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Blog • Understanding Publishing

Last updated on Feb 07, 2023

How to Get a Book Published: Your Guide to Success in 2024

If you’re a first-time author, we'd completely understand you not knowing how to get a book published. After all, there are now more publishing options than ever. Every author has to decide for themselves how to publish, taking into account the relative benefits and what they really want from of the experience — fame and fortune, literary repute, or simply being able to say they've done it.

In this post, we’re going to walk you through the traditional publishing route, which is what most writers will think of when they talk about "getting published." And if self-publishing sounds more up your alley, click here to read our guide about how to get started. (We’re also not going to discuss vanity presses in this article, for reasons explained here .)

Here's the simple 5-step process to get a book published:

1. Start with genre research in the publishing industry  

2. finish your book and get feedback from editors, 3. submit query letters to literary agents , 4. submit your manuscript to publishers , 5. sign a book deal to publish the book.

Wondering which path is the best fit for your skills, ambitions, and book? Take this 1-minute quiz to find out whether you're better-suited for self-publishing or traditional publishing.

Is self-publishing or traditional publishing right for you?

Takes one minute!

how to get a book published

Ask a hundred writing coaches, authors, and editors for advice on getting published, and 95 of them will tell you to read widely in your genre. The other five will probably assume that you’re already doing it.

Which genre (or subgenre) am I writing?

Find out which genre your book belongs to. It only takes a minute!

As an author, you should not only learn from your contemporaries (and the all-time greats), but also know what kinds of books people are buying. That will give you an idea of the books publishers are looking to acquire and how YOUR book will fit into that space.

A note on trends: it might sound like a good idea to write a book that capitalizes on a current trend (sexy vampires, hardened female heroines, etc.). But by the time that your book finally hits the shelves (it can take years,  even after you sign a deal), that trend might be over — something that acquiring editors are acutely aware of.

That said, there are definitely certain genres for which readers seem to have endless appetites. These are the trends to be aware of, rather than trends related to specific subject matter or character types. (We'll talk more about these genre trends, and about why Big 5 publishers love them, in step 5.)



Traditional Publishing 101

Learn the process behind book deals in 10 days.

how to get a book published

This entire article relies on your book actually being good. It doesn’t need to be the finest novel ever written, but it must be something its target readers will enjoy . Therefore, an agent mustn’t be the first person (other than you) to read your manuscript.



Manuscript Format Template

Get your manuscript ready for submission to agents and publishers.

Before you start looking for representation, consider working with beta readers : people with an interest in your genre who can offer you feedback from a third-party perspective. And try to get someone professional! Your cousin or college roommate might be happy to help, but they may not be your best choice, for two reasons:

  • As your friend, they’re inherently biased; and
  • They might not belong to your target readership.

Pay attention to what they say, and self-edit based on their feedback. You might also consider working with professional developmental and copy editors. A pro edit can be a crucial step in ensuring your manuscript reads well , for when an agent finally requests it.



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Should you go to writers' conferences?

Not all authors are lucky enough to live near cities with writers' conferences. But if you can afford to attend one, then you definitely should. It’s a great way to watch panels by published authors and industry insiders (editor and agents). In most cases, there will even be a chance to network directly with those people at the conference’s social events.

It’s also pretty common for there to be sessions where you can practice your pitch and get one-on-one feedback from attending agents or editors and (if you really, really hit it off) you might find that they’ll refer you to agents.

An inexpensive alternative to writing conferences are writing communities avaliable online , where you can get great advice, feedback, and case studies from people who have written and published books. Though you're unlikely to find any former Big 5 acquisition editors casually trolling the forums, these communities are a great place to start for first-time authors, and may even lead to you becoming a lifelong member.

Additional resources: What to Expect From Beta Readers  (blog), What are Sensitivity Readers  , and Editing a Book Yourself (blog)

how to get a book published

At this point, your manuscript is looking sharp, and you clearly understand whom it’s aimed at. With that in your back pocket, it’s time to get yourself an agent. This is where you can turn to our thoroughly vetted literary agents directory , which lists over 600 agents in every genre and category for you to peruse!

