The thought of trying to figure out how to publish your first book for the first time is nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect! There are a number of ways to publish a book, so you can choose which option works best for you.
How Hard Is It to Publish a Book?
Writing a book for the first time can be arduous! Even more, publishing a book can be just as challenging. Nevertheless, it can also be surprisingly easy, depending upon what avenue you choose. Don’t let your status as a publishing newbie deter you – after all, even the most famous authors were in your shoes once! Persistence and a willingness to do a little research will pay off.
When you begin considering how to get a book published for the first time, talk to anyone you know who might have experience with publishing, including self-publishing. They may be able to answer questions about the process, offer opinions on the best way to publish a book, and possibly even connect you to people in publishing.
4 Ways to Publish a Book
Whether or not you can get personal advice from someone who has already published, it’s smart to do your own homework on options for first-time authors. Here are a few of the most common ways to publish a book:
Method #1: Partner with an agent
Traditionally, budding authors that want to publish a book first need to partner with a literary agent. Once an agent is convinced of your book’s quality, that person then takes it to publishers on your behalf. This is still a regular practice, especially with big publishing houses. However, it can be a difficult way for beginning authors to break into the industry. In most cases, you will need to have a personal connection to an agent. For instance, if you are in a university writing program, you may have a professor with a connection. Or, you will need to send out query letters to agents. This is not a foolproof method; however, if they are intrigued, they may request a full manuscript.
Method #2: Enter a literary contest
Participating in a literary contest is a quick shortcut to gaining the attention of an agent. Or, even better, earning a contract from a major publisher. For example, Minotaur Books and the Mystery Writers of America sponsor a First Crime Novel Competition. The winner of this contest is awarded a $10,000 advance and a publication contract with Minotaur. The downside is that there are a limited number of reputable contests like this. Consequently, if you don’t win, you are back to square one.
Method #3: Self-publish an eBook
New writers are publishing their first books every day thanks to the advent of digital self-publishing. You can quickly self-publish your own eBook at little or no upfront cost through various online services. This option is favorable who aren’t adamant about working with an agent or editor. As a result, the editing and formatting, editorial design, and marketing are wholly up to the author. For first time authors, this is a difficult but possible task to undertake.
Method #4: Utilize a book publishing service
A book publishing service offers much of the freedom and speed of self-publishing but also guides you through the process, providing access to strategic advice, editing services, illustrations, and more. You are also not limited to an eBook, as some publishing services can publish paperback and hardcover books as well. There is an upfront cost with this option, however, many authors find it the cost worthwhile for the service and potential earnings they receive in return.
The Best Way to Publish a Book for First Time Authors Depends on You!
As you can see, there are many answers to the question of how to get a book published for the first time. Ultimately, an author’s goals and resources will influence which option they choose. If you would like to get some valuable advice from experts before making your decision, you can schedule a free consultation with Gatekeeper Press, or get a quote.