4 ways to publish a book

Table of contents:

4 ways to publish a book
4 ways to publish a book

Publishing a book can seem more intimidating than writing it. To publish a book you have to make sure that it is the best it can be before presenting it to the representatives or publishers. Publishing the book will take a lot of research, perseverance, and patience, but it will be worth seeing in print. If you want to know how to publish a book, just follow these simple steps.


Method 1 of 4: Prepare the book for publication

Publish a Book Step 1
Publish a Book Step 1

Step 1. Recognize if you have to prepare a manuscript or a proposal

Fiction writers have to prepare a complete manuscript, while nonfiction writers have to write a solid book proposal. Knowing what to write will save you time and prove to be more professional when you present your work to the world.

  • Many fiction writers try to publish their books before they have finished the manuscript, to no avail. If you are a skilled writer working with a literary agent, then writing a few chapters, or even a proposal, will get you a contract, but most people who get started in the fictional literature business have to have the 100 book. % finished before proceeding to publication.
  • If you write about non-fiction, you first need to have a complete book proposal. For example, if you are writing a cookbook or fitness (physical fitness) book, you have to focus on the proposal. If you are working on more nonfiction literature, you have to create more sample chapters, or even a full manuscript in some cases.
  • If you've determined that you only need a proposal for the type of nonfiction you are writing, then proceed to step 6 and decide if you want to hire a literary agent or go directly to the publisher.
  • If you are writing an academic textbook, continue reading the last section and learn how to publish the book by contacting the publisher directly.
Publish a Book Step 2
Publish a Book Step 2

Step 2. Review the book

Reviewing the book can be more difficult than finishing it. Once you've written a solid draft, be it a historical novel or a thriller, you need to review it for its best before submitting it to an agent or editor. Here are some things to do as you review the book:

  • Make sure the book is as attractive as possible. Although not all books are spy novels or addictive stories, make sure readers are hooked from the start and always have a reason to keep reading.
  • Eliminate any verbiage or excess. Many agents mention that it is rare that they will accept a beginning novelist's book if it contains more than 100,000 words.
  • Check that they understand you. Regardless of whether you write a romance novel or science fiction, you have to control that you reached your goal and communicated the message at the end of the book.
  • Make sure your thoughts are as clear as possible. Your ideas may be clear to you, but do they confuse the average reader? Of course, the book may be intended for a certain audience, but members of that audience (for example, college students or nurses) need to be able to clearly understand your thoughts.
Publish a Book Step 3
Publish a Book Step 3

Step 3. Get an opinion of the book

Once you think you are really done, it is important to receive an opinion on the book to see if it is ready for publication. You may feel like it's totally perfect, but it can almost always be improved. Therefore, it is better to have a fellow writer or trusted professional give your opinion than to have an agent or editor reject it. If you ask for an opinion too early in the drafting process, you may feel repressed, so make sure you feel like the book is ready before asking for help. Here are some ways to get a feedback on the book:

  • Ask a fellow writer. A friend who knows how to write will have a better perspective on what works, and what doesn't, in a book.
  • Ask a voracious reader. Someone who reads a lot will be able to tell you if your book is captivating or if he fell asleep after the first chapter.
  • Ask whoever he knows about it. If you are writing a nonfiction book about something in particular, like business, science, or cooking, ask an expert in the field to see if you really know about it.
  • Submit the work to a writing workshop. If you have an informal writing workshop with friends or attend a writing conference, submitting a chapter of your work to a workshop can give you an understanding of different perspectives at once.
  • If you are in a master of arts (M. A.) or master of fine arts (M. F. A.) creative writing program, you may find many more people to ask for input, whether they are classmates or teachers.
  • Find a reputable editor and ask them to evaluate the manuscript. This can be very expensive, but asking the right person can help you know if the book is ready.
  • Remember to take the opinion with skepticism. Not everyone will fall in love with the book and that's okay. Therefore, it is important to receive a constructive opinion from trusted people, but keep in mind that you will not benefit from all of them. Getting a good opinion means knowing who to ask.
Publish a Book Step 4
Publish a Book Step 4

Step 4. Revise the book further if necessary

Review the book based on the comments you received; you will not regret it. Take the time to absorb the opinions and then get to work.