Start browsing our directory to find your dream literary agent today.

Do you need an agent?

While some indie presses accept “unagented submissions,” you’ll find that your best bet to scoring a traditional publishing deal will be to first secure an agent. Not only do they have the right connections at publishing companies, but they will also know how best to sell it to acquiring editors.

In addition, pitching your book is just one of the many tasks that falls to an agent. They are also advisors and editors, who will give you objective advice on your manuscript and act as a buffer between you and the publisher. They’ll handle a lot of the business side of things, leaving you free to write. Most importantly, they are deeply familiar with the industry and should know how to negotiate the best price for your book ( and avoid potential scams ). For that reason alone, they are worth their commission.


Query Submissions Tracker

Stay organized on your journey to find the right agent or publisher.

What are you looking for in an agent?

First of all, you are not just looking for any   professional agent who’s willing take you on. You want one that’s right for you and your manuscript. They should be passionate about your book, as they’ll be the one responsible for selling it! For that reason, you need to do your research and draw up a shortlist of candidates who represent books and authors within your specific genre.

Fortunately, our literary agents directory allows you save agents to your shortlist and email the list to yourself, so you won't lose track of who you want to query. For more information on how to find the perfect agent for you and your book, check out the resource below.

Find out about h ow to find a literary agent in our guide here .

What do agents look for in an author?

It's important to remember that everyone’s goal in this business is to make money . Agents work purely on commission, so they’re looking for books they have a high chance of selling to a Big 5 publisher (Big 6, if you're including Amazon Publishing imprints) — and that will sell enough copies to justify their investment of time.

Agents are also looking for long-term working relationships. This means they'll put more stock in writers who not only have the potential to write lots of great books, but who also seem like nice people to work with. No matter how awesome your manuscript, if you come across like a delusional nightmare, people will think twice about signing you.

Do you need publishing experience or personal connections to land an agent?

A common misconception is that unsolicited queries are almost never successful. This, however, is largely untrue. Former agent Rachel Stout polled over twenty New York -based agents from a range of backgrounds and found that almost all of them are open to unsolicited queries (or “slush,” as they call it).

“I know that authors don't think most agents read their queries. Almost everybody reads them,” Stout suggests. “35% of the agents I asked — some with two decades of experience and others with two years — said that more than half of their current list comes directly from the slush pile.”

how to get a book published

Unless you get a personal introduction, this is the usual procedure for successfully landing an agent for the first time:

  • You send the agent a "query letter" that quickly pitches yourself and your novel.
  • The agent is intrigued. They request and read your manuscript.
  • They love your manuscript and you enter discussions re: your book and career.
  • You sign an agreement that allows the agent to represent your book.

Of course, this is the best-case scenario. Most writers find themselves querying multiple agents. It’s a common myth that you should only speak to one agent at a time: nobody, especially the agent, expects this to be the case.

Find out how to write a query letter here .

Bear in mind that most agents get a mountain of queries every month. The good news is that most of the queries they get are terrible, boilerplate messages that are copied-and-pasted indiscriminately for each agent.

Yes, each agency will have their own submission guidelines (which you should follow to the letter) — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go the extra mile by further personalizing the query. Make sure you:

  • Address it directly to a specific agent;
  • Get their name right (a common pitfall); and
  • Let them know why you want them , specifically, to represent your book.

Sometimes, just showing an agent that you’ve done your research will give them confidence that you’re a hard-working writer who understands how the game works and doesn't cut corners.

Find out about personalizing your query letter here .

how to get a book published

You can expect to work with your agent to further develop your manuscript. In many cases, they’ll see potential in your book and will act as your first editor of sorts. Ideally, you will discuss how to make your book more sellable before signing with them.

