The process of getting traditionally published
After you have written several drafts of your book, and are in the process of getting it ready to reach an audience, you may wonder how to publish it and the necessary steps to take.
First, the are two different types of publishing as I have mentioned before, https://www.epsilon.co.ke/2019/05/13/the-amazing-world-of-self-publishing/ (self publishing) and https://www.epsilon.co.ke/2020/10/12/how-to-pitch-to-traditional-publishers/ (traditional publishing). Today, however, our focus shall be on traditional publishing. With traditional publishing, this is where the publishing house incurs the full cost of production after they have approved your work and purchased it.
To begin, you first need to identify your book genre. For example literary fiction Vs. genre fiction; whereas literary fiction emphasizes more on meaning and merit, genre fiction is more about entertainment allowing the reader to sort of escape reality. Identify the genre after you have already finished writing and want to submit your work to a publisher. When a theme/genre presents itself after you are done with the first draft, you can now consider to re-write your work in order to fit into the chosen genre.
Develop a synopsis for your work and a sample chapter. For a novel, a synopsis involves writing everything that happens in the right order and in the present tense. The synopsis should be brief (not go beyond two pages) and intriguing so that it can harness the reader’s attention. For the sample chapters, some literary agents might want the synopsis plus two chapters while others might ask for a certain number of words that appear in the book. Others may ask for the full material, therefore, make sure that your manuscript is ready as a whole.
A query letter to a literary agent is then needed which basically asks them if they can be your agent. Depending on their submission requirements, you will see what else is needed as you send the query letter. After you have sent the query letter and gotten a response (which might be to send your whole manuscript or sample material) you can now see how to go about this next step.
Getting an agent is quite literally one of the most exciting feelings as an author. Make sure to ask all the right questions and ensure you are picking the right agent for your work. Talk about your writing, what their terms are, and how they work with their clients. A good agent will help develop your career as a writer and push you in the right direction. Therefore, think of working with them as having a long-term relationship to see if they are the right match.
Thereafter, you will need legal paperwork. The two contracts are those from the literary agent (agency agreement) and that from the publishing house ( a publishing contract). For the latter, your literary agent can have this sorted out on your behalf).
For the payment from the publishing house, this may vary depending on whether you are going to a small or big publishing house and they then determine how well your book will do.
As always, remember to build your online network/platform before you put out your work. This will provide a solid base for you to market your work and for the publishers to start from. Also, get educated before you start the publishing process; arm yourself with the necessary information and attend events or create connections that can aid you in learning more about the publishing world and the market.