These Tips on How To Publish A Book are for your inner author. After winning the 2016 Silver Birch Honour Award…I’m back to the grind of sending queries and writing proposals. These Tips on How To Publish A Book helped me get my first two book deals…and maybe they can help you get your own book contract…
Tips on How To Publish A Book
First off, you write that book. Whether it be kids’ non-fiction, YA fantasy, a recipe book, or adult novel…you have to get down to it and start drafting (this is often the hardest part of publishing a book). You need to do the grunt work.
As a non-fiction kids’ writer…I tend to write off a chapter outline. This not only organizes my book – it organizes my mind in what’s-next-to-write. Then, I write. Chapter by chapter. I connect things. I research my non-fiction (and keep a transcript of my research in case anyone ever asks). I write and write (generally, for months).
Then I edit. Until, I have 3 solid chapters to query.
Next, you need to know HOW TO WRITE A BOOK PROPOSAL
Book proposals can be more challenging than a manuscript. Really. With a manuscript, you are inspired to write. A book proposal is a have to write — you cannot query without it. A book proposal is the business of publishing where you have to look at your book’s hook, why you are the writer to bring this idea to market, your platform (social media is always a good platform), and market analysis of competing books.
Once you have a manuscript sample and book proposal…you need to research book publishers…
My list of Canadian children’s book publishers is one of the most popular posts on Parent Club (I guess I’m not the only one sending queries these days).
You do need to research to find the right fit (for both you and a potential publisher). Read a publisher’s books pages to see what types of books they publish, as well as Author’s Guidelines and Submissions pages to see exactly what they require for submissions. Some take email submissions while others are snail mail only. Some require one sample chapter while others want a complete manuscript (for non-fiction — three sample chapters are usually the norm).
Then, keep a spreadsheet of who you query, date, and method of query. This will help you track queries.
Finally, if you get a contract from queries…have a literary specialist have a look over the contract (a lawyer or paralegal can do this too). This will give you peace of mind that the contract is in your best interest.