I have heard many a time that authors have a manuscript they are working on but don't know how to get published. Sometimes, this even discourages them from even completing their story! I am here to shed some light on this seemingly nebulous part of the process of writing. There are three ways to publish your book.
The first is the most traditional, through a publishing house. Many of us think of this as the only way to get your book out there in front of eager readers. A hopeful author will submit select chapters of their manuscript to the publisher for review. The author then waits on pins and needles to see if their book gets accepted to the next round of review. If accepted, they submit the entire manuscript to the publisher representative, who then may have edits and changes to fit the needs of what they are looking for in a book that will sell.
The process can be tedious at best, and downright defeating at the worst. Many a great author were rejected from publishing houses. If you are rejected, please know that this is not a reflection on the worthiness of your story. It is simply a story the publisher is not looking for at that moment.
The benefit of trying this approach is there is no real financial risk on you the author. If accepted, the publisher will pay for the printing, and sometimes even the marketing of the book. Let alone the royalties you make off sales. The only problem is very few manuscripts get accepted. The publishing houses want a sure bet before they lay down any cash. How do you become a sure bet? Get famous, or get a following of your own to start!
Hybrid publishers are a great way to get your name out there and start your grass roots campaign to get followers of your book. Their manuscript acceptance rate is higher than traditional publishers because you, the author, will be sharing some of the cost to get your book printed and marketed.
They have a staff of editors, designers, and marketers that you can hire to help you create your book and get it looking professional. They are very helpful in many ways, especially for authors that never have published a book before.
The downside is that hybrid publishers can be budget breaking if you elect to partake in all of their services.
Self publishing has come a long ways in the last ten years. There are many services out there that can print your book for a reasonable rate and look professional as well. Some companies even offer print on demand with no cost up front from the author.
There are no "gatekeepers" to self publishing, so if you have a story you want told without worrying about how the publisher will change it to fit their demographic, this is the way to go.
Since you are publishing on your own, it's a great idea to find someone that has done it before to walk you through all of the steps and pitfalls, so you have a great looking book at a reasonable print price.
A downside of this option in the past has been the marketing of your book. After you have your book in hand, how do you get the word out about it? Many self publishing services now offer to market your book, or you can elect to have it included in their catalog to order from large chain stores. But I have found that nothing beats local events and reading in schools and libraries. This often proves the most beneficial when marketing your own book.
So there you have it. Three ways to publish you book. If you have any questions, feel free to reach me at email@example.com