How To Publish A Book – Expert Advice From Jane Friedman

How To Publish A BookEven though this site contains information mainly for self publishers, there are many of you who, even though you have been selling well on Amazon, would jump at the chance to be picked up by a traditional publisher. However much a headache it is to submit and get rejected over and over again, the thought of not having to do all the marketing of your own book does probably sound nice at times.

Self publishing is a wonderful way for just about anyone to get their work out there on the market without having to worry about the hassle and frustration of pleasing a literary agent, but it does require you to wear more than just a ‘writing’ hat. You also have to put on the hat of ‘marketer’ and ‘promoter’.

The other day I came across a post called Start Here: How To Get Your Book Published by Jane Friedmanco-founder and publisher of Scratch, a magazine about writing and money.  She has more than 15 years of experience inside the book, magazine, and literary publishing industries. The post was all about how to get your book published……by a traditional publisher. 

At first, I kind of cringed, due to my last (and only) encounter with a traditional publisher. (A writing contest I did not win…hey, I know, you can’t win them all, right) but I continued to read through the article to the end, and have to admit, she has some very insightful advice for anyone wanting to go that route.

She has a mammoth check list of steps to take before submission, and she walks you through things like how to write book proposals, how to write query letters, how to find an agent, and where to find good writing conferences.

She even touches briefly on self publishing:

Such options may afford you the ability to hold your book in your hands, but it will not get your physical book into stores or lead to many sales unless you’re willing to put significant and persistent effort into marketing and promotion. Most self-published authors find that selling their book is just as hard—if not harder than—finding a publisher or agent.

To the credit of many who self-publish, independent authors can be fiercely passionate about their work and their process, and much happier and satisfied going it alone. But those who succeed and profit often devote years of their life, if not their entire lives, to marketing and promoting their work, and have a flair for entrepreneurship. In short: It’s a ton of work, like starting a small business (if you do it right).

You can read the full article here.

While I agree that it takes hard work and dedication to write, market, and promote your self published book, I 100% believe that self publishers can be just as successful, if not more successful at times, than authors who contract with traditional publishers.

I definitely don’t think it’s impossible by any stretch of the imagination to achieve success with self publishing. I also believe that, in the long run, no one is going to be a better advocate of your work than you. I think I would be totally stressed out if I had to work with traditional publishers. It would wear me down to constantly be chopping sections of my books out because Agent XYZ doesn’t like this or that. Some people thrive in environments like this. However, I am content (might I even say thrilled) that there  are platforms for those of us who want to be in charge of our own work and our own destinies.

But for those who would like to try their hand at working with a traditional publisher, Jane’s article is definitely a great starting place!


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