Many people say anybody can write a book. Most of these individuals have never tried to write one. Alternatively, it is often said that everybody has a book inside of them. That is simply not true. This is repeated and belittles the achievements of authors. In truth, it is a very hard thing to write a book. Most people never attempt it, fewer still succeed in getting published because writing a novel is hard work.
Completing even the first rough draft of a novel can take months or even years, particularly if you are trying to fit your writing in amongst work or other commitments. It is definitely a marathon, not a sprint and requires dedication and persistence. The American writer Richard Bach who is widely known as the author of some of the 1970s' biggest sellers, including Jonathan Livingston Seagull once said, ‘A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit’. If you have finished the first draft of your novel and, like all writers, you now want it to reach the widest possible readership. It has to be published so that other people can read your book and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Getting your book published is likely to be even harder work than writing it. We have all heard the stories of the multiple rejections received by now best-selling authors including Kathryn Stockett who wrote The Help, also Stephen King’s bestselling novel, Carrie, was rejected over thirty times and even J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels were rejected on numerous occasions before Bloomsbury took a chance on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. No matter how good your book might be, to get it published you will need the same level of determination, resilience, hard work and careful planning that you harnessed to write it. Nevertheless, there is good news. There are now more routes to publication than ever before. Even just a few years ago, the market was dominated by a small number of publishing houses, most of which refused to consider any submission that was not made by a literary agent. Then, most literary agents either had full client lists and, if they did not, they were loath to take on new or unknown authors.
This situation has changed dramatically. Of course, the major publishing houses still exist, but even their attitude to agents and new authors has mellowed. Many of them now have imprints that accept submissions direct from the author. In addition to this there is a growing number of independent publishers. Most of these accept either agented or unagented submissions. They take advantage of the comparatively low costs available when publishing and distributing e-books, in preference to or as well as often offering paperbacks, on a print on demand basis. This model allows the independent publishers to provide a more responsive and faster service both to their authors and readers. There are even publishers offering more innovative ways of supporting publication. These methods include crowdfunding. This can be particularly useful for books that are quite specialist or have niche appeal.
If all that were not enough, there is also the option of self-publishing. Years ago, this was the Cinderella method of publishing. It was considered the last resort for those authors unable to obtain a conventional publishing deal. In recent years this has changed dramatically. There have been increasing instances of high-quality authors opting to self-publish, many do so most successfully. A number of these writers are new authors who have opted for this route. Some of the others are authors who have previously been conventionally published but have written a different genre of book or are just seeking a more flexible approach. A growing number of hybrid authors combine conventional publication and self-publishing to best develop their writing careers.
Writing a book is an exciting journey - it is even more eventful when you try to get it published make sure you have fun along the way.