Have you completed your manuscript yet find that you do not know what to do next? Here are some tips for you. Just do not get frustrated by packing your bags and heading for the hills!
Before I started writing my novel Broken Chains, I did not know what was entailed in getting a book published. By the time I found out, it was too late to retreat. As an author, I have learned that the process is not all that straightforward. It not only involves writing, but also laborious developmental editing and copyediting, searching for literary agents, writing numerous queries, and most important promoting both your book and yourself as an author. To me, the process of writing is not all that difficult, but marketing is the most time-consuming activity.
Publishers expect you to have a web presence and have multiple accounts on social media, so that they can “inspect” your personal narrative and “size you up” or “take stock of you.” You have to allow for mounting numerous posts to make yourself known and your voice heard, not to mention obtaining as many likes on your Facebook page as possible (bringing dopamine to the brain) and garnering many followers on Twitter.
By the time I had almost completed my novel, I had learned that it is difficult to get a book published by well-established publishers. Large and some small traditional publishers do not accept manuscripts other than through literary agents. Hence, if you want to get published by a well-known publisher, you absolutely must engage an agent. However, it is not easy to arrange for an agent to represent your work. You can count on receiving many refusals from literary agents. However, before contacting agents and publishers, ensure that your manuscript is polished and error free.
You will be required to write a perfected, honed, chiselled, sculpted, punchy, and short “query proposal” or “query letter.” How do you provide information and details about your book, including the word count and genre? What makes it different from other books in that particular genre? Why are you the right person to tell the story? How do you plan to market it? You also need to compare your novel to bestselling novels in your genre and in the book market overall. You are also required to submit a brief synopsis of your book as well as your biography.
Before contacting literary agents, research their biographies and requirements and make sure your query meets their standards. Write to as many literary agents as you can, and do not give up until you get the answer “yes.” Do not send your query to more than one agent at the same firm or group; otherwise, you will get rejected. Send your query to one literary agent at a time, and if you do not hear from that agent after a month, contact the next one. Do not pay any literary agent anything unless a publisher concludes a contract with you. When an agent gets a publisher to adopt your book, then you will charged 15 percent.
While looking for publishers, you will come across two types: traditional and vanity. Vanity publishers will charge money for publishing a book. Stay away from them. Never pay a publisher to publish your book. Publishers have to pay you. Do not forget this! Traditional publishers will pay you royalties and sometimes an advance. There are some traditional publishers who will accept your manuscript without literary agents. However, larger houses will not accept your manuscript without a literary agent.
Do research about a publisher before submitting your work. However, if after years of trying to get published you decide to give up, then use such self-publishing websites as Lulu, Amazon, or CreateSpace.
These are the links that will help you to reach both publishers and literary agents: