Many people these days aspire to be the next bestselling author. Hence, the thousands–even millions–of websites and blogs that serve as some aspiring author’s means of “testing the waters,” so to speak. But turning manuscript into book publishing gold has never been easy. It takes real talent, and a knack for doing things right.
Sure, you have your painstakingly written manuscript of a novel in your hard drive. You maybe have printed it out and book-bound it and have shown it to friends to “test” their opinion or know what they think. And they “seem” to like it–Carol says your characters are “uncannily” real, Fred says you are the next Ernest Hemingway. But are they telling the honest truth and not just unknowingly playing the “nice friends” card to protect your feelings?
First, know that as the author, you may have biased judgment about your own work. In fact, many first-time authors fall into the “delusion of grandeur” trap. They tend to regard their work as a staggeringly awesome product of sheer genius, which is fine, but would not help you in your quest to get published. At least, not on the basis of hubris alone. The important attitude is to be objective, and to understand that you may not know much about the new field you intend to enter.
Having said that, knowing how to publish a book–your own book–may be the next best step toward achieving your life’s goal.
If you have completed a book manuscript, the only way to ascertain if it’s any worth is to find a literary agent related to your manuscript’s genre. Say, you have written a romance fiction. Find a literary agent that specializes in that particular genre. In the olden days, authors could go straight to the publisher to pitch their own books for possible publication. But those days are gone; now, the first gatekeeper you may encounter is the agent. The agent, if he or she matches your personality and work, can be your very own “champion”–they will pitch your work to the appropriate publisher and fight for attention and approval. They merely get something around 10 to 15 % of what you earn from your book, which can still be a huge amount if you turn out to be the next JK Rowling or Dan Brown.
With the Internet, however, now you have the option to publishing a book at little to no cost. There are websites that offer you to upload your work, design your book, and list it in its own “literary marketplace.” This modern way of publishing books has its downside–first-time authors may not have the necessary marketing skills, or connections to successfully put the book before the right eyes, so to speak. After publishing your book in such a way, what’s next? That’s why many authors also end up still largely unread.
To know more, visit the how to publish a book website for a comprehensive guide on publishing books.