by Laura Peters
Every writer has a story to tell, and all they want to do is share that story with the world. There was a time when, if you wanted to tell your story, you’d have to send your manuscript off to several publishers and hope they would deem it worthy enough to print in their periodicals, or as a full-length novel. Thankfully, sharing stories has now become a lot faster thanks to the internet. Here are the best ways to get your story published.
The traditional route
If you’re specifically looking for money and recognition, then your route to publishing is the traditional one. All the books you see on Amazon or your local bookstore have been published by big publishing houses. They only take work from literary agents, so don’t even think about sending them your manuscript directly. If you believe your work is good enough, and you’re set on getting it published via a publishing house then you need to get yourself a literary agent. Agent Hunter is a useful tool to get you started.
Once you have an agent, they will be responsible for selling your manuscript to a publisher. Once it’s sold, all the magic happens; you’ll get paid an upfront advance for your work, your book will be distributed nationally and on digital platforms, and you might even get some newspaper coverage.
The downside of the traditional route is that it is very difficult to get an agent, and there is still no guarantee that they will be able to sell your work. Additionally, they might ask you to make changes to your manuscript, so the final publication isn’t your final draft. In the digital age, fortunately, we no longer have to play the waiting game. You can publish your work yourself if you’re happy to just have it in an e-Book form. Amazon charges nothing for you to upload your work and it can sell it worldwide – an astonishing change for would-be authors.
You should know that Amazon won’t pay you an advance, your work won’t appear in bookstores, and there won’t be nearly as much publicity which will affect your sales. However, if you’re happy to do a little self-promotion to get a few pre-orders, there is no reason why your book shouldn’t sell well. Ultimately, the goal was to get your story out there, not to make large amounts of money.
If you only have a series of short stories, poetry, or flash fiction, it might not be worth the effort to go down either of the two publishing options right away. Instead, you could get some feedback on your work by posting chapters or complete stories on your blog. Not only is this a good way to get response and constructive criticism, it’s also a good way to try new things and refine your techniques. Better still, if you do decide to publish in the future, you’ll have already acquired a loyal fan-base who will be willing to buy your book.
Guest post contributed by Laura Peters.