Do you dream of becoming a successful writer? Are you looking to get your first book published? This guide will help get your book published in 2021.
Are you a budding writer? Have you been secretly dreaming of writing a book or already have written one but don’t know how to get it to readers? As a first-time writer, it is perfectly normal not to know what you are doing or what to do next.
Getting yourself published might seem like a far-fetched dream, but rest assured that you too can get published!
The right knowledge and information can help you publish your book and become a best-selling author. Read on to understand the key tricks and tips behind becoming a published author.
Exploring Your Options
Before diving into the how of becoming published, you must determine what path you wish to take. There was a time when becoming published was not as easy as it is today. The traditional publishing method comes with a lot of benefits, but the entire process can be difficult and time-consuming. And there is always a chance that one may not make it through and get published.
This is where self-publishing comes in. Self-publishing is a means of publishing your book online by cutting out other middlemen like agents and publishers. Even if self-publishing is a tricky road, you can become a successful published author and make more money with royalties if you learn how to do it well.
In this guide, we will explore both traditional publishing and self-publishing so that you can decide which way is right for you.
Some Steps Before Selecting A Method
Writing is a form of therapy. A lot of people write just to destress and to let heavy emotions off their chest. If you are here, you have chosen writing over other career paths. Whether you have been writing freelance or writing fan-fiction on some online community, you can still make it as a writer.
Whether you are thinking of starting a novel, in the process of writing one, or have already written one, the following steps can take you closer to your dream of becoming a published writer.
Understanding Your Genre
Let’s face it, not everyone is born as Haruki Murakami, and even if you are, the chances are that some agents and publishers will fail to recognize your talent. To take on the writing-publishing challenge head-on, you must become armed with knowledge, especially when it comes to the genre of your book.
This is a step that newbie authors should take even before they start writing. If you haven’t done this already, you must thoroughly research your specific genre before you can think of publishing.
Reading books of your genre is a must and not just the classics; you must read what is selling now. You must do this to understand what the readers love nowadays and what kind of book has a chance of making it in the market.
Understanding The Current Market
If you want to write a book only to make money and are looking for a genre that sells, you can look into what genre of books young adults are reading. But, if you already have a book written focused on a certain genre, learn as much as you can about similar books available currently. Figure out how well they are surviving in the market.
If your book is from a genre that is currently dead in the market, the chances are that it would be more difficult for your novel to survive and make money. However, if you still wish to publish your book, you must make sure your book is outstandingly written and well-advertised.
Understanding what the readers want is the key to success as an author. Even if you think it limits your creativity as a writer, you might have to make these little sacrifices to become successful.
Proofreading & Feedback
None of us are big fans of someone critiquing and nitpicking our work. However, if you want to grow and become better as a writer, getting multiple opinions about your writing is immensely helpful.
Just as you must take a break and come back to your writing to reread and understand where it went wrong, getting your work proofread allows you to see mistakes through a fresh set of eyes so that you can make your writing even better.
Your book needs to get thoroughly proofread before you send it to an agent or a publisher. Do not just let your friends or family members proofread your novel. This is why you need beta readers. An alpha reader is the first reader who gives you a rough idea of what was good and bad about your book. A beta reader helps polish your book. Their feedback will help you eliminate the redundant and weaker parts and make your book more refined.
Throughout the writing process, and until it has been sent to be published, you need to keep editing your work. You must edit your book based on the feedback you get from your alpha and beta readers. But, a professional editor is also very necessary. You will have to hire one so that they can iron out any issues.
Also, consider hiring a fact-checker to make sure you are not getting anything wrong, especially if your book is based on history, another race, gender, or culture. If you are writing about a sensitive topic, you might also need a “sensitivity” reader. A sensitive reader will analyze whether your book can hurt or offend a group of people.
There are numerous benefits of joining a writer’s community. You will find more relatable people there, who are facing their share of challenges in writing. You will also find many beta readers who will be willing to read your book. You might have to do the same or something else in exchange. It can be as simple as reading their work or mentioning them in your acknowledgments.
While many writers are introverts, traditional publishing does require quite a lot of socializing. A crucial step towards becoming a published author is finding an agent. You might wonder whether you need an agent or not, but without one, you might not get accepted by publishers at all.
Attending writing conventions, conferences, etc., can help you get in touch with agents. You can also do research and directly contact them. Finding the right agent who feels as passionate about your work as you do is crucial for your success as a writer.
It becomes your agent’s job to find you a publisher. You should familiarize yourself with the processes involved once a publishing house likes your manuscript and wants to sign a deal like cover designs, advertising, etc. Sure, you would have less control, and they will take away some of the profit and ownership. Traditional publishing can be time-consuming, and many things will not be in your hands, but it decreases your stress and worry.
E-books have made the world an easier place, both for writers and readers. Numerous self-publishing platforms can help you self-publish your book. Take the following steps to self-publishing your own book:
- After you have gone through proofreading and editing with beta readers and a professional editor, you need to hire a book designer. A book designer designs both the interior and the exterior of your book. A good book design can help your book sell better. It is highly recommended that you hire a professional for this instead of trying to do it on your own. You can work with the book designer to create a unique design that goes well with the theme and content of your book.
- Next, you need to decide on the right self-publishing platforms. You might have to do a little research first. Go through the list of companies available and find the right one you want to join. Which platform you decide to go with depends on your goals, book genre, and cost of publishing.
- There are two types of self-publishing companies. First are retailers who make your book available on their platform. Your readers will find the book only on the company’s app or website. The other type of self-publishers is aggregators. These companies make the book available on their platform and distribute it to other affiliated platforms and bookstores. Once you find the right platform, open an account and go through their steps. Many of these platforms offer printed options if a buyer chooses to buy a printed copy.
- You upload the finished book to their platform through your account. Some self-publishers help you promote your book; however, you can also do so online through social media to find a wider audience range.
Becoming a published writer may not be easy, but self-publishing has made it easier. Now that you know how publishing works both in traditional publishing and self-publishing go ahead and write your best-selling novel today!