Every writer yearns to see their name drawn in black ink, but few actually know how to get published. In today’s literary marketplace, getting published is drastically different than it was 30 or even 15 years ago. Now, authors and poets alike have a variety of options when it comes to publishing.
In this post, we’ll explore the three major avenues: traditional publishing, digital publishing, and self-publishing.
The Rules of Traditional Publishing
When most writers think of having their book purchased and distributed by a big publishing house, they’re day dreaming about traditional publishing. In this situation, you’ll need to connect with a literary agent, since most publishing companies won’t take unsolicited submissions from unknown (and often times even known) authors.
If you’re looking for an agent, check out this Literary Agent Database from Poets & Writers.
A good agent will pitch your book idea to publishing houses and hopefully get one to accept the project. You’ll sign a contract and receive an advance. The rest of the money typically comes when the book is finished.
The publishing house your agent connects you with will take care of editing your manuscript and providing any necessary artwork. They’ll also manage distribution and publicity. So all you have to do is write the darn thing.
The rise of technology has given way to a new type of self-publishing. Digital publishing is a relatively quick and inexpensive way for authors to get their work out in front of an audience without having to deal with literary agents or publishing houses. However, you’ll in turn be responsible for promoting your book and handling sales.
Although you’ll need to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to digital publishing, and you shouldn’t expect any kind of cash advance for choosing to put your book on Amazon, there are some benefits to choosing this alternative.
For one, your work can get in front of a global audience without you having to spend much money. On top of that, you’ll also enjoy a larger share of the profits, since you won’t have to share with the literary agent or a publishing house. However, digital publishing sites like Amazon will collect a small royalty.
The romance of self publishing has seemingly fizzled out due to the fact that it rarely pans out well for the author. These days, it’s much more cost-effective to publish digitally if you’re hoping to go the independent route. However, if self publishing is the only way for you, here’s what you’ll need:
- A designer to create the cover of your book
- A printer
- A lot of elbow grease and legwork
As a self publisher, you’ll be responsible for marketing and sales (much like the digital publisher), but you’ll also need to organize with the designers and printer. At the end of the day, it’s easier to hire a literary agent or to try your hand at digital publishing.
This allows you to concentrate on what really matters: Writing.
Getting Your Work Noticed
It’s sort of a catch 22 that one of the best ways to get published is to be published. One way that authors get their name in ink before signing a major book deal is by submitting their work to literary magazines and for acceptance into anthologies.
Submitting work to a literary publication is typically free and gets your writing in front of a large audience with minimal work on the part of the author.
We hope you enjoyed this post on How to Get Published. If you’d like to submit your work to 15th & Oxford for consideration, just click SUBMIT MY WORK below!