  • While your review should get you on the right track, you need to ask for more feedback to make sure you improved your draft.
  • After reviewing the manuscript again, put it aside for a few weeks, or even a month. Then grab it again and read it with another look to see if it is at its best.
  • Lastly, correct the style. After taking care of the big points, check your manuscript for grammatical and punctuation errors, which will make it look unprofessional and prevent readers from appreciating your hard work.
Publish a Book Step 5
Publish a Book Step 5

Step 5. Prepare the manuscript

When you feel like the manuscript is totally ready, you have to format it to meet the requirements of the agents or publishers. There are some basic rules you can follow, but you also have to look at the publishers 'websites or the agents' instructions to make sure the manuscript meets the standards. Here are some things to do:

  • Always present the manuscript double-spaced.
  • Leave a 2.5 cm (1 inch) margin on the left and right of the manuscript.
  • Don't use decorative fonts. Times New Roman is the best font to use; Courier, or the one that looks like a typist, used to be more prominent, but Times New Roman is fine.
  • List the pages. List the manuscript pages in the upper right hand side, along with your last name and the title of the book before the number.

    For example: "Smith / SKY WHITE / 1"

  • Add a cover. The cover must include the following:

    • Your name, your email address, your phone number and your address have to be on the left side of the page.
    • The title of the novel must be capitalized and centered on the page, along with your last name. For example: "WHITE SKY" on one line and "a John Smith novel" written directly below.
    • The word count has to be centered at the bottom of the page. You can round the number to the nearest 5,000; for example, write "approximately 75,000" words.
Publish a Book Step 6
Publish a Book Step 6

Step 6. Decide if you want to ask a literary agent for help or go directly to the publisher

Although signing a contract with a literary agent is very challenging, contacting a publisher directly to publish the book is even more difficult.

  • The benefit of working directly with a publisher is that you don't have to use, or pay, an agent as a middleman. The downside is that publishers rely on agents to filter submissions, so if you don't have an agent, they're unlikely to consider your book.
  • You can also work with literary agents first and then go to the publisher if you don't get what you're looking for. However, if many literary agents reject your work, it is very likely that the publishers will too.

Method 2 of 4: Publish the book with the help of a literary agent

Publish a Book Step 7
Publish a Book Step 7

Step 1. Research the market

Once you are ready to take the book to agents, you need to research the market to find a niche. Find books of a similar theme or genre to find out which area your work belongs to and see how well those books sell and who are the important authors in that area. If the book is not in a particular genre, research various types of books that resemble yours.

After researching the market, you have to be able to find a way to describe your book clearly. Is it science fiction, is it literary or historical? Is it a science fiction and historical novel? Is it literature or rather a novel for young adults? Knowing what kind of book you have will help you contact the right agent

Publish a Book Step 8
Publish a Book Step 8

Step 2. Find literary agents

Now that you know what type of agents you need to work with, it's time to find the right one to represent you. The ideal agent is one who is connected to your material, is enthusiastic about your work, and works with you to review the book and sell it to a publisher. Make sure the agent sells books in your literary genre because contacting someone else will be a waste of time. Here's how to find the right agent for you:

  • Read a reputable guide to Literary Agents. This book features thousands of literary agents, as well as what genre they specialize in, how many new clients they receive per year, and how many sales they recently made.
  • Visit Publisher’s Marketplace. Although you have to pay $ 25 per month to have full access to the site, you can see what the agents' recent sales were, what genre they sold, and who sells the most books.
  • Go to the Query Tracker site. This page lets you know which agents respond to inquiries quickly and who rarely or take months to respond. Statistics for this site are reported by other writers, so the information is not complete but it gives you an indication of how responsive some agents are. On the site you can also find the specialization of each one.
  • Visit the websites of different agents. When you find an agent who seems to be the right fit for you, visit their website to learn more about their presentation policies and what genres and clients they represent.
  • Make sure the agent accepts unsolicited submissions. Unless you have a connection, you will have to introduce yourself to the agent this way.
  • Beware of scammers posing as agents. An honest agent will never charge you to view the manuscript, as they only make money if they can sell it. Read Preditors & Editors to verify that the agent has a good reputation.
Publish a Book Step 9
Publish a Book Step 9

