Publish Your Own Book
Have you dreamed about getting your written word out to the world? Keep reading to find out how you should approach publishing your book.
If you have ever dedicated your time and energy to writing a book, the first thing you want to do after placing the last period on the page is to share your story with readers. To do this, you must publish it somehow. Getting your book to print (and/or eBook) can prove daunting for even the most skilled and confident writers. Suppose you are looking to go the traditional route. In that case, you will need to prepare query letters and send them out to prospective agents and publishing companies.
The other option that you have is to self-publish your book. These days, self-publishing is easier than ever. Almost anyone can do it from their own home with nothing more than a computer and a story to get out to the world. Once you learn the resources available to help you and the right places to look for them, you will find that the process is not as challenging as it seems. Keep reading to learn about the steps you should take when you want to publish your book.
How to Publish Your Own Book
The first thing that you will need to decide when you finish writing your book is how you will publish it. You can pursue submitting your manuscript to traditional publishing companies or skip that process and immediately look into self-publishing.
There are benefits to each option, so you must weigh the pros and cons before deciding which method makes the most sense for your material. For example, traditional publishers will provide you with professional editing, cover design, and some level of marketing for your book. If you self-publish, you hold the sole responsibility for completing these things yourself (or outsourcing them to a hired professional). There's really no right way to publish a book these days, as some self-published books do just as well, or better, than those of traditional publishers. You may find it helpful to look at the current publishing trends before deciding which route to take.
Tips for Publishing a Book
If you want to publish your book, you need to make sure that you have a few things in order before submitting it to publishers or self-publish. One thing you must do is clearly identify the audience for which you intended your book. Correctly doing this analysis will help you look for agents or publishers you want to contact. If you self-publish, it will assist with properly categorizing your book so that it will reach your target reader.
Make sure that your manuscript is as clean and edited as you can make it. This step means that you want to check for any grammatical, spelling, or typography errors and also make sure that all of your content flows nicely and does not have any gaps or missing pieces. If you secure a traditional publisher, your book will undergo an extensive edit to ensure that it is perfect before it goes to print. However, if you submit a manuscript with many errors, you have a good chance that a publisher will not choose to pursue it further.
Big Name Publishing Companies to Work With
When choosing to go the traditional publishing route, many authors decide to start by submitting their work to some of the larger publishing companies. The idea is that these companies publish a wide range of books in many genres, and most of them have specific departments that work with and seek out new authors. Some of the biggest publishing companies to consider include the following:
Penguin Random House —publishes diverse genres, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, mystery, western, romance, science fiction, and fantasy.
Harper Collins —publishes adult, children, and Christian.
Simon & Schuster —publishes science fiction, adult, fantasy, and children.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt—publishes educational and textbooks.
TCK Publishing —publishes fiction, nonfiction, eBooks, print books, and audiobooks in all major genres and niches.
Types of Costs Involved to Get a Book Publisher
Suppose your goal is to have your book published by a traditional publishing company. In that case, you should not have to pay any upfront costs associated with publishing the book. Reputable publishing houses will not charge you any money to accept your query or, if your book is selected, to continue with the publishing processes. The only out-of-pocket expenses, in this case, would be any money that you spend to print and mail out your manuscript (if you choose to physically do that). Most larger publishing houses now accept digital submissions, eliminating mailing costs altogether.
If you choose to self-publish your book, you can expect to spend a minimum of $1500 to $2000 to get your book ready and out to market. These costs include finding a cover designer, hiring someone to proofread/edit your book, and correctly formatting it for print or eBook.
Self Publishing Companies
With the rise of self-publishing, many companies are popping up on the market and advertising their services to potential authors. Keep in mind that not all of these companies are reputable. Be on the lookout for "vanity presses" that, instead of profiting from book sales, make their profits from requiring authors to pay specific publishing expenses.
Rather, look for prominent book retailers that offer eBook publishing platforms for authors to upload their books without an associated cost. All of the companies listed below provide free upload services for authors. If you are ready to self-publish your material, you will probably want to consider these options:
- Amazon/ KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) — the largest of all online bookstores and the world's biggest seller of digital books. It is usually the first place authors consider to self-publish their books.
- Apple Books — this company is another well-known name with a good reputation for millions of book downloads. This platform is straightforward and simple for authors to upload and publish their books.
- Barnes & Noble Press — this option was formerly known as NOOK press and is the self-publishing arm of the retailer Barnes & Noble. Authors will find an easy interface to upload their books, and the company does not require exclusivity.
- Rakuten Kobo — you might want to choose this option if you want to reach a larger group of readers outside of the United States. It has a strong presence in the international ebook market. It also has some valuable promotion opportunities for authors.