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On Publishing Your Novel

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David Farland's got your back.


Okay, here is how you get a book published, and get it done right:

- Write the book.This might require a lot of work on your part—brainstorming a novel, drawing up the first draft, and revising it. Depending upon your natural skills and training you might need to study dozens of books on the topic, take workshops, and so on.

As you revise the book, you typically will give it out to “beta” readers, who will point out problems that you might want to fix.

You don’t go down the path toward publishing until you have your manuscript in excellent shape. Your goal is to make as much money as you can from that novel, and so you will want to make a good first impression with editors and agents. So you never send your novel out “half-baked.”

- If you are self-publishing, then you will simply format the book and upload it on places like Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, etc. Self-publishing is all that you need for romance novels and self-help books, but I don’t recommend it for people who are writing young adult, middle-grade, or thriller novels. With other genres, such as science fiction or horror, there is a lot of debate on whether you should self-publish or go with a big publisher. Self-publishing is a big topic just in itself, so there are a lot of online communities where authors talk about how to do it well. You can find groups on Facebook dedicated to the industry, where you can learn the ins and outs.

Before you go to a publisher, research your markets. That means that you go to the bookstore and look at the novels you are competing with. Study such things as the age and sex of the protagonist, the types of emotions that the book arouses, learn which books are bestsellers and why, and pay close attention to who the publishers and editors are for the books.

- Pick your desired publisher. Now, most authors ignore this step, thinking that the publisher will pick them, but do so at their own peril. You see, if you go to a small publisher who doesn’t have the funds to market your book correctly, you’ll probably find that the publisher really can’t do anything for you at all, and you’re giving your hard-earned book to someone you shouldn’t. So, go to www.publishersmarketplace.com and buy a subscription for one month. Once you’ve done that, go to the “Top Dealmakers” section and search for the best publishers in the business. There won’t be more than about eight. After that, the secondary publishers come into play. What you are looking for are publishers who know your genre, market books well, and who are cash-rich because they have a lot of books doing well. Those are the ones who can afford to treat you right and who have proven their worth in the marketplace.

- Once you know which publishers you want, do a new search on top editors. You’ll find out who the editors are who buy most frequently at the publishing house you want to use. When you know the editors’ names, you can do a search on the publisher’s website and on google to learn more about those editors and their tastes so that you can see if you might be a good fit with one of them.


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David is so on the money with this and I'm glad I got to comment, because I noticed my tally for comments was 666 and that just would not do so I had to agree so that I would be at 667.  PHEW!


Thank you, Phy, for throwing me a rope instead an anchor.

Edited by suspensewriter
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