Step 3. Write an editorial proposal

After finding the right agent or, better yet, the right agents, it's time to prepare an editorial proposal. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the agent, to connect with the book, and give him a brief summary. It can take time to hear from the agent, so reach out to a few at a time (as long as they allow simultaneous introductions), sit back, and wait. The proposal must comply with the following format:

  • Paragraph one: introduce the book and show your interest in the agent. The following should be included in the first paragraph:

    • Start with a sentence or two that "publicizes" what the book is about. You have to be specific, original and captivating.
    • Then, mention what genre the book belongs to; that is, if it is multicultural, young adult or historical, or if it belongs to several categories. You have to mention the word count in the first paragraph as well.
    • Tell the agent why you chose it. Does it represent many books of your genre or does it represent some authors whose works are similar to yours? Do you have a personal connection with the agent? If so, mention it.
  • Paragraph two:

    summary of the book. In this paragraph you should include the following:

    • Describe what happens in the book and what themes stand out. Make the description as accurate and exciting as possible.
    • Introduce the main characters, what the knot of the story is, and why the book is important.
    • You can do this part in a maximum of one or two paragraphs.
  • Paragraph three: write a brief information about yourself. Tell the agent if you won any awards and how the book connects to your life.
  • Paragraph four: Let the agent know that the full manuscript or some sample chapters are available (if you are writing nonfiction literature) and provide your contact information. Thank you for taking the time to consider your work.
  • Follow the instructions carefully. If the agent requests a draft or sample chapters, send them attached as well.
Publish a Book Step 10
Publish a Book Step 10

Step 4. If you get an offer with an agent, sign a contract, if it seems right to you

If the agent liked your editorial proposal, they will ask you to send them some sample chapters or even the entire manuscript. If after that, he falls in love with your job, you will receive what you were dreaming about: an offer of representation! But, before signing a contract, make sure he is the ideal agent you were looking for.

  • Talk to the agent over the phone. Although, if possible, meet him in person; If you live near Manhattan, that will be easy, since many literary agents are located in New York City. When they meet, see their character and how excited they are about the book.
  • Trust your instincts. If you find that the agent seems too busy, too hurried to cut off the phone connection, or you think that he is not very excited about the book, do not sign with him. It is better to continue with the search instead of placing your book in the hands of the wrong person.
  • Ask him if you can talk to some of his clients. A good agent will be happy to give you the names of his clients so that you can chat with them and determine if he is the right one for you, or not.
  • Take a good look at your research. Make sure the agent made sales and has a list of regular customers before you start working with him.
  • Read the contract carefully. When you read that the contract is quite standard, that it states that the agent will earn about 15% of your domestic sales and 20% of your international sales, and that you feel good about signing with him, then sign the contract, send it by post. and celebrate a job well done.
Publish a Book Step 11
Publish a Book Step 11

Step 5. Review the book with the agent

Even if the agent is impressed with your work, you will almost always have to review it once, twice, or even three times before launching it. You'll need to trim the word count, make the narration more enjoyable, and answer any questions he may have.

Remember that the book is still yours and you don't have to modify everything to meet the agent's needs. Only make the changes you consider necessary

Publish a Book Step 12
Publish a Book Step 12

Step 6. Launch the book on the market

Once the agent is happy with the manuscript and you have prepared a wrapping for the book, it will take it to the publishers. This is the most infuriating part because the fate of the book becomes out of your reach. Your agent will bring the book to a list of trusted publishers from various companies, and if you are lucky, you will sign with a publisher!

