Writing is a great job, especially when the internet gives you so many opportunities to pursue your career goals, no matter where you are. If you have a published book, it also speaks of your credibility and professional level. There are many writers from Writers-House.com who have published books and made writing their full-time job.
Many people get excited by the idea of publishing a book to complement their marketing strategy or to achieve other business goals. Even those who are not ready to publish a whole book can publish an article and share their experience with some journal or magazine.
In this article, we are going to describe the possible ways to get published. We will explain what every writer should know and what opportunities writers must use in order to get published. These are a few important questions we are going to address:
- Gaining expertise;
- The writing process;
- Traditional ways of publishing;
- Creating a brand;
Some of our suggestions are universal and may help everyone, regardless of the type of book or its topic. For instance, every writer should develop his or her unique angle, cope with the writing process, and find a proper source of motivation. As for the methods of publishing, you need to understand that you don’t need to try both self-publishing and traditional publishing. You need to understand the difference between various methods and when each one of them is the most helpful.
If you want to publish a book, you need to ask yourself an important question: What valuable knowledge or experience do you have? How can you help your readers? Social media became a reason why almost everyone considers themselves a potential writer. According to the data of Addictive Behavior, the excessive use of social networks indicates high levels of narcissism.
Every writer must objectively estimate his or her abilities and define whether a certain material is valuable for the wide public or the target audience.
The publishing industry is a big business. In 2013, the International Publishers Associations estimated the overall value of the publishing market at $134.52 billion.
You shouldn’t be afraid of such big numbers. We just want you to understand that it may be not so easy to succeed in the publishing industry, so you need to make sure your materials deliver a valuable message. Without such a message, your book won’t stand out and attract attention.
Expertise in Writing
There is a common saying that good writers are also good readers, and this is true, even though it’s hard to estimate how often writers read. Many writers from all over the world notice that reading is their main activity that helps them develop new ideas and write their own books.
The crucial role of reading is explained by the fact that reading improves our understanding of the language and helps us see what the proper structure looks like. Even if you don’t pay special attention to some details as a reader, your brain still perceives this information and gets used to a certain writing manner.
In addition, reading allows you to get more knowledge about a certain subject. No matter if your book is a sort of fiction or a self-help book, you need to understand your field of interest and have something valuable to offer.
If you don’t read enough, you may face a common problem: feeling like you’re writing something completely new, while in fact, you’re just repeating things already written by somebody else.
The Writing Process
If you want to get published, you need to prepare for writing a cohesive work. No matter are you going to write a book or an article, it’s a blank sheet of paper what you start from.
You need to start writing, and for many writers, the beginning is the most difficult part of the writing process. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the whole process involves four main steps:
Do your research, jot down interesting facts, and think of what your topic is.
Don’t worry about punctuation and grammar, just write as much as you can and create your first draft.
Check your draft for consistency and make the necessary changes in the structure.
Now get to all the details. Check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation, fix all the mistakes, and use anti-plagiarism software to make sure your paper is original and doesn’t contain any unattributed quotes.
Even if you think that some of these steps are unnecessary, you need to know them and organize your work in the right way. Don’t edit your paper before the first draft is finished because you need to not interrupt your flow of creativity. Don’t focus on minor details, make sure to deliver a clear message instead.
This is a very common problem which is familiar even to the most successful writers. According to the Psychoanalytic Review, creative writers are among the most common clients who look for analytic help. The first reason is unconscious, the second reason is writer’s block.
An interesting fact about writer’s block is that when a writer starts to worry about it, he or she only makes worse. Anxiety and stress kill your creativity, so the best solution would be to relax and don’t work for a while. Take a walk, meet your friends or do whatever helps you get relaxed.
Another method is called a stream of consciousness. Just write whatever comes to your head without worrying about the quality of your text. In this case, your goal is to break through your writer’s block and write something you can work with. Obviously, you don’t need to publish your stream of consciousness, but this approach may help you move further.
Thanks to the internet, every writer has a plenty of opportunities to start publishing his or her books. For example, this article was written by a freelance writer from Writers-House.com. There are many online magazines that need fresh content and always look for new freelance writers.
