How Do I Publish My Book?

Congratulations! You have your book finished—and now you want to publish it. What do you do? How many options are there?

Firstly, what is your goal? Are you planning on sharing your book with your mom and  your great aunt Molly? Then you want to use Print On Demand. If you have a larger audience in mind, but don’t have the time—nor the patience—to wait for Traditional Publishing, you can always try Self Publishing; it is a road where you are judge, advocate and jury…so be prepared. If none of these fit your style, you can embrace the transformers of the publishing world: Hybrid Publishing. 

What is Print On Demand?

  • POD is an option to upload your manuscript AS IS to a site, and they will convert it to an eBook, as well as print a limited number of books for you.
  • This does not allow for formatting, editing, or reprinting without uploading to the site again.
  • It is an excellent mode for self-publishing comic books, instruction manuals, or family albums
  • Example of a POD site
    • CreateSpace
    • Tell CreateSpace you heard about them from!

What is Traditional Publishing?

  • Just like an actor trying to land a role, traditional publishing requires authors to work through agents.
  • You have to find the agent that is looking for:
    • Your genre
    • Your concept
    • Your audience
    • Your style
    • Your chapter length
    • Your book
  • Agents reject authors daily, no matter how wonderful the book is—because it is not what THEY were looking for…
    • Rejected authors you may recognize (from
      • Dr. Suess—“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”
      • Zane Grey—”You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
      • Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul—140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell.”
      • The Diary of Anne Frank—“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”
  • To find an agent, you must write a query letter
    • Each agent requires DIFFERENT information per query letter
      • Some want the first five chapters, some want no chapters…
      • Some want every chapter summarized, while others only want the entire book summarized
    • Research which agent requires what, and do not mix up your submissions
    • Never give up on your book, but it’s okay to give up on a certain agent
  • You FIND an agent
    • They talk to the big publishing companies, and know what they are looking for
    • They find you a publisher
      • You sign a contract
      • Your book is published
      • You retain NO rights to your work, or future books in the series
      • Movie rights are transferred to the publisher
      • Your name becomes well-known…or NOT.
      • The publisher has the right not to sell, or even promote your book—however, you have already signed all rights away to it.
      • The publisher does do the dirty work for you, they advertise, they publicize, they edit, they format, they print, they sell…they also keep.
  • A well-known author has more rights with a publisher than a new author. This is an important point to remember when entering the world of publishing. If you already have a following of readers when you reach a traditional publisher, your ability to maintain rights to your work vastly improve—because you have already proven your work is a success, and people want it.
  • Excellent article on traditional publishing:
    • “Now, chances are at this point you are going to be in a psychological state where you are ready to sign over a body part just to get an agent, and you will be predisposed to say “Yes, for crap’s sake, yes!!”. But take a step back, take your time, make sure you’re very comfortable with the agent before you enter into one of the most important business relationships you will have in your life. You and your agent are going to have to seriously trust one another, so ask questions, don’t be shy, and make sure you’re ready.” – Nathan Bransford

What is Self-Publishing?

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was rejected so many times she decided to self-publish 250 copies. It has now sold 45 million.
  • With Self-Publishing, no agent is required, but you are responsible for EVERYTHING; you either must be skilled enough to accomplish all the parts necessary, or you are your own contractor, and need to find all the subcontractors to do your work.
    • Your TO DO list expands daily:
      • Editing
      • Formatting
        • Find a graphic design crew to format book to print, as well as create a workable cover design;
        • Pay graphic design group, as well as pay for the cover picture chosen
      • Printing
        • Find a POD service like Xulon Press, (and tell them you found them on editing
        • Pay for each copy of your book to print
      • Advertising
        • Build a website
        • Build Social Media
        • Promote book
        • Sell book
        • Reach bookstores to ask to sell in-store
        • Order & reprint books
    • YOU retain all rights to your book, future books, and movie rights

What is Hybrid Publishing?

  • Finally, a merging between Traditional Publishing and Self Publishing has taken place—bringing the best of both worlds into a a format called the Hybrid Publishing option
    • No agent needed
    • Hire a Hybrid Publishing team
      • Team is pre-made—you don’t have to find an editor, a format team, or a PR group…the team is ready, willing, and very able. They will stay by your side through the entire process!
  • What Hybrid Publishing provides:
    • Editing
    • Formatting
    • Book Cover design
    • Team to walk alongside you through the journey
    • Advertising
    • Web Site
    • Social Media platform
    • Book promotion
    • Author promotion
  • You, as the author, maintain your rights:
    • You keep all rights to your book, and future books
    • You keep movie rights
    • You are not limited by an agent’s likes/dislikes
    • If you are picked up by a Traditional Publisher, you already have a base of readership, and you have a voice in your options/choices for future
  • Example of Hybrid Publisher:

If you have any questions, let Editing Addict know!

5 thoughts on “How Do I Publish My Book?

  1. munchkinwrites

    Reblogged this on Plotting Bunnies and commented:
    Figuring out how to take the first step into the publishing world is hard. Lucky there are great informative, easy-to-understand overviews such as this one. I couldn’t be farther from this stage (hah, I’m still trying to write a sensible prologue!) but if I ever get there, I’ll be sure to whip this back out for a good look.

  2. Andrew Toynbee

    I was very surprised to read that an author would retain NO rights to their book once a publisher is involved. Surely that would preclude any future royalties? And how is it that authors subsequently become very wealthy once their books are turned into movies? I cite Stieg Larsson and JK Rowling who also had a hand in casting and direction.

    • EditingAddict

      Thanks for your comment!

      Yes it is surprising, and yet it is the painful reality. The authors you mentioned had foresight, and enough momentum behind them to lay the groundwork for very good contracts with publishers. Their agents were intelligent in retaining certain rights.

      A common author without any success under his/her belt, does not have that same swag to enter into a traditional publishing contract.

      Many very popular authors have several books that never “made it.” Yet they were, in fact, published. The publishers, however, chose not to market. It is a sad fate for authors. Similar to being drafted by your favorite NFL team, but never being played.

      Hope that answered your question!

      • Andrew Toynbee

        I tried (it was more like begging for a job) for a year in an attempt to get me novel accepted by an agency. In the end I opted for the self-publishing route. Nearly a year on, with my books quietly selling on Amazon, I’ve still had no interest from agencies. Still, my work is mine own to control now.

      • EditingAddict

        Absolutely. Congratulations on your work! Many current–and very popular–authors were self-published first, and then were picked up by publishers. A great example of this: “Fifty Shades of Gray”.

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