1. Write the best manuscript that you possibly can.
Don’t just come up with a great idea—spend time executing that idea by writing, editing, rewriting, editing and rewriting again. Find a group to workshop your novel with, whether it be in person or online. Book publishing starts with a great manuscript.
2. Write a dynamite query letter.
Whether you’re pitching to an agent or directly to a publisher, you can’t just write “publish my book because it’s awesome.” You have to do your homework, researching literary agencies and book publishing companies, and craft a query letter that targets the specific person you’re trying to get to say “yes” to your book.
3. Prepare for rejection—it’s part of the game.
Nearly all writers get rejected. J.K. Rowling got rejected several times before someone took a gamble on Harry Potter. Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, was rejected 60 times before finding someone to publish her future bestseller. Getting rejected is just part of the getting-a-book-published process. Use it less as a springboard for depression and more as motivation to work harder.
4. Build a Platform.
Get on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest. Write a blog. Do anything you can to try to build an audience on your own. Most How-to-Get-a-Book-Published guides leave out the cold-hard truth: Agents and Publishers give extra weight to writers who have a built-in following. If you want to publish a book, you should be doing anything you can to do help your own cause—and building a platform (of any size) is something you can do.
5. Understand how the publishing process works.
In this age of the Internet, it feels like everything flows at lightening speed. The publishing industry, though, still runs at a slightly slower pace. Publishers know how to publish a novel and follow a specific process from acquisitions editors to the editorial staff to design staff to marketing managers and more (all of which is explained in the free download at the top of this page!) To get your book published, familiarize yourself with how the publishing process works. It can only help you.
6. Continue to learn throughout the process.
After you submit your query letter out to agents and editors doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Read up on writing a book proposal, synopsis and anything else that can help you on the business side of things. Read blogs about how to get a novel published and ones that interview literary agents. Stay ahead of the curve.
7. Continue to write.
While you are waiting for that phone call from a book publishing company saying, “We want to publish your book!” continue to do what you do best—which is write. Write your second novel. Write a collection of short stories. Heck, learn how to write book reviews and support other writers on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. The publishing process is a patience and determination game, so it’s key to fill up the downtime time with the thing you love most. Always keep that in mind.
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