A neighbor of mine recently asked for information about publishing, and I thought the information might be well shared. Are you thinking about trying to publishing with the Big Five? Self publishing? Finding a smaller house? Check out the tips below, and good luck, writers!
So there are a couple of things to know when it comes to publishing. Writer’s Digest is a great resource for all things writerly, and this article can be a good general start for how to take next steps, depending on what road you want to take.
Once the book is edited, you’ll want to craft a query letter no matter what. Advice on how to do that is linked in the article above, but its basically a pitch to agents/publishers to try and sell them on your book. Once you have that ready, most publishers or agents will ask for a sample of the work (a few chapters), sometimes they’ll as for a synopsis (usually 1-3 pages) as well as your query. Agents get hundreds of queries a day, so they will be much harder to access. You can find them through agentquery.com, but you’ll also want to check their website to be sure their requirements are accurate.
If you want to query smaller publishing houses you can google publishers that don’t require agents and you’ll find a slew of listings there. Just be careful–look for reviews on publishing houses. Some of them can be shady, so its good to look out for hints of something not quite right. A legit publisher will never ask for money, and they should have good reviews from their writers.
The pro of working with smaller houses though, is that you have more say in the creative process, and you get a larger share of the profit. Small houses usually give the writer 10% of profits, major publishing houses give 1%. If you self publish, you get all the profits, but you’d have to pay for the edit and for the cover art to be done for you. With small publishing houses and self publishing, you have to market yourself. Big houses will do that for you, but will expect you to have an online presence and market alongside them.
No matter what, do what’s best for you! Try out different tactics, and see where you end up. I look forward to seeing your book on the bestseller list someday!