If you’ve already written your first novel, you should be proud of yourself. This is a significant accomplishment that so few other aspiring writers can accomplish – even if they have been writing for years. But once you’re done with this masterpiece, what can you do then? That’s the part that has many written novels languishing in the desks of their writers, just hoping to be seen by someone else besides the writer’s friends and family. Every writer wants to be published and see their words in print, but what are your options?
Get a Literary Agent
What you may not realize is that even if you’re not a famous writer, you can go out and get yourself a literary agent. This is a person that will contact publishers on your behalf to try to get your book read and possibly picked up by a major publishing house. In exchange for their services, you don’t necessarily have to pay them, but you will have to give them a percentage of the profits of your book once it is sold to a publisher.
You can find a literary agent by going online to find agents that are current accepting new clients. Just be sure to look to see what kinds of books the literary agent is currently accepting as you want to work with someone who is already knowledgeable in your genre of expertise.
Each literary agent will also have their own set of submission rules, so you will want to look for these or call their office to see what they need from you in order to evaluate the possibility of you becoming their client. Most of the time, you will need to write a cover letter, include a resume of writing experience, and your manuscript.
Find Your Own Publisher
Or you could skip the middle man that is the literary agent and do this work on your own. This will mean that you need to send your manuscript to various publishing houses to see if anyone is interested in learning more about you. The good news is that there are a number of great reference books available that can help you find suitable publishing houses for your genre, as well as listings of those publishing houses that are accepting new manuscripts right now.
Sending out your own manuscript is much more time consuming and may even be problematic as some publishing houses only like to deal with agents. However, it does allow you to remain in control of what happens to your book, who sees it, and who gets paid for it. If you should get a publishing deal on your own, you will still want to call in a lawyer to oversee the final contract process.
Publish it yourself
If you’re not looking for literary glory or if you just want to see your work in print for no other reason than to show your family and friends, you can always publish your manuscript yourself. There are a number of new self-publishing websites and companies that can help you put your words into print, and even sell them on some online booksellers’ websites.
All you need to do is to input your manuscript into their website or send your manuscript directly to these publishers. This will allow you to create an e-manuscript that can then be printed on demand or you can simply sell your manuscript as an e-book.
All of these options will help you get your words into print, but the best piece of advice if you are going for the publishing agency route is to be patient.