Now, some writers might not love this idea. Why did they sign my book if all they want to do is change it? However, it’s wise to listen to their suggestions. They’ve been in the game longer than you, and if they’re good at their job, then their recommendations will help you reach more of your desired audience.

And once you’re both happy with the state of your manuscript, it’s then up to your agent to go out in the wilderness, pitch your book to publishers , and negotiate the best possible terms for your  book sales !

Can you query/submit a book that you’ve already self-published?

There are some cases, like with Andy Weir’s The Martian and 50 Shades of Grey , where a publisher has reissued a self-published book. But these cases are pretty rare. Most of the time, if your book has already been on the market, industry folks will wonder if it's already exhausted its market. After all, the 10,000 people who bought your self-pub book usually won’t buy it again just because Simon & Schuster has it now.

However, if you’ve self-published a book that has sold very well, you can bet that agents will be lining up to request your next manuscript.

How do you get a publishing deal with the Big 5?

If you’re an author currently trying to get traditionally published, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Big 5 Publishers:  Penguin Random House, Hachette Livre, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster. All of these publishers have been around for decades, and getting your book published by one of them is a golden ticket to prestige and recognition.

However, keep in mind that these publishers are pretty selective, especially when it comes to novels. If you want to vie for one of them, you’ll have better luck if you write in certain genres. As you can probably surmise from the current market, the biggest genre trends in fiction lately are:

  • Thrillers and suspense novels (e.g. Gone Girl and The Woman in the Window )
  • Retellings and/or novels based on actual events (e.g. Circe and Room )
  • “Own voices” novels (e.g. The Hate U Give and There There )

That said, you still need to have some kind of original take or twist in order to capture a Big 5 publisher’s attention. Your book can't just be a poor man’s  Gone Girl; you have to take the most innovative and intriguing elements of your chosen genre, and make them even better. You have to truly make the story your own.

Check out the largest book publishers in 2024 here and our post all about upmarket fiction here.

And there you have it. Remember: if you have a strong manuscript and a desire to put in the work, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to secure a publishing deal of your very own. We can't wait to see your name on the shelves!

Want to know all the details of what really goes on behind the scenes at a big publishing house? Check out our free course: Inside a Traditional "Big 5" Publisher !

6 responses

Harvey Stanbrough says:

26/01/2019 – 10:47

I wish, just one time, articles that tout traditional publishing would warn authors that most traditional publishers today will acquire ownership of your copyright for the life of the copyright. When you go traditional in this day and age, you truly are "selling" your work outright for whatever pittance of an advance you get, if any. Today building their portfolio of IP is more valueable to publishers than publishing books. YOUR intellectual property becomes THEIR intellectual property and is vaulted to add value to the company. Please stop sending young writers to tradpub without warning them to very carefully read the contract.

↪️ Martin Cavannagh replied:

25/06/2019 – 12:46

I think you're right there, Harvey — when they're looking at trad. publishers, authors can easily forget to do their background research. We're working on a few pieces that should help authors understand their publishing rights — especially when it comes to rights reversion. At Reedsy, we're big proponents of self-publishing but we understand that it's hard work. There will always be a good chunk of authors who would prefer not to do any of the publishing or marketing elements and for them... traditional publishing is pretty much the only option. Thanks for your feedback!

↪️ Luis Petrizzo replied:

25/06/2019 – 16:13

That sounds good but...is there at least some who would respect the author's IP? Just wondering.

Carl Dean says:

29/05/2019 – 04:53

Very helpful article. I believe I have something good and I am finally ready to share the story.

Marianne Calkins says:

15/12/2019 – 21:31

I have just finished a short children’s story. I have had it edited and illustrated. It haas been printed by a local printer. I originally wrote this for my grandchildren but I am interested in trying to get it published. I have 2 more short stories in the works also. The illustrator and editor would like to keep working with me. I was just going to send out copies to several different publishers to see what would happen. Is this too naive of me? Would appreciate any feedback.

