How to Get Published: Traditional Publishing
Traditional publishing is the route most associated with the term "publishing." Most publishers require you to find a literary agent to represent you and your manuscript. The agent will pitch your book to traditional publishers and potentially sell the rights if a publisher is interested
1. Query Literary Agents
Send query letters and manuscript samples to literary agents prompting them to represent you and your book. The process of finding a literary agent can take months, if not longer.
2. Revise Manuscript
Your literary agent will likely review your manuscript and work with you to tighten it up with revisions before they pitch it to traditional publishers.
3. Agent Pitches to Publishers
Once you and your literary agent feel your manuscript is in tip-top shape, they will pitch your story to editors at traditional publishing companies.
4. Contract & Advance Offer
Based on market trends, the quality of the book and the publisher's willingness to take a financial risk, a traditional publisher will decide to pass on the project or move forward with your book, offer a contract and a monetary advance.
Your literary agent will work between you and the publishing company on your behalf to negotiate your contract terms and how much money you'll receive as an advance. Your literary agent will also earn a portion from these negotiations.
6. Additional Editing
Your new publisher will likely put your book through several rounds of editing, indicating any areas that need to be addressed and reworked. This part of the process can take several months to a year or more.
7. Book is Designed
Once all editing revisions are complete, your book will undergo design to format the interior. Your cover will also be developed. The designs will be influenced by market trends and decisions will be made by the artistic team.
8. Marketing Plan
Most authors will have a galley copy available to send to reviewers, the media and book retailers to generate pre-release buzz for the book. Books by first-time authors will not usually receive a targeted marketing plan from the publisher; it will be the author's responsibility to drive the marketing for the book. Big marketing money is typically spent on promoting books by A-list authors who generate sizable sales numbers.
9. Release Book
The finalized files for your book will be sent to a printer, who will print the copies of your book to be distributed to wholesalers, retailers and warehouses. This point can occur anywhere from one to two years after your book is acquired.
Once your book generates sales, your publisher will take funds from your earnings to compensate for the initial investment they made to acquire your book. You will begin to earn royalties once the publisher has earned their money back.