A friend from college recently asked me “How realistic is it for someone like me to publish?”, and it echoed a discussion I had last weekend with a woman I edited a book for. With these two conversations in mind, I want to share what I’ve learned about the publishing process in the hopes of encouraging authors that every author has a path to publication.
I have three main tips I’d like to share–research agents/publishers, create a presence on the internet, hire an editor–the details of which I will include in three upcoming blogposts. But I want to start with some encouragement.
As a first-time author, you’ve written a book that you and maybe a few friends who’ve read it think is good. Maybe you’ve never heard of agents and have no idea how the publication process works. Maybe you’ve queried a few agents because you read that was the next step to publication, but they passed. Maybe you think you need an editor but aren’t really sure. You scour the web but everyone has their own ideas of how to get published.
Each author has his or her own path to publication often shaped by factors outside the author’s control–what’s hot right now in the book market, what books a publisher has already published that year, and other arbitrary, mysterious factors. Every author has a path to publication. You can do this.
At the end of the day, though, think about what you really want–what your goal is for you and your book. Do you want to be published by a big publisher? Are you willing to spend money (on an editor, a website, writing conferences where you can meet agents and publishers, etc.) to get published? Do you want to one day hold a physical copy of a book you’ve written in your hands? Do you want your story to be the best it can be? Do you want to make money from your book? Is writing a hobby you’d like to share with your family and friends? Thinking about where you want to end will help you a lot in deciding what you need to do now to get there.
What I’ll share in the next few posts are actions every author can take to meet their publishing goals.