How To Get a Book Published For The First Time (Without Experience)

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It's no secret that getting your book published can be a complex process. There are many factors at play, and not everyone has the experience to navigate them all successfully. 

For those without experience, it's easy to get lost in the sea of information out there on how to go about getting your book published for the first time. 

This article will continue to provide helpful tips on doing just that.

1. Choose a genre

You can write a book in many different genres, but choosing the one that is right for your work will help ensure it sells after being published. Thankfully, the advancements in book technology have made it easier for first-time authors to self-publish and market their books.

How To Get a Book Published

You don't have to have the experience as a writer to get your work published, but you should clearly understand the genre you are writing in.

Some popular genres include: 

  • Romance
  • Mystery/Suspense
  • Thriller
  • Historical Fiction
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Nonfiction (memoirs, self-help, etc.)

Choose a genre that you are knowledgeable in or interested in writing about. There are many courses to help first-time authors learn the basics of different genres, so make sure you take advantage of them if needed before publishing your book.

If nothing else, researching popular books within each genre will give you great insight into what readers like and expect from their purchases. It is good to know what works well for similar stories when self-publishing your work. 

2. Ask for feedback for your manuscript and edit

It's essential to get feedback for your manuscript to ensure you meet readers' needs. You may want to consider preparing a questionnaire or survey that asks what readers expect from the book, how they would prefer it be written and delivered (i.e., text, audio), any topics they would like included in addition to those already outlined, etc. 

This will help you write an engaging story while ensuring that your target audience is satisfied with it throughout its creation.

When deciding who should review your work, make sure their opinions are genuine by giving them something worthwhile in return, such as early access to the final product before it's published or some other incentive depending on their experience level and expertise within this subject matter area. Whether choosing friends/family members/colleagues or professionals, be sure to have someone with an eagle eye who can provide constructive criticism without insulting your work.

With the feedback you receive, go over the manuscript again and ensure you've made any necessary changes. Continue this process until it's polished enough to be shared with publishers. 

3. Research the market for the genre

It's essential to do your research before submitting your manuscript to a publishing house. That means finding the right market for your game and ensuring an audience for it. You don't want to use your precious time writing a book no one wants to read.

There are several ways to know if there is an audience for your genre: 

  • Look online for similar books and see how many results come up in Google search. The more results, the more popular the topic is.
  • Check Amazon sales ranks for similar titles. The higher the rankings, the more popular the book is.
  • See if there are any related message boards or discussion groups online where people talk about the type of book. If so, join in the conversation and ask if anyone is interested in reading a book like yours.
  • Check out how many people are following your competitors on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or Pinterest to see if there's an audience for this type of game. This can be done by Googling "<competitor name>" + "followers."
  • If you know someone who has already had success publishing books similar to yours, find out what they did to get published. Ask them about their experiences with different publishers and the editing process so you better understand what to expect when submitting your manuscript. You might even want to consider hiring that author as editor instead of using one from the publisher so they can provide feedback before you submit your manuscript.

4. Find a book agent

Getting a publishing agent is the key to getting a book published. Book agents are not easy to find because they do all of their work by word of mouth, but many resources can help you in your search. 

Find a book agent

One site used for finding an agent is Agent Query. Here you type in what kind of material you have written, and it will give you a list of active literary agencies that represent similar authors or genres as yourself. 

It's free to sign up on this website, but unfortunately, searching through the options takes time so use Google instead since it's much faster! If any agency requests more information about your manuscript after signing up here, make sure to respond ASAP; otherwise, they might move on to the next person.

What to look for in an agent

Remember, this is serious business, and it means finding the right agent to represent your work. You want someone with a good reputation who knows the publishing industry well and has contacts within it. An agent should also get you a book deal with a reputable publishing house.

Do some research on literary agents and find one that is the best fit for you and your work. Ensure that you read their submission guidelines carefully, as they can vary from agent to agent. Also, remember that an agent typically takes 15-20% of your royalties, so keep that in mind when negotiating terms. 

5. Write a query letter to the agent and wait to be accepted

You've written a book, congratulations! The next step is to query agents and hope that one of them accepts your work. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that an agent will accept your work, but it's worth a shot.

Your query letter should be professional and well-written. It should include the following: 

  • A summary of your book
  • The genre of your book
  • Why you write the book
  • Who the target audience is
  • What makes your book unique

Make sure to personalize each letter to the agent you're querying. You can find a list of literary agents online.

Once you've sent out your queries, wait patiently and see what happens. You may get rejected right away or after a few months. In the meantime, work on another book to send out queries for while you wait! 

6. Get a publisher

Your agent should assist you in getting a good publisher. When it comes to finding a perfect publisher, your agent will take care of this. However, if you don't have an agent and want to look for a publisher on your own, make sure that the publisher is reputable and experienced enough in publishing books like yours. 

Get a publisher

If you are already well-known as an author or expert with expertise related to those who read books similar to yours (for instance: marketing), consider approaching publishers who publish authors like yourself. They may be more open than others because their audience would love reading what they produce; thus, increasing sales revenue for them.

Once you've got a publisher, you need to get a good editor who will work with the publishers. It would be best to ask for referrals from your author friends or search online yourself. 

As mentioned before, make sure that this person has experience editing books of similar nature as yours because they would have a better idea of what changes need to be done to become interesting reads for readers like those who read books published by your publisher.

Finally, if you've got an agent and already have great contacts with authors and editors, it is still important not to rely solely on these connections too much, mainly when submitting manuscripts to publishing companies since most employees there don't know about their clients' past works yet nor how well-received they were at first.

So try to work with the publishers directly to make sure that they see your book as a product of their publishing company. 

Traditional publishing vs. self-publishing

Not everyone can get published by traditional means, right? There's one way people do it all the time, though- self-publishing. If you want to get your book out there and don't have connections in the industry, this is a great way to go. You'll need to put in some work up front, but it's worth it if you're serious about getting your book out there.

There are a few different ways to self-publish: traditional publishing, subsidy publishing, and vanity publishing. With traditional self-publishing, you handle all the printing and distribution yourself. This can be costly and time-consuming, but more opportunities for publicity and royalties are available. Subsidy publishers offer more services like editing and marketing, but they take a larger share of profits. Vanity publishers do everything for you- from editorial help to printing- but they're the most expensive option.

No matter the route you take, there are a few things you need to do before your book hits store shelves: 

Self-publishing can be a lot of work, but it's worth it if you're serious about getting your book out there. 

Final thought: how to get a book published for the first time (without experience)

So you’ve written a book, and you want to get it published? That’s great! Publishing a book can be an exciting (and sometimes daunting) experience. 

But don’t worry, mentioned above is an essential guide to getting your book published without expertise. You can get your book published and launched into the world by following these steps!

Visit Publishing Profits for tips when planning a book launch.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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