Many people want to write a book but don’t know where to start. Here’s an overview that explains how to publish a book in 6 easy steps.
Traditional publishing vs. self-publishing
The first major decision you need to make is whether you should go with a traditional publisher or self-publish.
Traditional publishing is the old-school method of publishing books. It involves working with a literary agent and submitting your book to a publishing house. It’s a very long and time-consuming process. After you sign a publishing contract, the publisher has full control over everything, including the title, cover design, and marketing strategy. So you have very little say in the whole publishing process. While there are some advantages with traditional publishing, such as having a professional team to work with and getting better distribution in bookstores, traditional publishing might not be the best route for most first-time authors of nonfiction books.
Self-publishing is basically doing everything yourself. You’re responsible for the topic, structure, content, design, and marketing. This is both good and bad. Good because it’s your book and your rules. Bad because you have to carry the entire weight alone. You have to find and hire the right people to help out with things like editing your manuscript and designing your cover. This adds a little bit more management overhead time.
Another important point to consider is that if you self-publish, you keep 100 percent ownership of your book. If you want to revise your book or design a new cover, you can do that because you own your book. No one else has any contractual claim to any part of it.
The traditional publishing process
If you decide to go with the traditional route, you will have to follow a specific publishing process. First, you’ll need to write the manuscript of the whole book. In some cases, you might be able to only write sample chapters of the book. (This will depend on the type of book you write, as well as on the publisher’s requirements.)
Next, you’ll need to find a literary agent who will help represent you and your work. The agent is the person who will act as…