We suggest checking the following websites that accept submissions from freelancers:
The internet offers many opportunities for everyone who wants to publish an article or a book. However, you need to not only provide a solid article but also to follow a number of requirements. Make sure to read all the instructions on the chosen website.
You must follow all the necessary guidelines to demonstrate that you pay attention to details and respect the standards of a certain website or magazine. Look for previous articles and get familiar with the required format.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Freelance Writing
The main advantage of freelance writing is that you have your own schedule. You also gain valuable experience that you can use later, working on bigger projects, like your book. Before you decide to become a freelance writer, you need to think of a few very important things.
Keep in mind that freelance jobs not necessarily lead to publications, especially if you make writing your full-time job. You need to think of your motives before you start working as a freelance writer.
- Potential access to many publications, depending on your ambitions.
- You have your own schedule.
- You get an opportunity to get a valuable experience.
- You can earn a good reputation by working with respected websites and magazines.
- It’s hard to make this work a stable source of income.
- Some outlets are less credible than others, which may damage your reputation.
- Working with agencies, they will likely own a copyright.
- You need strong motivation and discipline.
Let’s say you have a complete book or article and want to publish it. In this case, nothing stops you from trying the traditional way of publishing. Some publishing houses must accept your work and start promoting it.
If you want to try the traditional approach, you have two options available: independent publishing houses and major publishers.
Major Publishing Houses
There are publishers that became well-known and respected worldwide, and many of them are located in New York City. Perhaps, you’ve heard of such publishing houses as Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, or Simon and Schuster.
There are many writers who go to New York dreaming of a big career. The truth is, these publishing houses are so big that most writers cannot pitch their works directly. To do it, you need to have a spotless reputation or to know somebody from these companies personally.
If you’re not a famous writer yet, you can try to pitch to these publishers with the help of some agent who is familiar with all the procedures and who can present your papers to the publishers.
Good agents are priceless. They are your loyal allies who know all the specifics of the publishing industry. Finding an agent is a great solution for a writer who wants to not only to write but also promote his or her name and build a career. When writers find good agents, they often develop long-term relationships that are beneficial to both the writer and the agent.
All the agents work in a certain genre. Some of them specialize in fiction, others work with creative non-fiction, or memoirs. If you want to find an agent, we suggest checking Writer’s Digest. This magazine is the best resource for any writer who wants to make his or her first steps in literature. This magazine always publishes useful articles and updates on new agents.
Usually, agents get a part of the writer’s money, in case a publishing house agrees to publish the material. Most often, writers don’t need to pay any money in advance.
Independent Publishing Houses
Independent publishing houses are much smaller than well-known companies. These publishing houses can be compared to indie labels in the music industry. Both major and independent publishers have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Major houses have a lot of money, which guarantees good promotion and means more deals. In addition, they provide authors with support.
- Independent houses offer more modest resources. A writer may need to put a lot of effort into promotion.
- Big companies imply more control, given the number of investments. Major publishers also may demand to make some changes in the content to make sure the book sells well.
- Independent publishers usually value the writer’s vision. Relationships with writers are usually based not on getting profit but on the literary value of the piece of writing.
- To pitch your work to a major publishing house, you need to find an agent who will represent you.
- Working with independent publishers, you can pitch your material directly, following a certain submission protocol.
The main advantage of a major publishing house is that it can provide you with the necessary support and it’s the best decision if you want to quickly build a career. On the other hand, indie houses are a better choice if you don’t want to discuss your ideas or change anything in your work.
Every option has its strong and weak sides, so you need to make a choice based on your ambitions and objectives.
The modern age allows writers to leave publishing houses aside and to choose the self-publishing path. In this case, a writer makes his or her book available online and speaks directly to the potential audience, with no mediators. It’s a great opportunity, however, it also involves certain risks.
Self-publishing became a sort of sub-industry inside a bigger industry. This is a simple option for people who want to share their ideas and write their books. At the same time, the simplicity and availability of such a method mean that there are millions of people who do the same. Virtually everyone can publish a book, and there’s nothing that would filter the content. Thus, there’s no surprise that self-published materials are less credible than works published in the traditional way.
