From Writing to Publication: How to Become a Published Author


Penning a novel, short story, script or even an anthology of poetry is never easy. You may have the plot mapped out in your head, and loosely translated in a notepad, but sitting down and creating those characters and worlds residing in your head is challenging. Once you’ve found the time and perseverance to finally sit down and type your story into completion, you’re excited to push it out of the nest and watch it soar – after all, it’s a hefty accomplishment.

Yet, trying to become published can be somewhat more troubling than the writing itself, and with so many authors out there, getting noticed can be taxing. Publishing houses are filled with manuscripts, so you need to do everything in your power to standout. You must also satisfy the requirements different publishing houses have; this can be anything from changing the layout of the front page, to ensuring there’s a personalized cover letter attached to your work.

There is, however, also a wealth of other routes to becoming published; especially in today’s digital climate. Therefore, here are two popular, and successful ways, to get your work published, so you can start writing the sequel.

The Traditional Publishing Route

When many people dream of publishing their work, they envision collaborating with a traditional publishing house, such as Penguin and Harper Collins. This method is popular, so expect fierce competition. However, if your work catches someone’s eye and becomes a raging success, then you’ll find the publication of your other works far easier.

  1. Before you send out your manuscript, you’ll want to enlist the help of a literary agent. This is because some of the bigger publishing houses will only take work from these agents, so make sure you find one that is reputable and handles current, successful clients. Once you have a literary agent, they will take care of ‘selling’ your manuscript to the big publishers.
  2. For the smaller publishing companies, you can send your manuscripts to them directly. However, ensure you follow their specific guidelines, and that you make your manuscript as appealing possible. Send both a digital and hard copy; make sure there’s a letter and brief, but powerful, synopsis attached. When presenting your hard copy, place it in a personalized folder, which can be found at
  3. Once your work has been accepted, the publisher will invest from the editorial and design work stage, to the sales and marketing. There will be national distribution of your novel, and reviews in newspapers and online.
The Digital Publishing Route

Nowadays, there is more opportunity due to the internet, offering a solution to authors who are struggling to get an agent to take on their work. Therefore, digital platforms such as Amazon means you can upload your novel for an e-reading experience, and sell it worldwide. You can also pay to have your novel printed via CreateSpace, and ask local bookstores to sell a paper copy of your work.

  1. Digital publishing, however, does not mean that you are guaranteed huge success. In fact, you have to be extremely proactive in nature, and market yourself and your novel in your own time. Therefore, create social media pages in advance, create a stunning book cover, and hire a professional editor to go through your work so your book is exceptional and free from mistakes. If your novel falls into a particular niche, then ask fans to review your novel.
  2. Use the power of word-of-mouth. Have your novel printed, and ask bookstores to sell your work free of charge. Once you’ve gathered some sway, and people are leaving good reviews and you’ve noticed your piece climbing the digital ranks, contact a literary agent and see if they can help you enter the traditional realm of publishing for your next novel.

Top tip: Some genres are more successful than others, and are considered digital-friendly, such as crime, romance, science fiction, fantasy and horror.
Becoming published is an art in itself.

Even the most successful of authors have struggled with getting their novels out, into the bookstores. However, persist, and if your novel is good enough, it will eventually be noticed.

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