Sign the contract that includes you, your agent, and the publisher

Publish a Book Step 13
Publish a Book Step 13

Step 7. Work with an editor

Now that you sold the book, you have to sign a contract with a publishing company and continue to review it with the publisher until the writing is exactly as it should be, and they also have to decide other aspects of the publication, such as when and how they will release the book and what the cover will be like.

But, you can't just sit around waiting for the release date because there is more work to be done

Publish a Book Step 14
Publish a Book Step 14

Step 8. Market the book

When you know that the book will be published, you will have to work to market it, whether through your publicist, your website, Facebook, informal reading, and through word of mouth. Do what you have to do to make the book known and increase sales when it is released.

Never stop publicizing the book, especially after publishing it. You can enjoy your triumph for a while, but remember that promoting your book is just as important as writing it

Method 3 of 4: Publish the book by contacting a publisher directly

Publish a Book Step 15
Publish a Book Step 15

Step 1. Find publishers

Visit the websites of the different publishers to see if they accept proposals or only accept requests from agents. Many publishers only accept jobs submitted to them by agents.

Find publishers who not only accept agentless submissions, but also specialize in the type of book you wrote

Publish a Book Step 16
Publish a Book Step 16

Step 2. Write an editorial proposal for the right editors

The method for writing a proposal for a publishing company is the same as for contacting an agent, so you will need to present the book and yourself and provide a summary of the work.

If the publisher is impressed with your proposal, they will ask you to submit all or part of the manuscript

Publish a Book Step 17
Publish a Book Step 17

Step 3. If they accept the book, sign a contract with a recognized publisher

If the publisher is excited about your work, they will make you an offer. Read the contract carefully and sign it if it meets your requirements.

Publish a Book Step 18
Publish a Book Step 18

Step 4. Review the work with an editor

Work with an editor to review the book until it is ready for publication.

Publish a Book Step 19
Publish a Book Step 19

Step 5. Market the book

While you wait for the book to be released, promote it by telling everyone you know about it, and those you don't, too. After publishing the book, you have to continue promoting it. You can enjoy the launch, but remember that marketing should never end.

  • Publicize the book through blogs, interviews, and readings.
  • Create a Facebook page and website to advertise the book.

Method 4 of 4: Publish the book yourself

Publish a Book Step 20
Publish a Book Step 20

Step 1. Look for self-publishing companies

Publish a Book Step 21
Publish a Book Step 21

Step 2. Create an account with the right company for you

Publish a Book Step 22
Publish a Book Step 22

Step 3. Write the book in Microsoft Word or another similar program

Most of these companies require you to upload the book as a Word file.

Publish a Book Step 23
Publish a Book Step 23

Step 4. Choose the size and type of book you want (paperback or fabric edition)

Publish a Book Step 24
Publish a Book Step 24

Step 5. After completing the necessary steps to publish the book, make it available for purchase

Provide a payment method to receive the money for each book sold

Publish a Book Step 25
Publish a Book Step 25

Step 6. Advertise the book

Start by telling family and friends to increase your chances of selling the book. Use social media and online advertising to get more reach.


  • Be wary of publishing companies that charge you a fee. Usually these editors are vanity oppressors.
  • As a beginning writer, you will be rejected many times; don't let this destroy your spirit. Many of the great writers were rejected before being accepted; few were successful with their first books. A true writer will continue to write regardless of whether or not their book is published.
  • Try to publish an excerpt from your book before taking it to an agent or publisher. This will give you credibility as a writer and show that your work has a popular appeal.
  • Always do business with credible professional editors. Any literary agent who charges a fee to read the work is not credible.
  • If you are not lucky enough to find an agent or publisher, consider publishing the book yourself.
  • If you want to connect with literary agents, attend a writing conference where you can meet and deal with agents who choose your book. Just make sure you do it when their condition is acceptable.
  • Can't find an agent? Visit the TOR post on the Macmillan site. Go to the Submissions Guidelines section and send them your presentation following their instructions. Other publishers may have the same systems, so ask them.


  • There are many untrustworthy literary agents and book publishers in the world, so do a little research before doing business with any. ! No sign a contract with an agent who charges you to read your work!

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