18/12/2019 – 09:56

Most of the time, children's books publishers prefer to deal with literary agents. You could query an agent with your new book ideas and see if there's any interest. The fact that you've written and self-published a book already won't hurt your chances!

Comments are currently closed.

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How to Publish a Book

How to Publish a Book: The Ultimate Guide

So you’ve finished writing your book—perhaps a lifelong dream—and now you want to get it published.

Where do you go from here?

You poured your heart and soul into the writing, and I hope you also spent countless hours editing and revising.

Any seasoned expert will tell you: All writing is rewriting.

Certainly the writing alone took months, maybe years. But you did something few people ever do: You finished writing your book .

Maybe you’ve done your homework on the do’s and don’ts of publishing a book, but you’ve found so much conflicting advice that you’re overwhelmed.

How do you decide your next step?

I’ll give you my best advice from 40+ years in the publishing business.In this post, you’ll learn:

  • The 8 steps to publishing a book
  • How to pitch agents
  • How to self-publish a book
  • How to publish a children’s book
  • How much it costs to publish a book
  • Real talk on publishing a book

In simple terms, you have two options:

1—Traditional publishing


Which is best for you?

As one who has written and had published nearly 200 books since the 1970s, let me try to help you decide.

I’ll start with definitions so you know what you’re actually choosing.

  • Traditional Publishing

How to self-publish a book

In this scenario, a book publishing company offers you a contract for the right to publish your book. The publisher owns the copyright and you earn royalties from sales.In exchange, they pay for everything from editing, proofreading, typesetting, printing, binding, cover art and design, promotion, advertising, warehousing, shipping, billing, and more.Traditional publishers take all the risks.

If a “publisher” requires any money from you—even a minimum number of copies purchased—they are not a traditional publisher.

They might refer to themself as a co-op or a hybrid publisher, and they might even insist that they accept some manuscripts and reject others , but they are not traditional publishers.

Note that even if you get a publishing deal, it’s never hands-off. You will still have to share in marketing and promotional activities.

The Pros of Traditional Publishing

  • No out-of-pocket expenses if your manuscript is accepted.
  • Greater exposure.
  • Advance royalties. Most publishers offer an advance payment against royalties (which are yours to keep, regardless of sales), though amounts widely vary.
  • A team of professionals undertakes the editing, proofreading, and designing of your book.
  • Another team spearheads the marketing and promotion.

The Cons of Traditional Publishing

  • I won’t sugarcoat it — landing a book deal is rare. Thousands of wannabe writers flood agents and publishers with proposals every day.
  • It can be a slow process — from nine months to two or more years from signing a deal to actually releasing the book, let alone the time it can take to find an agent and for the agent to secure a deal.
  • You may have creative input but little control over the process. Traditional publishers take all the financial risks, so they reserve the right to final decisions on everything from the cover and interior design to the title, pricing, and promotion. While many of these things are negotiable, your only recourse in a stalemate is to withdraw the book. They want to keep you happy, of course, but they get the final say — on everything .
  • Too many writers overestimate the potential income. While you read about seven-figure deals and multi-million dollar bestsellers, these are as rare as lottery winners. The vast majority of books don’t make up the royalty advance and thus, never pay more.
  • Self-publishing

Regardless what services or suppliers you use to have your book printed, this option is rightly referred to as self-publishing.

Why? Because everything is on you. You are the publisher, the financier, the decision-maker, and the creator.Everything listed above under Traditional publishing falls to you. You decide who does it, you approve or reject their work, and you pay for it.

The term self-publishing is a bit of a misnomer, however, because what you’re paying for is not publishing, but printing. So, the question becomes, why pay to be printed if you could be paid to be published ?

The Pros of Self-Publishing

  • Anyone can do it. Your end product can now look much more professional, and your price per book is much more reasonable than it once was. Print-on-demand technology now allows for low-cost printing, so you can order as few as two or three books at a time for the same cost per book as you would pay if you were buying hundreds.
  • You determine the publishing timeline. It’s possible to publish almost instantly online.
  • You control the editing process.
  • You have creative control over the cover and interior design.
  • You set the price.
  • After expenses, the profit is 100% yours.

