Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What to do When You Finish Your Book....First Forays into Exploring the Publishing World

I just finished the first draft of Chapter 5 of The MirrorMasters last night! I have to do a little editing, but hopefully by tonight it'll be finished. It'll be wonderful to finally be able to move on to the next chapter. There are still probably at least fifteen or more chapters to go, but the story is well under way.

Lately, I've been wondering what comes next for the story once all my editing is done, and the work is as polished as I can make it. As a first time book writer, it's daunting even just beginning to explore the world of publishing. I've been googling searches on literary agents like Writer's House and science fiction/fantasy publishers like Tor. There are a ton of publishers out there, I'm sure, but so far it's taken a lot of searching just to find them. Maybe I'll add them in here as I find them, so keep checking back.

There are a ton of publishing options, from traditional publishers to self publishing (and print on demand books) to simply posting your work online. I've read many pros and cons of each lately, but the general theme of it all seemed to be that it's best to try the traditional publishing route...at least at first. Search for a literary agent, who can open the doors to publishers who don't accept unsolicited manuscripts. Many publishers and literary agents also don't accept simultaneous submissiions, but it's probably best to submit to as many places who do allow for it as possible. It can be months before you receive a decision either way, and this way you maximize your chances and cut down on time. If you only submit to one publisher at a time, for example, you have to wait for the first to turn you down before trying another, and the whole process could take years. If you go the self-publishing route, it may be more difficult to be taken seriously, not to mention getting your books into actual stores. But there are a lot of options to do this. Amazon Kindle has a way to post your book with them, and Barnes and Noble now has an option to upload a book for digital viewing. But it won't be printed or available in their stores. Just be on alert for any scams involving companies, whether it's self-publishing companies or agents, that want upfront fees. Never, never get involved in something like that.

So much to think about! But for those of us who want to share our stories with the world, it's heartening to know that one way or another, we can.

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