After a long time of writing and rewriting, you penned the last word that marked the end of your first novel. Filled with excitement, you decided to go for publishing your first book. Then you ask yourself, “Can an “average person” like me publish a book?”
If you’ve written a book and are looking to publish it, good news: the hard part is over. The bad news is that this part isn’t nearly as much fun. It could be as rewarding, however, at least monetarily, as the writing process itself.
Edit: It’s important to ask yourself if you’re ready to publish your novel. Is it exactly how you imagined it would turn out? Is it everything you want it to be? If your answers are anything but a resounding yes, you may want to sit back down for a few months and edit. In fact, maybe take a break for a month or two from your work in order to clear your mind. That can help you decide what you really want from the rest of your book.
Submit: If you have a literary agent, you can work with him or her to find a publishing company to read your work. If you don’t yet have a literary agent, and want a hard bound copy in your hands right now, visit book binding services. Binding books can help you better understand what you want from your project.
Rejection: If you’re stilling getting rejected despite your literary agent, you may want to look at what makes your novel really original. Many publishers complain that they read many good novels but rarely read great, publishable ones. If you really want to make a splash, it may help to rework your novel if it’s not getting the feedback you want.
Editing: An editor is either in-house or signed to a contract to edit your work. Your manuscript will most likely come back with serious red lines. I’ve heard that you can expect a third of what you’ve written to be crossed out. You don’t have to follow their advice, but typically they’re very familiar with how the industry is run, what market your book is best aimed at, and how to best get your novel sold.
Publicity: A campaign is a good way to get your book into the hands of readers. The projected budget for your book may be a limitation, but there are lots of ways to get the price under budget. And ideally, you’ve been keeping a blog, or by now have around a thousand Twitter followers. That way, when the release date of your book is dropped, you have a wide audience waiting for it.
Second Novels: It can be very intimidating to write a follow up novel, especially if your first was a success. But don’t worry. Don’t think too much about it, and most importantly, take your time.
You don’t have to have a MFA to be published, nor do you even need a hard copy. E-books are selling rapidly these days. Although you may have your heart set on a specific way to publish your story, it’s good to know about all of your options before making a decision. So keep working, and good luck!