Note: BeforeYouWrite.com is intended to give those writing for the first time the ins and outs of writing and publishing. At times, I stray from that. Today, I’m posting a broad-strokes explanation of the process. Each of the points in this article could be a full topic of what you should know before you write. Therefore, over the next little bit, we’ll address them. For today, just take a look at the overall process and digest it. More to come…
Whether you are self-publishing or going the traditional route, the steps to publishing your first book are very similar. If you’re just beginning to write, it’s a good idea to do some reading on writing and publishing. There are many good books and magazines that you’ll find very helpful. Here’s an overview of how to go about publishing your first book:
- Get a bright idea. If you know that you want to write a book but you don’t have a clue as to what you want to write, your first order of business it to brainstorm ideas.
- Once you have an idea for your book, it’s time to develop an outline. First make a list of the key plot points or key topics for your book. Put them in a natural sequence. Then divide these plot points or topics into subtopics including as much detail as possible. Once you have as much detail as you need, begin writing.
- You’ll probably go through several writings and re-writings of your book before you’re ready to let anyone read it.
- Once it’s ready, give it to a critique group or a freelance editor to edit.
- Revise according to the notes from the editor or critique group.
- Determine if you will self-publish or go the traditional publishing route. If you’ve decided to self-publish, begin by evaluating printer prices and quality of printing. Decide on a printer and once you receive it, begin selling your book.
- If you’ve decided to go the traditional publishing route, begin sending out query letters to agents.
- Once you receive a positive response, send a book proposal to the agent.
- Once the book finds a home whether published or self-published the writer begins selling the book.
When publishing your first book, there are several things for the writer to remember. First, the publishing process is a slow one. Be patient. The path to publication is littered with rejected manuscripts. Know this to start with and you’ll save yourself some grief. Be prepared to send it out several times. Don’t give up. All writers face rejection and most live to tell about it. And finally, when publishing your first or twentieth book, be prepared to handle the brunt of the marketing. The success of the book will be mostly up to you. Get the word out there and following a systematic marketing plan and you’re apt to make a success of publishing your first book.