One of the most popular platforms is CreateSpace. This website belongs to Amazon. There are many similar services on the internet, but this one has proven to be the most credible.
Some platforms are focused on e-books, while others are specialized in printed materials. Some platforms are also directly connected to various outlets, which means that you may need to create your accounts on other websites.
Many such platforms are commission-based, which means that they receive a certain percentage of your sales, while others may charge some fees upfront.
Many writers recommend this platform to anyone who is trying to get self-published. Given the important role of Amazon in the publishing industry, CreateSpace offers numerous advantages associated with the integration into a wider Amazon’s ecosystem.
- All the books published with the help of CreateSpace become available on Amazon immediately.
- You can convert your book into a Kindle format, as both companies belong to Amazon and their products are compatible.
- You don’t have to pay any fees upfront, as Amazon is able to print on demand, making one copy of your book every time somebody orders a copy.
Of course, there are many other platforms, which may be good for certain purposes, but CreateSpace is certainly the company with the highest standards of service.
We would suggest using CreateSpace to publish both digital and printed copies of your book and using Draft2Digital additionally.
Developing Your Brand
Marketing is very important in any industry, and it’s impossible to omit the issue of proper branding when talking about publishing as a writer. You need to deliver a clear message to explain why your potential readers need to buy your books and spend their time reading your thoughts.
This issue becomes especially important when working with independent publishing houses because in this case, you will have almost no marketing support.
Marketing and Social Media
Social media changed the world of marketing as we knew it forever. Social media made marketing customer-centric. It’s not about focusing on a product anymore. Brands connect to their audience directly, explore their lives and adjust their marketing strategies according to the public opinion.
If you have no idea of what your brand should look like, you just need to answer a simple question: What do your readers need in their lives that you can provide?
Every book has a main idea that makes it useful for readers. For example, if you have a self-help book, you need to think of readers who need your advice and adjust your brand so that it will resonate with your audience.
Effective brands integrate into the everyday lives of their customers. You must understand how your readers see the world and encourage them to connect with each other based on your brand. In this case, social media are the best solution.
The thing is that you don’t need to sell just a book. You have to sell ideas and lifestyle associated with your book — this is the main principle of branding that applies to any kind of business.
Perhaps, the most difficult thing is to stay motivated all the way from writing to publishing your book.
Many writers get excited during the writing process but then they understand that it’s impossible to stay inspired all day long when writing becomes just another everyday routine. Moreover, when your book is ready, you need to work even harder, contacting agents and publishers, promoting your book on social media, and so on.
If you want to be a writer, it’s necessary for you to stop romanticizing this work and face the truth: writing is a job. You need to do your job well, regardless of your mood or inspiration.
Most writers have problems when it comes to dealing with rejection. Before you achieve your goal and publish your book, prepare to be rejected by many publishing houses. You just need to embrace rejection as an inevitable part of every writer’s life.
In addition, all the successful writers have been rejected. J.K. Rowling was rejected with her Harry Potter 12 times. Frank Herbert’s Dune was rejected 26 times. Those publishers will never be able to fix their biggest mistakes, but the main lesson to learn is that even the best pieces of writing don’t get published on the first try.
Some outstanding books were ahead of their time. For example, To Kill a Mockingbird would never become classic if a great agent wouldn’t believe in it, continuing to pitch this work to publishers.
If you get rejected, it’s not a reason to give up. As long as you believe in your piece and its value for others, you need to try to publish it, even if it seems like you’ll never succeed.
Rely on Your Motivation
When it comes to publishing, money shouldn’t be your main motivation. Let’s be honest, there is a lot of easier ways to make money without countless rejections and stress.
Focus on your motivation. What pushed you to start writing your book? What message do you want to deliver? What makes your work valuable? You need to rely on your internal motivation and move on regardless of success.
You have to feel satisfied with your work. All the money and other rewards that you can get for your work are just a pleasurable bonus.
If you follow the strategies described in this article, maintain your motivation, and believe in your mission, you’ll not regret the effort you put into writing and publishing your book.
You can publish any work, at any time. The main thing is to offer an interesting product, and do not forget about marketing. Finally, you have to be really patient.