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Whether you’re a fledgling author with a fresh manuscript or a seasoned novelist aiming for a breakout bestseller, understanding the nuances of the publishing world is crucial. Each step is as important as the last, from polishing your manuscript to perfection to deciphering the complexities of literary agents and grasping the intricacies of marketing your masterpiece. This article unravels the mystique surrounding the publishing process, offering actionable advice to transform your literary dreams into reality. As with everything in the modern world, the publishing industry has become more complex, with different types of publishers offering different routes to help you get your story told.

How to Start

First, write your book! Once you have written it, edit it, edit it again, and only then can you think about how to get your book published. Your main decision is whether to go down the traditional route—think Penguin, Random House—or self-publishing paths, such as those we offer here at ShieldCrest. Each route offers distinct advantages and challenges tailored to different authors’ needs.

Publishing Your Book

Sadly, publishing your novel is not a one-step process; it is a complex and multi-faceted process that requires you to work through several steps. It can take time, so be patient and keep your mind on your goal of holding your published book in your hands.

Researching Publishers

Most publishers have a speciality or a genre that they focus on. If you have written a poetry collection, do not send it to a romance publisher. If you have written a vampire saga for adults, avoid approaching a children’s publisher.

Submitting Your Manuscript

The most important piece of advice here is to read the submission guidelines. Every publisher will have precise and different submission guidelines. Follow them to ensure your chances are maintained. Sometimes they will want a synopsis and the first three chapters of a book. If they do, your synopsis is your opportunity to sell your story, and it must be impactful and engaging from the very first word. We at ShieldCrest generally request the entire manuscript so we can assess all aspects, including the cost elements.

Building a Platform

Social media sells. It can also help you to get published. If, for example, you write amusing poetry, then if you regularly share your poetry on social media and have built a following, you will be more attractive to a publisher. In the run-up to getting your book published, social media is an excellent way to engage your potential readers and hopefully drive up sales and interest in your book. Social media is free but can take significant time if done correctly. As with all marketing strategies, make and follow a plan; regular posting is the only way to build a good audience.

Working with Literary Agents

You will need a literary agent to go down the traditional book publishing route. Traditional publishing houses won’t accept unsolicited submissions, so you will need an agent to accept and submit your book on your behalf. Finding an agent is like finding a publisher. They, too, have niches and specialities, so do your research just as you would when choosing a publisher. Again, many agents will have submission guidelines, and you must sell yourself to an agent just like you would to a publisher.

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional

Traditional publishing is notoriously hard to get into. Because they pick up the significant costs involved, they will usually play safe and engage authors who already have a following, so the sales are secured. It has the advantage that you will have a publishing house behind you, including its extensive marketing and PR departments. Still, your royalty payments will be significantly lower, and you will have far less say in the process. Self-publishing opens up the door to sharing your story and allows you to work with the in-house team on your book and be more involved in the whole process. You will also usually receive a higher royalty payment than a traditional publishing house.

Post-Publication Marketing

This is your time to shine, so maximise your available resources. Visit your local bookshop and arrange a book signing. Contact your local paper and radio station to get interviewed. Local media is an excellent place to start, as you will often receive lots of support from your local area. If you had begun your social media marketing before publication, continue with it; you can still attract new followers and engage with readers. If you are planning another book, this can be invaluable. At ShieldCrest, in addition to providing a full range of marketing services, we also provide our authors with a list of tried and proven methods that they can use to help their sales lift-off.

How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Novel?

The cost of getting a novel published can vary greatly. With traditional publishing, there will be no cost to yourself, but your royalty payments will be significantly lower. With self-publishing, there will normally be a cost, but in return, you will receive greater control and a higher royalty payment for each book sold. It is always worth researching, as the range of costs varies hugely. Here at ShieldCrest, we want to make publishing accessible to as many authors as possible, so our prices start at a very competitive £399 to get a manuscript fully formatted and in book form for when our authors are ready to begin the process of entering their books into distribution.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Your Novel Published?

Edit, edit, and edit again! Your first draft is just that—a first draft. It is always good to seek feedback from trusted friends and family to improve your book. Always submit your manuscript in the exact format that the publishing house has requested, and do your research to know that your book fits their criteria.

Come to ShieldCrest to Bring Your Book to Life

Here at ShieldCrest, we love stories and can’t wait to read yours. Whether it’s a children’s picture book, a chilling thriller or true stories and biographies, we are waiting to help you get your book into print. If you have written a book, we would love to read it. For more information and how to send it, simply click here.


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