the past few years, and this assumption is no longer true. In fact, there are now many viable ways to get your book published, and we’ll look at just a few of them here.
Mainstream publishing houses are some of the oldest means of getting the book you are writing published and out into the public eye. However, for the majority of writers this is a long drawn out process that may take years if you are even accepted under the wing of a large publishing house. There are specific guidelines you must follow to even be considered, and you will require the assistance of a literary agent before a mainstream publishing house will ever review your book proposal.
Keep in mind that many of the big publishers receive hundreds of submissions each day, and that only a tiny percentage of those will ever be published. The deck is stacked against you if you go this route.
Small Independent Publishers
Small independent publishers are increasing in numbers daily. They generally specialize in printing books that fit into one type of type or another. Generally, they have access to a full distribution of channels which can help put your book right up there in the book stores with the hard-hitters of the mainstream publishing houses. There is no need to hire a literary agent since you are able to send your proposal to the acquisitions editor of a small independent publishing house.
Self publishing offers you more freedom with your creativity and writing talents. Nearly ninety percent of all the books published today are self-published books. You can easily and quickly publish your own book, thereby saving time, money and the efforts of attracting the attention of mainstream publishers. Self publishing offers you the means of sidestepping many overwhelming barriers to becoming noticed by the big publishers. During times when it is true that you will have to take ownership for marketing and promoting your book, this would be the case even if you were published by one of the big houses, as they are not going to invest much in promoting an unknown author. And that is one of the key reasons why I believe self-publishing has become so attractive.
One ironic benefit of self publishing is that if you are able to make your book a hit, it is then much more feasible to attract the attention of some of the larger publishing houses. You see, once your book sells through your own efforts you become much less of a risk to the publishing house, and thus a much more attractive option to them. The good thing about the large publishers is their immense distribution power, and THAT can mean a big boost in your book sales.
When you choose to self publish you have greater control of your book and its contents. You choose what stays and what goes, you get to decide what your book cover looks like, and what your back cover blurb says. You are also in control of marketing and promoting your book. So when asking yourself, “How will I get my book published?” self publishing is in my opinion #1 among your options, and definitely something that you should consider.