There are hundreds of thousands of new books published every year. So how do you maximise your chances of turning your manuscript into a published book? As an aspiring writer, navigating the publishing process may seem complex to you. To make your first steps of turning your manuscripts into bestsellers a little easier, you must select the right publishing option. There are a wide variety of options available on how to publish a book in India. To have a smooth experience, it is critical to research all the available options and select the publishing option which would be the best fit for your book. Let us look at the publishing options available to you. The acclaimed options on how to publish a book in India are, Traditional Publishing, Traditional Publishing via a Literary agent, Partnered Publishing, Supported Self Publishing and DIY Self Publishing.
So how does Traditional Publishing work?
Once your manuscript is ready, submit it to the Traditional Publisher of your choice. It is considered for publication by an editor, who will assess the content, subject matter and suitability. If the editor approves your work, they will put forward an offer of publication. Traditional Publishers with their knowledge and expertise will see that your work is taken care of from editing, proofreading, designing, printing, marketing and distributing your book. In most cases, they give the author an advance and pay the author royalties post receiving revenue from the sales. Nevertheless, the process of selection of your manuscript includes long waiting periods which can be quite a tedious process. The list of successful publishers is not very long, which makes the selection ratio very low. Once you have submitted your manuscript, you will have close to zero control on your book. The publisher will make the final decisions about everything from editing to marketing.
If you are a first-time author without prior knowledge of the industry, choosing a Traditional Publishing via a Literary Agent will help you get a fair deal with a publishing house and undertake due diligence to avoid any kind of unfair contract terms. However, finding the right literary agent can be quite a task for debut authors and some literary agents charge a 15%-20% fee to the author from her/ his advances and royalties, until the deal is active.
Partnered publishing is quite similar to Traditional Publishing. They work with the author in the process of designing, offer feedback in terms of editing and style; until the manuscript is ready for publication. They also provide marketing support and access to affordable and professional ancillary resources to help market the book. Having said that, it includes risk due to the partial investment from the author in addition to all the cons similar to Traditional Publishing.
Supported Self-publishing is a professional, affordable, and quick way to publish your manuscript. You control the rights to your book and get to avail all the services a traditional publisher provides. The author gets to control the pricing strategy, target audience, release date and complete creative freedom. In addition to maximum returns, authors can avail a multitude of services due to the increase in the number of professional firms that offer publishing services. In comparison to other publishing options, Supported Self-publishing gives authors the highest earning per copy of the book sold. If you wish to skip the delay and receive professional help with editing, layouts, designing, marketing and distribution, Supported Self-publishing is the perfect fit for you. You can avail multiple professional book publishing and marketing services like proofreading services to avoid inadvertent grammatical errors, work with experienced editors and give your book a cover that stands out with the design services available. To keep your book specific to Indian authors and readers, select a Supported Self-publisher where the editors keep in mind the colloquialisms widely used in India. Supported Self-publishing proves to be helpful to both an established author or a first-time author. Basic publishing packages usually cost around 30k.
If you wish to have complete control of the publishing process and rights but are unsure about investing in your work, give DIY Self Publishing a chance. With this publishing process, you can get complete control of your book and its rights along with the highest earnings per copy of the book sold. However, you must have sufficient knowledge about a variety of services like editing, cover designs, marketing and distribution.
Another publishing model that could be the standard in years to come is the global reading and writing platform, Wattpad. It is still an incredible tool for building a platform which allows your readers to actually follow you on Wattpad. Authors like Anna Todd, Beth Reekles, Ali Novak, and Natasha Preston, got their start on Wattpad, sharing their stories for free. In addition to receiving Publishing Agency offers, authors get real-time feedback which makes the process of understanding your target readers extremely simple. With definite benefits such as complete freedom, Wattpad is an easy option to undertake.
Another option to reach millions of readers is by publishing your book on Amazon. Publishing your book on Kindle will take less than 5 minutes and your book will appear on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. You can also edit your book at any time. You can essentially publish a book on Kindle for free and do not need an ISBN number. Amazon assigns a 10-digit ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) that identifies your Kindle book on Amazon.com. If you are unsure whether your book will do well, you can publish on Kindle to demonstrate to traditional publishers that there is a market for your ideas. Amazon makes publishing simpler by taking care of many details of selling and distributing like listing your book on their site, handling the receipt of payment, delivering the book to the customer and deals with customer complaints.
By now you must have an inclination towards the right publishing option for your book. Be aware of the different choices you have, have specific targets in mind, select the option you see fit and go ahead with it. It is not as intimidating or confusing as you might think. Once your book is published, the final step is to incorporate unique ideas to create a buzz around your book. To earn an audience, you must collaborate and have a creative idea for a book launch to reach your readers. Remember to make your book accessible and use social media to make your book the talk of the town. Readers want to buy books that make them feel like they are a part of a community. Get email addresses and send innovative emailers so they are the “first to know” about a new book you are publishing. On the bottom of the emailer, you can feature a message and add a link to sign up to hear when the book is available. Collaborate with influencers that fit your target audience. This will promote your book in an effective way and get you noticed. Readers who like your book may want to help. Get a group of organic fans and ask them to write reviews, blog, and share news of the book with their friends and via social media. Do Q&As, narrate your story or mission to the audience, do podcasts or video interviews, let bloggers use your book in giveaways, go live on social media and attend in-person events. This will give your book the publicity it needs and invite an audience to read. You may have invested days, months or even years to write the most engaging content. So ensure you take your time with your marketing and publishing strategy to receive the best feedback for your book.