The Cons of Self-Publishing

  • Anyone can do it. The market is glutted, as literally thousands self-publish daily.
  • Everything falls to you, from page numbers to fulfilling orders. If you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.
  • Lower visibility and exposure. Though local bookstores might display your book on consignment, few others will — regardless what distribution companies promise. They may expose it to thousands of stores in an online calendar, but they’re not handselling it into those. Some experts say only 5% of all published books actually reach bookstore shelves.
  • Self-publishing predators promise the world and often deliver very little. Do your homework. Get recommendations. Ask questions.

Whichever method you choose, there are a few steps that every author must take to get published.

  • 8 Steps to Publishing a Book

 Finish your first draft

Obvious? Yes — but few people ever achieve this .

 Come up with a great title

Start with a working title, but don’t finalize it until your first draft is complete.

 Get feedback and editing

Separate yourself from the competition and make sure your book is the best it can be . Agents and publishers reject manuscripts that need too much work.

 Get a great cover

Your book’s cover is your most important marketing tool. Your publisher knows what sells. If you’re self-publishing, invest in a professional designer.

 Write a strong book description

A good cover makes readers curious enough to pick up your book. Your book’s description will seal the deal.

 Format your manuscript

Poor formatting makes you look like an amateur, so do this right. Check out the recommendations in my guide, How to Write a Book .

 Create a launch plan

Your launch plan helps to build excitement and sell as many books as possible once it’s released. Your publisher will help with this, but they won’t do everything. Prepare Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) and reach out to your email list, your colleagues, and any influencers you know to ask them to submit reviews to Amazon or Apple Books during launch week.

 Market your book

Your work doesn’t stop after your book is published – it’s only just begun. Have a plan that will help you promote your books on an ongoing basis. Need help writing your novel? Click here to download my ultimate 12-step guide.

  • Let’s Get Real About How to Publish a Book

How much does it cost to publish a book

Some say writers can make a lot more money by self-publishing. They argue that rather than settling for just a 15% or so royalty of the sales by a traditional publisher, they enjoy all the profits.

The problem with this logic is that it too often underestimates what it costs to self-publish.

The likelihood is that the “profit” per sold book, often at best, equals about the same as a traditional royalty.

The drawback then is that as a self-publisher, you have vastly less experience promoting, advertising, marketing, selling, delivering, and billing than traditional publishers do.

Besides the fact that this is a full-time job that will likely rule out your having the time to write another book, with rare exceptions, traditional publishers sell many more copies than self-publishers do.

That said, self-publishing may be your choice under certain circumstances. Such as:

  • You’ve exhausted your efforts to land a traditional deal. That doesn’t always indicate that your writing is inferior. It could merely mean that your audience is limited, making your book a less viable business proposition for the publisher.
  • Your book is of interest to hundreds of people, as opposed to thousands. I self-published a couple of volumes of my father’s poetry, because it was of interest to several hundred friends and relatives but not to a mass market audience of thousands required by a traditional publisher.
  • You’re a college professor or in some similar occupation where you must “publish or perish,” but your area of expertise is so esoteric that your books would not likely be commercial successes on a mass scale.

In truth, there are many reasons you might opt to self-publish, so the issue becomes whom you can trust as a supplier for all the services you’ll be paying for.

That’s where you need to do your homework. Talk to others who have self-published to see whether they felt ripped off, over-promised, over-charged, etc.

Many vanity or subsidy or hybrid self-publishing suppliers have beautiful websites, rave reviews, and examples of beautifully produced books that will make your mouth water.

They’ll use terms like, “If we accept your manuscript…” when the truth is, many such firms would print anything you sent them as long as your check was attached.

They’ll offer all the services I listed above, but if you decide not to take advantage of those, you’ll pay less but also wind up with an inferior final product.

