Options for getting into print….
Just when you get a manuscript to the point you’re completely happy with it, edited, and you’re exhausted-then comes the hard part. How do you get it published? There are now many roads to the same place-seeing your book in print.
First the traditional route:
The publishing world has changed a lot in the last few years. Many of the earlier major publishers have been purchased by big corporations and spun off into subsidiaries that usually handle a genre or two. For example, under the heading of Romance Publishers Ballantine Publishers list themselves as a subsidiary of Random House. It doesn’t take to much time to fine these things out on line. And the other big changes are the tech ways of publishing that’s available now, which I’ll talk about in up-coming blogs.
The choices are not easy for most of us newbies who did not start out to be writers. But that’s half the challenge, finding our place in the writing world.
Publishing houses: You can research the publishers willing to read unsolicited material. (FYI there aren’t many of those.) You probably will get a form rejection slip from the majority of them. When I’ve made these efforts in the past I’ve just reminded myself that the fellow who wrote the Wizard of Oz was rejected 39 times before someone published his work. If you are one of the lucky ones who make it though you’ll love it. It does take some time for them to go through the process of turning your manuscript into a book so don’t be surprised if you’ve gotten the next book written and ready before this one is in print.
It used to be you got royalties before the book came out. That was a payment against future earnings, but they don’t do that as much any more. There are still some companies that do pay royalties. That comes in the form of a few cents per word. So if you can do the math and figure out about what that would be for your work.
Or you can try to get an agent to take you on as a client. Most publishers prefer to work with agents. Either of these options require writing cover letters, sending samples of your writing and sometimes filling out their submission forms. All of that takes time.
If you get an agent they will often make suggestions on how to improve the salability of your work. You will most likely be asked to attend functions to promote your book.
Right now I have written a book that I think will have mass appeal so I am in the process of trying to find an agent. Some rejections are very nicely done, others just ignore you with the statement that they get thousands of inquiries and can’t individually respond. Be tough, hang in there. Hope is a beautiful thing to have!
One little side note about the new world of publishing, there are those publishers who don’t want to work with authors who have self-published or have used the print on demand companies. Which makes it even harder for some of us to break through.