How to be Published

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In the old days, if you wanted to be a publisher, you needed to be able to print books, arrange warehousing and logistics, and you needed a big corporate sales team to persuade retailers to buy the books. In short, things were complicated, and publishers ended up combining into ever larger units in order to compete.

But then a new breed of publishers came up with a radical thought. Who needed bookshops any more? E-books and audio books dominate the market. They focused purely on that online sales channel selling print as well as e-books, but only via online routes. You need to write the kind of books that are right for a digital-first approach. In fiction, that means you are writing series-led genre. Or national newspaper reviews, because almost certainly ditto. And any advance you get will be very small but the royalties you can expect will be correspondingly generous. And bear in mind, the scale of success here can be huge.

Angela Marsons was used to getting knocked back by trad publishers … but digital-first Bookouture turned her into a million-selling sales sensation. The name of that publishing arm is, imaginatively, Amazon Publishing , or just APub. It is an odd one, though.


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So an Amazon author is sold by … just Amazon. More than 35 APub authors have hit 1,, in sales, and that number is expanding all the time. Mostly it looks for existing authors who could fit its template, and reaches out to them. Alternatively, literary agents can call direct.

How to Publish a Book in 12222: A Step-by-Step Guide for First-Timers

Yes, they will produce a book, and it might even look OK. But their marketing promises are meaningless. They will not — not meaningfully — sell your book. Selling books is hardly necessary. Run, run, run from these awful humans. If you want a longer discussion of these appalling people and all the reasons why vanity publishing is terrible, please just read this short guide.

But the big difference is one of honesty. Lulu is one example of this kind of company, but there are plenty of others.

​Establishing a publishing record

But if the basic operation of creating a book comes garnished with flaky and unrealistic promises about marketing, some horrible high-pressure sales tactics, and topped off with a crazy price, then what you have is a vanity publisher. This option will be right for you if you just want a nicely produced book.

How to Get Traditionally Published

My sister got those photos printed up into a nice-looking photo book of the day. Your work is worth it.

How to get published: tips from the pros

And, well, OK. Some authors have done that, and done that successfully — James Oswald , for example. There are plenty of other examples. Really, you probably need to double or treble those numbers to get an agent properly interested. But once your indie career is hitting those heights, what really does trad publishing offer you?

And yes, I know some indie authors who make their money via self-publishing, but who dabble with a bit of traditional publishing on the side, really just to explore new things and to prove they have what it takes there too. But in general, I think if you self-publish, you should do so with the intention of self-publishing over the long term. A few years ago, a friend of mine, John Mitchinson, had a brainwave.

You could build a whole community around each book project. In a way, the whole thing could be like a modern reinvention of the eighteenth-century model in which people subscribed to a particular book project prior to publication. That was the idea. Unbound was the result — a Kickstarter for books in effect. And yes: you can crowdfund your book on Kickstarter too. The idea has been prodigiously successful, and the company is currently raising funds for a major expansion into the US. Where books successfully meet their pledge target, the company publishes the books and arranges distribution into bookstores, as well as foreign rights sales and the rest.

But fiction can also work on the site, again especially when that fiction is distinctive and a bit too quirky for ordinary Big 5 style publication. Of the social-as-storytelling platforms, by far the best known and most elaborate is Wattpad , with some 70 million users who are there for the purpose of storytelling rather than, say, watching fake news, trolling each other, or sharing gifs. For those type of writers, social publishing can be a brilliant first route.

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When that digital-first publication started to make waves, James sold the rights to Random House, that propelled the book and its author to mega-stardom. In effect, that one trilogy moved from social publication, to digital first publication, to Big 5 publication with literary agent attached. Yes, you can practice your craft and build an audience on Wattpad, but you still have to make the leap from that to a more formal publication channel. I said there were a load of different routes to publication — and by now you probably believe me.

But in the end, there are two broad variants:. Both routes are great. Both options will appeal to different authors — or like me the same author at different times and with different projects. The whole thing is easy-peasy. All except the very first bit — writing a great book.

That difficulty is what makes this craft of ours so frustrating — and so rewarding. Harry Bingham has been a professional author for twenty years and more.

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How to Get a Book Published: Your Guide to Success in 12222

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Redraft your manuscript like a pro, with this easy guide. How to get a book published All the major options reviewed, with pros and cons for each. The secret to getting an agent.