That’s why too many self-published books look self-published:

  • Amateur art on the cover.
  • No editing or proofreading.
  • Little thought to interior design or even typeface (many use sans serif type , while traditionally published books mostly use serif type ).
  • Many use the word “by” before the author’s name on the cover, which you rarely see with traditionally published books.
  • Some self-published books don’t even spell Foreword correctly, but rather spell it Forward or Forword or even Foreward. And many use the British spelling of Acknowledgments, adding another E for Acknowledgements.

But those are the least of the potential issues.

With careful planning, studying, and comparing, you should be able to self-publish your book for much less than the $10,000 or more that many of these companies charge for their “premium” packages.

How Much Does it Cost to Publish a Book?

As mentioned above, if you go the traditional route, your publisher will cover all related costs.

You’ll save time and energy — and also avoid a steep learning curve.

If you’re self-publishing, you’ll pay out of pocket. Your costs can vary widely depending on the types of services you need, your genre, and more.

Plan to set aside at least $3,000-$5,000 for everything.

You can find estimates for professional services here , as well as four authors’ actual book publishing costs .

How To Publish a Children’s Book

If you dream of becoming a children’s author — or of publishing children’s versions of your adult books — the process is similar.

But there are enough differences to make it worthwhile to learn specifically about the children’s book market and how to publish a children’s book. It’s highly competitive, largely because four-color illustrations are the most expensive printing there is.

However, the market is growing quickly and it’s highly rewarding. Learn how to write a children’s book and submit it to publishers .

Are the Odds Against Traditional Publishing too Great?

Few traditional publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t consider new writers and their work.

They accept submissions from agents — who are always on the lookout for the next great book or author — or from writers recommended to them by one of their current authors .

I’ve been coaching writers for decades, so I’m well aware of the confusion, the desperation, and the frustration you may be feeling.

Pursuing a traditional book deal takes:

  • Time — You can feel tempted to give up without the right knowledge and support.
  • Persistence — You must become comfortable learning to politely follow up when you don’t hear back right away and to keep moving forward.
  • A thick skin — You will have to learn to handle rejection with grace and not take it personally.
  • An open mind and willingness to be coached — Based on feedback you receive, you may have to make revisions to your draft.

Which is why I wrote this roadmap to the publishing process.

By the end, I want you confident and clear about which route to choose when publishing your book—and you’ll know the steps to take.

Deciding your publishing path

We’re in the busiest and noisiest era in publishing history. It has never been easier to get printed , and never harder to be traditionally published .

But don’t let that discourage you.

Getting a literary agent or a publisher to take a chance on you or your manuscript does not happen by accident. It requires time, focus, and excellence.

Begin by considering:

  • What genre or category is your book? The genre you choose determines your target audience, your potential agent, and even which publishers to pursue.
  • Are your genre and premise popular? As in any industry, there are always trends to consider. Vampire romance may be on the way out, for example, while historical fiction could be having a moment (Note: I’m not saying this is true!) The best way to know? Carefully read what agents are looking for as you research.
  • Who is your target reader and why will your book sell? And resist the temptation to say it’s for everybody. Naturally, we put that much effort into writing something and we wonder who wouldn’t want to read it? Truth is, that kind of thinking waves a red flag of amateurism to agents and publishers. Successful, even mega-bestselling, books don’t appeal to everyone. They are written to specific audiences, and if they cross over to other markets (as, for instance, the Harry Potter Young Adult titles—which have become vastly popular to adults as well), that’s a bonus.
  • Do you have a platform? If that’s a new term to you, it simply means the extent of your influence—how many people are interested in what you do. This is one of the first questions an agent or publisher asks. With the variety of social media and blogging vehicles available today, building a following and interacting with potential readers has never been easier.
  • How to Pitch to Traditional Publishers

Picthing to a Traditional Publisher

If you’re a nonfiction writer you’ll want to submit a book proposal that includes a brief, one- or two-sentence synopsis (summary) of each chapter, plus three sample chapters.

