1-How do I get a publisher? In order to get a publisher, you need to find an agent. A few publishers will consider writers with no agents, but the typical submission route sees an agent pitching your work to publishers
2-Who are agents? Agents are experts in the book business. They consider hundreds of books a day (I’ll explain how in a different post), choose a few clients a year that they think have the potential of becoming bestsellers and try to pitch those to publishers. If you did get an agent they are your best bookish friend!
3-What do agents do? They select authors as clients and try to get them good deals with publishers. They are paid when the writer is paid. Never give money to anyone to read your work! A serious agent would never ask for money.
4-What don’t agents do? They don’t advertise your book
5-How do I get an agent? To get an agent you have to write a query letter (future post on how to do that). In fact, on average, you have to write about 100 queries to find an agent and that is only if your book is prime stuff. An alternative is to take part in "pitching competitions" like PitMad on twitter._
6-How do I select which agent is right for me? Don’t flood all the literary agents of the world at once. Choose two or three who published books you liked and are similar to yours. Check AgentQuery to find agents open to submissions interested in your genre. Do some research on them, make sure they are a good fit and be ready for rejection.
7-Why go traditional? Publishers and agents have a ton of experience.They will guarantee that your book is the best it can be. There will be no typos, the cover and format will be impeccable, they will distribute your book in bookstores countrywide. It will have the best title ever. So, if you have the time to pursue it, go for it!
8-What are the disadvantages of a publisher? Not finding one, most of the time. Spending a year writing query letters and being rejected. Spending another year to find a publisher and close to another year to see the book in stores. Losing some of the creative freedom (they’ll decide your cover, title, illustrations, although of course you do have a saying in it!)
9-What are the advantages of independent publishing? Your revenue per book will be much higher! Yes, amazon takes a cut, but you still make much more then 15% per book. You have complete freedom over your book. Your book can be published in a jiffy. With print on demand you don’t have to prepay paper copies on your books.
11-So, traditional or independent publishing? It takes on average about a year to find an agent. Only 5% of authors with an agent get a book deal. A pretty good book deal is a $1,000 advance and 15% on every book sold after that. First time authors, on average, sell 400 books and will have to pay back the publisher for unsold books over their advance, let’s say return $200 of the original grand. Wanna cry? Go right ahead.
So? Well, it’s up to you. I decided to self publish my first book (December 1st, YAY!). If I manage to do well with it, then I have a better chance to get an agent and a better publisher deal :)
Regardless of the route you choose, publishing it’s going to be a ton of work (if you actually want to sell some books). So, how do you market? Well, that’s for another post :)
Happy writing ^_^