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Should you traditionally publish your book?

Here is the next in my series about publishing. My first posts were about what independent publishing is and the pros and cons of self publishing.

Today I’m going to discuss whether or not you should have your book traditionally published.

Every writer dreams of getting a huge publishing contract, seeing their name in print and earning enough money to live on.

Traditional publishing is where you find an agent in your selected book category and you send off a query letter hoping to get a book contract.

For a non-fiction book you have to resubmit a proposal with three sample chapters and a synopsis for each chapter. For fiction books, you submit a query letter along with a complete manuscript. You should also mention the synopsis of your book, state the market or audience your book is meant for, and a description of yourself.

Here are the steps to publication:

  • You write your book.
  • You revise and edit your book to the best of your ability or some authors do hire a professional editor beforehand. Some authors say this can improve your chances of finding a publisher.
  • You find your target audience and decide which kind of publisher is suitable for your book.
  • You find an agent. An agent is a person who represents you and your book, and who will help you find a suitable publisher. Many publishers will not accept your submissions unless you have an agent. Small presses do sometimes except unsolicited work.
  • You get a publisher. If you have an agent, they will take care of things for you. If not, you do the searching process yourself by sending out query letters in the hope of getting a contract. It is more difficult to do than agent.
  • You get a contract. Once you are accepted by a publisher, you would receive a publishing contract for your book. This varies and depends on the publisher and the author. But is very important to read the contract carefully and see what kind of royalties you will receive, and what kind of rights you may be giving up.
  • Your novel is edited by professional, usually in-house editor.
  • Your cover is designed by a design chosen by your publisher.
  • Your book is published and distributed to bookshops and online retailers.
  • Your book is then marketed. Unless you are a well-known author your publisher won’t spend much time doing much of the marketing for you. Even traditionally published authors have to do most of their own marketing.

Check back soon for my next post on the pros and cons of traditional publishing.

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