For any writer who aspires to be an author, knowing how to publish a book is essential. It’s a common scenario — you have an idea for a book but you have no way of knowing how to translate that idea from your head to a computer, then into print or online.
So first and probably the most important step is to write the book. There are tonnes of resources online on writing books, so we will focus on the post-book scenario.
After writing the book, you can begin to explore two publishing methods – Traditional or self-publishing.
Traditional book publishing is when a publisher offers the author a contract and, in turn, prints, publishes, and sells your book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher essentially buys the right to publish your book and pays you royalties from the sales, which basically accounts to a small piece of a whole cake.
If you want to publish a book traditionally, most writers need to find an agent. In order to find one, you must identify the right category for your writing. That is whether you want to be a fiction writer, a non-fiction writer, a documentary writer etc. After identifying the type of writing, you will need to submit a book proposal with three sample chapters, and a synopsis of each chapter. If you are writing fiction, you must have your manuscript complete.
Once these steps are accomplished, you should write a query/proposal letter. This letter is what you will send to potential agents. It’s important to mention the different parts that make up a query letter. One should be sure to mention the synopsis of the book, the chapter summary, the market or audience your book is meant for, and a description of yourself, the author. Most traditional publishers do marketing and awareness creation for your new book so you may not have to worry about that.
For context, traditional publishing refers to having the big publishing houses are the ones in charge of 100% of the publishing process.
Self publishing refers to a publishing format that gives the author has all the rights to the book, and they’re in charge of the whole process, that is the managing and the controlling. Self publishing doesn’t necessarily mean the author does all the work by themselves. They could pay a freelancer or a smaller publishing house who do the publishing work for a fee. No query letter needs to be written, no acceptance is needed, no advances need to be paid and the author retains all the right.
There are a couple of variations to self-publishing. Some companies or applications like Wattpad, AnyBooks allow users publish books for free, but the books would only be available on their platform.
If you go the self-publishing route, which is the most common, you have to think of creating visibility for the book. How do you sell it, how do you ensure libraries stock, how do you create a demand, how do you get it included in the curriculum, if its an educational book etc. You will be responsible for creating a marketing campaign plan; book tours, media launch and the whole works. You may choose to hire a specialist agency to help, such as LittlestepsPR.
Article By: Tope Osunrinde