A first time fiction writer is expected to submit a complete manuscript for consideration.

  • How to Publish a Book: Landing a Traditional Publishing Deal

1. Edit Like Your Writing Life Depends On It, Because It Does

The most important step as you begin is to become a ferocious self-editor. Even if you choose to self-publish, the quality of your writing is determined by this.

Acquisition editors (first readers at publishing houses who decide whether your manuscript is worth showing to their bosses) and literary agents tell me they know within two minutes or as few as two pages whether your manuscript is worth pursuing.

That may not sound fair, but it’s the hard truth. If you wished they would have stuck with it till you got to the good part, next time start with the good part. 😊

All writing is rewriting. Put your best foot forward by learning to aggressively self-edit until you’re happy with every word.

If an agent decides to take you on and/or your manuscript is accepted by a publishing house, it will still go through editing there.

But your goal is to make it the best you know how so it will get past those first readers—potential agents or acquisition editors.

2. Determine your genre

You need to know where your book will sit on bookstore shelves and how it will be categorized in online marketplaces like Amazon. This lets your ideal readers find you and tells Amazon how to promote you.

Knowing your genre is also critical when you start pitching agents, because not all agents represent all genres. If you send your memoir to an agent who’s only interested in business topics or romance, you’ll get an automatic rejection.

3. Find An Agent

Landing an agent can be just as difficult as landing a publishing deal, because they are every bit as discerning regarding a manuscript’s (or an author’s) potential.

The advantage of an agent (which makes them worth their 15% of whatever you make) is that they serve as your manuscript’s cheerleader.

Agents know the business, the industry, the players—who’s publishing what and who might like what you’ve written.

They shop your manuscript to publishers and advocate on your behalf. Having landed an agent is a credit in itself.

It shows that you and your writing have already survived serious vetting.

Some (but not many) traditional publishers consider unsolicited or unagented manuscripts, but if you can land an agent, that’s your best bet.

Having an agent can make your life a lot easier. They can:

  • Coach you on refashioning your proposal
  • Help you understand the publishing process
  • Handle the business side so you can stay in your creative lane

Once you’ve researched and compiled a list of agents who seem to be a good fit, follow their submission guidelines to a T. (Google literary agents.)

4. Write A Query Letter

A query (question) letter is designed to determine whether an agent or publisher might be interested in your manuscript. It’s your first impression—your initial sales call.

Make it stimulating and intriguing.

You’re not selling your writing just yet; you’re merely asking to get in the door.

Position yourself as a colleague, not a fan. Make it short and to the point, preferably one page, and send electronically.

  • Your elevator pitch: a one-sentence summary of your book’s premise, called this because it’s what you should imagine saying to publishing professionals between the time you meet them on an elevator and when they get off.
  • Your synopsis: a one-paragraph summary that goes beyond the elevator pitch and tells what happens and how things turn out. For nonfiction books, explain what the book is about and what you hope to accomplish with it. For fiction, explain the basics of your plot .
  • Your target audience and why they’ll buy your book. Don’t oversell.
  • Your personal information—what qualifies you to write this book. The kind of platform you’ve built. The address of your blog . Your contact information.

Before you hit Send, proofread your letter. Then proofread it again.

While up to a half dozen typos in a 300-400-page manuscript are of little consequence, any typo in such a short document will make you look like an amateur.

Have a friend or relative proofread it with fresh eyes.

5. Write your proposal or send your manuscript

These are the documents agents want.

If you’re writing nonfiction, your proposal is often the only document they require before asking to see your manuscript.

If you’re writing fiction, agents will request either a partial or a full manuscript.

Every word should pique an agent’s interest—your goal is an invitation to send your entire manuscript.

Briefly but completely describe the details of your manuscript. Leave nothing out.

For nonfiction, include every issue you cover and the basics of what you’ve said about each.

For fiction, synopsize every chapter.

Proposals can contain any number of components, including:

  • Elevator pitch
  • Target audience
  • Chapter synopses
  • