(On publishing a novel)
I am so happy to see there are more and more teenagers interested in literature and writing! It really is a fascinating domain to study – and a very nice one to work in, too. However, as I’ve been myself a teenager writer, I understand the difficulties one may have to face. That’s why I’ve decided to write this post*. I hope it will give you a helping hand.
So, you have written your novel. You’ve made sure it is tremendously created and you would like to share it with the rest of the world as you had put you soul and time into it.
You have to options at this point: whether post in on a site or publish it.
If you choose the first one, I suggest you check out Wattpad or FanFiction (use the last one if you want to write using characters from books, or animes, as there are not stories with only original characters). The reviews you may receive are not from editors but from your audience (This method could give you an overall view of what you should write about). In addition to this, you don’t need any money. You can even end up by creating your fan base; so when you publish something the `traditional` way, there will be somebody to buy your book.
If you choose to publish your novel, this post is for you. Now, again, there are two paths you may take. You have to either self-publish your book or contact a publishing house.
Ah, I know, I know! What do those things mean? Let me break it down for you.
You basically publish your book alone. It means you have to create a cover, to format the pages, possibly to take care of the distribution.
The costs are not necessarily shocking. They are quite reasonable if you ask me. (Accept it; at first, you’ll need some financial support; unless you have a job that allowed you to save some money).
1. Search for the perfect self-publish service for you. There are plenty, so don’t rush yourself. Analyse the prices, but also what the package offers you. Some do guarantee you some publicity, or distribution – some don’t.
- Take into account the reviews regarding the site!
- Read the Terms & Conditions carefully – they represent the contract between you and the provider.
2. Try to make a good cover. Watch tutorials; ask for help (if you have a skilled friend) and for feedback. When you sell a book, the first thing that catches the eye is the cover – sometimes before the title. There are many sites which provide copyright-free images you may use. Or there are sites that charge so little that the sum is insignificant.
- Make sure you are allowed to use the picture! (If it isn’t yours)
- Don’t use too many colours.
! Don’t forget that these sites (self-publishing sites) also provide services as `Create a cover`, `Formatting`, `Grammar checking`. It highly depends on the sum you want to invest.
3. Start your social platform even if your book hasn’t been published yet.
4. Be active on Facebook, Twitter etc. You don’t have a publishing house to take care of your book. It’s your duty. So share and join communities.
It makes things easier, but it is more difficult to reach one. A publishing house takes care of your grammar, formatting, cover, and distribution. Even more, the editor helps you by giving pieces of advice regarding the plot, name choice, and character development – he wants the book to sell itself, you know.
As you might have guessed, not any book is accepted. Yours has to be really good.
Don’t be afraid if you are rejected at first. It happened to many persons before and it will probably happen in the future, too.
You don’t have to hand over the full manuscript from the very beginning. The blurb, a summary, and an excerpt should be enough. If they are interested, they will contact you.
1. Pay attention to the way you address to the ones you give your book to. The first impression is very important.
2. Write the best summary you could think of – it has to be convincing and catchy.
- It shouldn’t be longer than 1-2 (max) pages.
- Write the name of the main character(s) in caps lock at first.
- Talk about the main theme and the plot, but don’t go into unimportant details.
3. Be sure your grammar is pretty good – you don’t want to make a fool out of yourself.
- I suggest you use an online corrector. It is not perfect, but it could help a lot!
4. Depending on the place you live in, do a copyright protection (there is an online site for that). The chances somebody will steal your book are low. But better be safe than sorry, right? I have also been advised to do so, and I don’t regret spending a few euros on it.
There isn’t one perfect way to go. It all depends on your situation and the outside support you benefit from. Think thoroughly before making a decision, and see what would work best for you.
Both self-publishing and house of publishing have advantages and disadvantages and neither can guarantee success.
There are writing competitions (in my country twice a year), where, as a debutant, you hand your book over to a commission, and if you win, you have your book published for free. Search on Google and see if in your region exist, too.
I hope I helped you, and don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any questions. I will do my best to answer them.
*Please bear in mind that all the pieces of advice I am giving are based on my personal experience and the books I have read regarding the subject. I cannot guarantee you a certain result if you follow them.