When Kelsey and I signed with our publisher, Limitless Publishing, a small house, we found out a lot about the publishing world that we had no idea about. Since then, we’ve talked to writers from small, and large publishing houses about the process. So, for you new writers, let’s go over this information so you can go in with your eyes open.
- This is a LONG process. In this day and age, we expect everything to be quick but publishing is still not a speedy process. There is a lot that goes into writing a book but almost even more that goes into publishing it. Once you sign your concert, it could be several months until your book comes out.
2. One of the aspects of putting a book together is the book cover. You’re the author right, you must have some say in how your book cover looks. Well, you can tell your publisher what you like, how you imagine the cover, or what you think will draw the reader’s attention. But this is a business. The marketing team and publisher decide what your book cover will look like. They take the market under consideration and the decision is made for you. There is a whole lot of trust needed between you and your publisher.
3. You’re not going to be rollin in the benjamins straight off the bat. People look at J K Rowling and assume that they could end up like her. They think she’s the rule when in reality, she is the exception. I have a favorite author, Catherine Bybee, who does this for a living. She posted one of her first royalty checks. It was for $50 and that was for three months. Now, thise books keep her in fancy designer shoes. It takes time to build a following and to get your name and books out there. Don’t feel like you’re a failure if your first book isn’t on the NYT Bestsellers list. If it is, Congratulations!
4. Speaking of getting your name out there, your publisher will help but a lot of it will depend on you. That’s right, we have to communicate with real people. You have to work to build a network, find people for your street team, and advertise your own book. This is one of the best ways to ensure your success. The more people who know about you, the more chances you have for them to buy the book. Make sure you build the network under your pen name if you use one.
5. Not only do you need people to buy the book, you also need them to write a review. Reviews are so crucial to the process. Amazon will do some advertising for you if your reviews are high enough. They will send your book in their daily emails, suggest it on the site to different readers, and if you have enough, your book could end up on their homepage. Your publisher may work to get you on a review tour, but you still need to work to get your own.
6. You don’t get paid every week or even every month. This can vary from publisher to publisher but you usually get paid once every three months or twice a year. They lump the royalty payments together.
7. You can’t expect your editor to do all the work. Your publisher will be setting you up with an editor but the better product you give to them, the better product they will be able to push out. If you send them something with tons of typos, then they will have to spend their time focusing on that. Let them focus on the content. Obviously, we aren’t perfect, and there will be some mistakes. That’s alright. But before you send your book to the editor, take another look at it. Read it line by line for grammar and typos. Then, make a list of things that you may be unsure about. Does that one scene still sound awkward to you? Are you concerned about some word choice? Maybe your character seems a little stiff in that one part. Talk these things over with your editor.
8. Take breaks. Everyone says write every day and that’s great. But you don’t have to work on the same book every day. After you have one book finished, your publisher is going to want to hear about book 2. It doesn’t have to be connected to book 1. You could be working on a whole different book series or another standalone. But don’t wait until your book is published before you start on your next book.
9. Do your research before you sign that contract. Unfortunately, there are people who want to take advantage of new writers and they could ruin your book, or your career. If you have questions, contact the writing community. They are no where near as scary as we all think they all. Reach out to writers who have signed with that publisher and get their take on things. Don’t assume that this one publisher is your only shot. That’s the beauty of writing, you can always work on your book and send it to another agent or publisher.
On a side note, if you are looking for a freelance editor that you can trust, C K Brooke is amazing, reasonably priced, and very fast. I’ve worked with her on one of my books and she knows her stuff. She can help you get your book publisher ready! Click here for her website.
10. Don’t stop trying. If you want to be published, then keep going. Find a freelance editor to look at your work before turning it in to a publisher or an agent. Don’t have the money for that, join a writing group on social media. You can trade manuscripts and beta read for members. Go to conferences and learn from published writers, network with other writers just starting out, and learn as much as you can.
For Romance Writer Advice: Here
For Writer’s Digest Conference Review: Here
Kelsey and I both have books out now, so if you like our posts, you’ll probably love our books! First Semester is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Queen of Emeralds is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE.