With this reprint, Publetariat welcomes Patricia Benesh of AuthorAssist.com as a regular Publetariat Contributor. While the article was originally aimed at those seeking mainstream publication, its advice is equally applicable to an indie book.
6 Basic Principles for Getting Your Book Published:
With all the talk about getting a book published, writers can get lost in the technical process of how to get a book published and forget the basics: to get your book published (or self-published), you must have a quality manuscript. At AuthorAssist, we coach our writers to adhere to basic writing principles. In this article, we take a step back and look at the critical principles of fiction writing.
1. Know your genre and your audience. Most fiction falls into one category or another–or you may be writing a mixed genre novel. Regardless of genre, to get your book published, it is essential that you meet your readers’ expectations. If you are writing a mystery, your readers expect your manuscript to conform to certain conventions regarding the crime and solving it. Not that you are writing a formulaic or cookie-cutter manuscript, but you are adhering to genre standards. You understand that readers approach a mystery differently than a science-fiction or romance novel. Genre affects the plot, the pace, and even the title of your book. It affects your query letter and who you query among literary agents and publishers and it affects how your book is marketed and distributed. The best way to know your audience expectations is to read what they are reading-read extensively in your genre. Become familiar with popular authors in your genre and participate in the associated reading/writing community. In doing so, you begin to build readership for your book.
2. Write what you know. This oft-quoted principle is attributed to the quintessential American novelist, Mark Twain. In thinking about getting your book published, capitalize on your unique experiences and the quirky people you have encountered. Enhance and embellish with your personal observations. Create your special hook. Write your novel so it is different in some way-so it attracts-and holds interest. Think ahead to the title, summary blurb, and other descriptive material-and how you will write it to grab readers’ attention.
3. Tell a good story. Start off with a bang to hook in readers immediately. Develop memorable characters that your readers will love to love–or hate. Put some surprises in your plot that will shake up readers and keep them guessing and turning pages. Avoid the tendency to sag in the middle; keep up the pace throughout.
4. Have your work professionally edited. In thinking about how to get your book published, remember that your book is a reflection of you. Now that you have spent hours, weeks, months, maybe years writing it, you will want to take the time to have it professionally edited. A professionally edited manuscript shines because extraneous material has been deleted (as well as grammatical mistakes and typos) so the work flows with ease. A polished manuscript makes all the difference.
5. Give your novel a thought-provoking title. Titling your book is a surprising challenge and can be a lot of fun. Brainstorm with your friends and family. Hold a contest or poll. Once you hone your title, be sure to research the web to learn if it is in use now or has been used before. Even though titles are not copyrighted, you will want to know how the title is being used or has been used in the past.
6. Create an eye-catching cover. Go online to Amazon.com and take a look at current book covers as well as covers of books in your genre. The first thing to notice is the thumbnail. Does it stand out? A key element in designing your cover is to ensure it looks good as a thumbnail. Later you may use it on your business card, as a bookmark, or in e-mail blasts. So cover design is too important a feature to scrimp on. Consider working with a professional book designer. You will be glad you did.
Now back to the first point–your target audience. In thinking about how to get a book published–and read, remember, you are writing a book for your readership. Most important–make sure your work adheres to the basic principles before you try to get your book published.
Reprinted from Ezinearticles.com