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For many writers, holding a printed and bound book you have written is akin to an athlete holding a medal. It is the ultimate goal of your accomplishments. Writing a book can be hard work, requiring many hours of perseverance and dedication to get to that point. Publishing your story helps you share it with others. Whether you just want to make children laugh out loud at the ridiculous antics of a naughty dog or write a story about coping with loss that could help others in the same position, the publication will make this dream a reality. However, writing a book can sometimes feel more arduous than publishing it. Hence, the more you understand the process of getting a book published, the easier it will be to navigate it.

Importance of Finding the Right Publisher for Your Book

You need to find a publisher who aligns with you. Most publishers have niches and specialities, and choosing the publisher who fits with you and your book is important. The right publisher will also understand the best markets to sell your book into, giving you a greater chance of success.

Researching Publishers

Do your research. If you send your manuscript out willy-nilly with no plan or research, you will be disheartened by the rejections. Optimise your chances of success by researching publishers. All publishers will state their specialities, and by reading other books they have published, you will get a feel for the type of book they are after.

Determine your genre and target audience

The first step is understanding your book’s genre and target audience. Please consider this when writing your book, especially if you have written it for children or young adults. Once you have a clear idea of your book’s genre and target audience, you will be better able to find the best publisher for it.

Research different publishing houses that specialise in your genre

Once you know the genre of your book, you can look for publishing houses that specialise in your genre. This will be listed on their websites, and by reading books that they have published, you can see whether your book is a good fit. If you feel your book is a crossover genre, perhaps you have written a comedy detective book—then look for a publisher who likes quirkier books and would enjoy the uniqueness of your story. Often, these can be smaller independent publishers rather than the more traditional publishing houses.

Look into their submission guidelines and requirements

Always check their submission guidelines. Sometimes, publishers pause submissions for a few months, so if their website says they are not accepting submissions, it is always worth checking in with them later. You must follow the submission guidelines precisely; otherwise, they will reject your book instantly. You will often need to submit a synopsis and the first three chapters, but the requirements vary, so always read the instructions carefully.

Submitting Your Manuscript

This is incredibly important, so take your time doing this and follow the submission guidelines precisely. They are there for a reason!

Formatting your manuscript according to the publisher’s guidelines

Often, a publisher will be extremely specific about how they want your manuscript formatted. This is usually to make them clear and easy to read. They may specify font type, size, margins, and other layout guidelines. Make sure your manuscript is formatted to their requirements.

Writing a compelling query letter or proposal

This is your chance to sell yourself. You need to make an impact and make the publisher want to read your book. Capture their attention and engage them from the very first line.

Sending your submission package to the publishing house

Double-check everything carefully! Ensure you have included what they have asked for and followed their guidelines before sending it off. Then all you can do is wait.

Working with a Publisher

When you start working with a publisher, you build a business relationship that will last many years. Always communicate clearly with them, follow their schedule, and meet their deadlines. Like other businesses, publishers will always prefer to do business with people who are easy to get along with and comply with their requests.

Negotiating contract terms and royalties

If you have an agent, your agent will be able to negotiate the terms of your contract for you. If you don’t have an agent, understand exactly what you agree to before signing anything. If you need help understanding, ask for clarification. If in doubt, always seek advice from others.

Collaborating with editors and designers on the book’s content and design

Editors and designers are highly trained professionals who want to do their best for your book. An editor may want you to change your book, and you may feel very personally attached to it in its current form. Remember, it is their job to make it the best it can be without changing your “voice,” so take their suggestions and edits and work with them. Designers are vital to giving you a cover and layout that fits your book; they are very creative, but you can always suggest ideas you may have.

Handling marketing and promotion efforts with the publishing team

As an author, you will be instrumental in promoting your book. Just by making it available on Amazon or through bookshops doesn’t mean it will sell. Potential purchasers need to know it exists and Amazon et al will not do that for you, so work with the publisher’s marketing and PR team to get the best exposure for your book.

Finalising the Publishing Process

The end is in sight! This is when you can see your hard work beginning to pay off, and you get ready to see your book in its final form.

Reviewing and approving the final version of your book

Spend time reviewing the final version. Despite endless rounds of edits, it is still possible for mistakes to creep in, and this is your last chance to spot them.

Preparing for the book launch and distribution

The book launch is very exciting. This is the moment that your book becomes available and ready for distribution. Often, book launches are celebrated with a party or a book signing at a bookshop. Distribution is a skill in its own right, and your publishers will know how best to get your book onto the shelves of as many bookshops as possible.

Celebrating the publication of your book

Celebrate! You did it! Publishing a book is quite an accomplishment, so take a moment to enjoy this success.

Come to ShieldCrest and Publish Your Story Today

We can’t wait to read your story and help you turn it into a published book. Our experienced and professional publishing and marketing teams are ready to help you through the whole process, from your initial submission, editing, and designing to the excitement of your book launch and post-publication marketing. Whatever story you want to tell, the team at ShieldCrest is here to help. For more information on bringing your story to life and to get in touch with our team today, simply click here.


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