How to get a book published

One of the things that top everybody’s wish list, perhaps including yours, is to have your book published. However, most aspiring writers don’t understand the procedure of digital publishing. They think that writing a book, getting someone to edit it, and publishing it is the end of everything.

Old Manuscript

Image Credit: liz west

However, the truth is that it is only the beginning of a long journey to success. There are many things associated with getting published that you need to know if you want to have a good launch. This article provides the ultimate guide on how to get a book published.

Pick a topic for your book

Book selling is pretty much about solving problems. Choosing the topic of your book is the initial stage of publishing a book since this will determine the kind of online publishing route that you take. However, it is only a single step along the way. At this point you can start to think about sales and marketing by picking topics that are trending. If you run a proper market research and put a lot of emphasis on what the public wants, it will be easier to sell once it is launched.

Proof read your work

Proof reading is rarely mentioned, but it is crucially important in getting a book published. Re-reading your book is just as vital as writing it. Just because the book will be published electronically does not excuse you from conducting this important step. The content of your book must be error-free. The spelling and grammar must be perfect otherwise it will hurt chances of your book selling widely. You don’t have to hire a reader. Just leave a few days between completing your book and reading it yourself, preferably out loud.


Image Credit: liz west

Format your manuscript

Your book should be formatted in a certain manner in order to appeal to the readers. A book that resembles essays, for instance, will not only encounter some resistance from the readers, but self-publishing companies as well. Publishers will only accept a book that fits into a category that readers would already be acquainted with. It is a global industry standard that most online publisher companies are looking for books that will sell and not those that will come and go fast with barely a notice.

Choose a file format

There are a number of technicalities few people will tell you about when you are trying to learn how to publish a book. While going into full blown technical details is beyond the scope of this article, there is an important decision that you need to make before pushing the book to the publishing company: which file format you are going to use for your book.

It is easy to write your eBook in just about any word processing software you would like, like Microsoft Word or Open Office. But bear in mind your eBook would have to be in among the following formats for Amazon to take it:

  • Mobipocket (.mobi or.prc)
  • Word (.doc or.docx)
  • Adobe PDF (.pdf)
  • ePub (.epub)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Plain Text (.txt)
  • HTML (.zip,.htm, or.html)

Create an appealing cover

The cover should be designed to persuade the readers to buy your book. You need to have a photo editor without which the cover will look boring and will not attract readers. Don’t just go for any stock photo service you stumble upon on the web as most of them are copyright protected and even the ones that Google says are for commercial use are difficult to work with on such digital publishing outlets as Amazon. Look for a royalty free image website and pick images that have no restrictions on their use.


Image Credit: Sarah Reid

Write a great description

The main goal of any Amazon author is to get their book noticed by the reader. Nowadays, readers browse through hundreds of pages of online book results. Getting them to buy your book is what you need to achieve, and a great description is the first stage towards selling your book. The description of your book must be packed with keywords as well as keyword phrases relevant to what browsers are looking for. A book description, without a shadow of doubt, is a sales presentation in the print.

Hire a designer

Although some sites provide a simple DIY formula to design the cover of your book, it is advisable to find a designer to assist you not only with the cover but with the overall design of the book. Remember that you owe it to your work to give it the utmost quality possible. We have seen many great books getting negative reviews online since they were poorly designed. We strongly suggest searching for a graphic design institution for referrals or looking for an experienced designer on Elance or oDesk.

Get a professional agent

If you don’t feel confident enough to publish your own book, an agent will take care of all the work including searching, negotiating and choosing a publisher. In most cases, this won’t cost you any cash up-front but your agent will need to be paid a certain percentage of the profits generated from the sale of the book. Keep in mind that every agent has his own set of rules, so be ready to look around, assess and negotiate. Note, however, that a lot of book publishing houses prefer dealing with reputable agents. So you need to seek a trustworthy agent.


Image Credit: Maria Elena

Self-publish your book

Although self-publishing on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is the natural first choice, as they are the world’s largest self-publishing platform, it is not the only one in existence. There are other self-publishing companies that you can make use of. Most of these websites can publish your book and they are an excellent opportunity for authors who want to publish as many books as they would wish. Among the finest of these is Smash Words. This platform will help have your book published for iPhones, Kobos, Nooks and other devices, which are nice to have on top of the Amazon Kindle platform.

Go to print

It is not just Amazon that will allow an author to publish their book for free. There are a number of the print-on-demand publishers out there who won’t charge a penny when you publish your manuscript with them. Instead, they will give you an ISBN number and typically a limited distribution for your newly launched book at no cost. Some do the editing, distribution, the selling, and in many cases, they even do the promotion and marketing for the author for free.

Life after publishing

While a number of self-publishing sites make it easy for authors to publish their book, they don’t market or promote these books. When you self-publish on these platforms, you have to market the book on your own. Nevertheless, some of these websites have groups that assist to facilitate the procedure. There are ready-made outlets likes Amazon that are set to sell your manuscript without delay. All of this makes selling your book easier.

It is not only how to write a book, but how to get published

Most authors say that writing books is the most difficult part of being an author. But once you gain some practice and get to know how to write a book, the real challenge starts when you try to publish your work, especially if you are a beginner. No need to dread though. The tips above will go a long way in helping you know how to get a book published.


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