When we go to the book store, we see hundreds of books. Behind each of these books is an author who put lots of time, hard work, and dedication into writing their book. While there are hundreds of authors published, there are many more wannabe authors who either write a book and dream of getting it published, or dream of getting a book published that they have yet to write.
How do you get a book published if you are not already an accomplished author? There are two main ways to get a book published:
1. Get a literary agent and publish through a traditional author. This is how we most often think of getting a book published. How do you get a literary agent? First, you write a book, short stories, or whatever it is you want to get published and start your career with.
Then, you send out query letters to literary agents that you are interested in. A query letter is just a letter asking an agent to consider your piece. It is similar to a sales piece. Be very brief but try to catch their attention. Do not include an excerpt. If they are interested, they will contact you.
Once you've landed an agent that truly believes in your writing, talent, and book, they will help you find a publisher that feels the same way. When you are ready to get published, your agent and publisher will help you with marketing and all that good book publishing stuff.
You could go directly to the publisher, but very few, if not no publishers will accept your work this way. The best way is to go through an agent because they are more trusted and will help you out a lot as well.
2..Self-publish your book. The second way to get a book published is to self-publish it. This way, you could either use a print-on-demand method where you do not have to pay up front costs or only small costs, or you can use a self-publisher where you purchase a certain amount of books ahead of time. The latter option is often of better quality.
The down-side to self-publishing is that you have to do all the marketing. There are no well-known agents or publishers that will get you noticed. Your best bet if you go this way is to study up and really learn about how to market a book before-hand. There are endless ways you can do it especially today with the internet. You need to learn about pre-selling the book before it's even out and how to really get the word out.
Also, with self-publishing, you are in charge of proofreading and making sure it's perfect. There are no professional editors that are perfecting your piece that has years of experience with best-sellers, unless you are able to hire one. For some, this is a welcome challenge just like the marketing. For others, they are not even sure of their own talent and they want to let the editors and publishers decide if what they have is really all that good.
You could choose either way. Some people try and try with traditional publishers and get turned down time after time. They believe their book has great potential and decide to self-publish. Sometimes they are a success, sometimes they fall flat on their face. I suggest you have trusted friends and family read your book before you go any route. Make sure they will not just tell you what you want to hear but will be use constructive criticism on your book.