Publishing -- The Beginnings
Almost everyone that I have talked to about my novel has asked me how I got it published. What was the process like? It is probably one of the most complicated questions I have had to answer. Because, publishing, it's a process. So here is how it starts.
First, you need to decide how you want to publish your book. Do you want to self-publish or do you want a publisher to publish your work? Self-publishing may seem easier, but remember, that means you have to fully edit your own work, or it means you need to hire an editor. You also will need to do your own cover designs and figure out how to be placed in stores and online on your own. Publishing through a company may seem like a way to get out of all the tedious work of not writing, but there are a variety of hardships to that path as well, such as figuring out which publishers will consider your book without an agent, sending out query letters, and reading contracts and agreements and figuring out what works best for you.
All in all, there is no "easier" path to publishing your novel. I chose to publish through a company that didn't require an agent. This meant it wasn't a big name company and that I would probably have to do a lot of the marketing on my own, however, this company would help me with getting my book available on online realtors.
However, I did not begin on this path. I started by trying to find an agent. I started this process in high school with no experience under my belt. I do not recommend. But it was a very good experience for me. I sent out over twenty query letters to different literary agents. Every single one of them rejected me. But I still have my first rejection letter. I was so excited when I got it. Even though they rejected me, they had responded, which was the coolest thing ever for a high school student.
As a public school student in a competitive school, I didn't have a lot of time to search. Nor did I have a way to improve my resume. So I changed my path. I found Page Publishing. They were a company that would read my manuscript and decide if it was worth their time to publish. Out of 45 books, mine was one of the ten they chose. There was still a chance I would be rejected. And I may still have been searching for a publisher today if that was the case. But that is how it started. One company, out of who knows how many I sent my manuscript to, said yes to my novel. That was a little over a year before I published my book. So a lot happened in between. And the in-between wasn't easy. But I'll address that in a different blog post :)
In the meantime, keep writing. Keep sending query letters. Keep researching your options. And most of all, keep following your dreams!