Let’s make an assumption. Let’s assume the you have successfully finished your book. You’ve written that novel that you always dreamed of writing. You penned the auto-biography or memoir that will serve has your legacy. You finished the business book that will serve as a platform for your speaking engagements. Now what?
These days, you will hear people saying things like: “No matter what, you will be published. You may publish with a mainstream publisher or you may choose to self-publish. Maybe you’ll choose to publish electronically. But in all cases, you will have a book out there.”
The message is simple: write a book and plan to be published. The message sounds simple, but the reality is a bit more complicated.
Our suggestion is that you ask this question first: How does the publishing process work for your book?
There has always been an allure about working with a mainstream publishing house in New York. Get a literary agent who loves your book as much as you do and let him do his thing, finding you exactly the right publisher. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
A couple of things you’ll want to be aware of. It can take six months to find an agent, if you find one at all. It might take your agent six months to find a publisher, and there is no guarantee of that. If you do get that illusive contract, which, by the way, is fantastic, be aware that it might be as long as two years before your book hits the market. Also be aware of the fact that your publisher will want your help in selling the book you just wrote, so come prepared with a marketing plan that knocks their socks off.
Publishing houses around the country – no, they are not all located in New York these days – account for a relatively small amount of the books going to print. It still carries a certain prestige to it, but it does not guarantee sales. Your book will need exposure. In other words, a book in print is only as good as the people who know it’s in print.
The message here is that you’ll want to be informed about the publishing process at any level. Yes, you will be published, but you want it done right.