Getting your book published after weeks or months of hard labor can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. Publishing houses are often reluctant to trust young and inexperienced writers due to RoI and reputation risks. But what can you do to actually get in touch with the right publishing house for your particular literary piece?
Before putting down your pen, make sure that your book is actually finished. It’s easy to overlook simple flaws in structure or writing when you are excited to finally be able to present your book to a publishing house.
Find an editor or a friend who is willing to take a look at your piece and weigh in on whether or not there is additional work to be done. The better shape your final draft is in, the more likely you are to appear interesting to a potential publisher.
Literary agents are freelancers who specialize in selling books to would-be publishers. They are the intermediaries of the trade, often able to sell your book much better than you yourself would.
While not all writers are salesmen, you can also try your luck at pitching the draft to a publisher without a third-party involved. Keep in mind that if you botch a book deal with a particular publisher they will rarely take another look at your proposal if they didn’t bite the first time.
Every country has a particular set of publishers that everyone knows about. However, these publishers are sometimes too big to even consider publishing a literary piece coming from a new writer. They often delve into translations and rereleases, with specific contracts and writers working under their care.
Find a couple of smaller, niche publishers in your country that would be interested in your particular style of delivery. There are no rules when it comes to reading the minds of publishers, but you can easily eliminate those houses that would definitely not consider you.
Whether you are working with a literary agent or by yourself, the pitch you develop is all that stands between you and the publisher. Book deals are often sealed based on short meetings and short overviews of the writing, with additional reading and analysis later on.
The first impression you make will often determine whether or not a publishing house will consider supporting you. Do your best to cover all the bases of your book in one or two pages with hints and nudges to the complete work and its subsequent reading.
Sometimes no publishing house will want to work with your book, and that’s okay! There are a lot of alternative scenarios to explore if that should happen, and all of them are interested in and on themselves:
• You can publish a book directly to Amazon as an e-book for their Kindle device, effectively eliminating the middleman.
• Self-publishing might not be easy at first, but you have complete control over everything from editing to final book design.
• Attending writing and book conferences is a good way to network with other writers and agents, thus increasing your chances of establishing communications with a publishing house.
You’d think that writing a book is the hardest part of seeing your work on the store shelves, but that is far from the truth. Make sure that all of your bases are covered when approaching a publishing house.
While they are open to helping up and coming writers find their footing, they also need to make a profit in doing so. Don’t give up on your prospects before every viable publisher rejects you, after which you should find DIY alternatives to get going. After all, no one knows about the potential impact your book can make better than you do.