My favorite of all of my work-at-home endeavors has always been writing. Whether it’s blogging like this, freelancing as a writer for others, or weaving long tales, I love it. I’ve had poetry and short stories published over the years, but this year I’ve struck out to finish and present my first full-length novel.
I’m excited and I’m terrified. I have no idea what I’m doing, so my beloved readers can learn as I do. Starting a blog is easy. You pick a host, install a theme, and start writing. Sometimes it costs a little to start and sometimes it’s free. Getting a book out into the world is a much bigger and significantly harder goal to accomplish. Especially if you don’t plan on doing all of the legwork yourself.
Self-Publishing Your E-Book Is Popular
Self-Publishing has continued to grow over the last few years as authors embrace ebook formats and Amazon’s self-publishing platform. This is a great way for authors to start their careers if they’re interested in getting their work out as quickly as possible and are concentrating on that ebook format and the realm of the internet. It’s extremely accessible and affordable, but that also means tons and tons of competition from like-minded authors.
That’s just not for me though. I own an extensive library on my Kindle, but I also have a bigger library of paper-and-ink books that I prefer. I’ll never be able to imagine taking out my tablet and its limited battery capacity over packing up a book to sit out in the sunshine with. It’s just not the same. That’s why I’m passionately pursuing a traditional publisher.
Picking A Publisher to Pitch
If you’re confident enough in your story, why not shoot for the stars? I’ve written both science fiction and fantasy and enjoy them both equally. About 8,000 words of the fantasy novel got pushed aside and saved safely on the hard drive when I had a brilliant must-write-it-now inspiration for a science fiction novel. It’s been my daily pursuit ever since then, even going so far as having nights where I’ve sat on a collage site selecting costume pieces to describe for each character. I have every bit of confidence that this will be spectacular and I want to get it into as many hands as possible.
The first companies that come to mind for my genre are Tor Books and Pyr. Rather than do what some other authors I’ve befriended have done (searched a list for publishers and picked at random in frustration) I simply looked in my own library. Look through your own collection of books. Pick out your favorites. Do you remember if any of them were featured on end-caps in the bookstore? Were there any that got extra stands, special attention, or good press releases? Tor published one of my all-time favorite fantasy series, The Sword of Truth, and also has a list of stand out science fiction. With either of these companies, I know I’d be in great company.
I’ve spoken with two literary agents (Yes, I’m considering shelling out the money for one.) and both have asked what publishers I’d like to pitch too. Even if you are asking someone else to do the pitching, you still should have a good understanding of who you’re going to be pursuing.
- Go to your local bookstore and look at what publishers are purchasing the extra marketing for their authors.
- Look at who publishes the books that you’ve purchased.
- Research online who are the best performing publishers in your genre.
- Make a list for your agent or yourself and work from the top.
Start with your preference and if you are rejected, work your way down the list. Even if you don’t manage to get your book with the publisher of your choice at first, don’t despair. You could always be the first big thing for a smaller publisher if you partner with them to help make the marketing great!