How to Become a Published Author

By Jeri McBryde , last updated January 6, 2012

To the published author of a book, you first must write a good book. All books should be your best work. Write, revise, and re-write. Have a professional or knowledgeable friend read the manuscript, looking for gaps or holes in the story line. Grammar and spelling should be correct. You want to send in a polish product. Know your market, sending to publishers that are interested in your work. Science fiction should never be sent to romance or mystery publishers.

For fiction, you’ll need a plot with an intriguing beginning, middle and end. The novel’s characters should be people the reader will care about with great motivation, goals and conflicts to carry the story. Non-fiction authors need to be an expert on their subject. The subject should be timely and written in a way that the ordinary reader can understand. Data should be included that backs up the information given.

Traditional or commercial publishers will get that book on the bookstores shelves. Top companies usually will look only at agented manuscripts. Never send an unsolicited manuscript. First send a query letter or proposal. If interested, they will ask for a synopsis and three chapters. Children’s publishers generally ask for the completed manuscripts. The publisher will handle all editing, marketing, advertising, accounting and will pay royalties. There is never any charge or required investment by the author.

A subsidy publisher requires the author to contribute to the costs of printing and publishing their book. However, the company also puts its own money into the project. The publisher also takes care of editing, marketing and distributing the book. The company has ownership of some of the book rights. The publisher pays the author royalties,

Self publishing is easier than ever with today’s technology. You can hire a company to print your book or you can do it yourself with desktop publishing and other computer programs. You need to be at easy with computer technology and graphic design. The downside is that you have to handle everything involved in selling a book yourself. This is includes paying taxes, advertising and selling the book. You can market the book at conventions, book club meetings and small bookstores. The upside is that you have complete control over book rights and profits.

E-books are fast becoming the norm in this electronic age. Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook e-books are selling and are nipping at the heels of paper books. Searching the internet, you’ll find programs that will guide you through the steps needed to up load your manuscript. E-books are also sold that deal with how to publish with Kindle and Nooks. With e-books, you are responsible for the editing and designing of your book. Marketing your book yourself on the social networks will increase your sells. E-books pay royalties to the author

Before signing any book contract have a lawyer familiar with publishing or an agent to go over the fine details. Congratulations, you are now a publisher author.

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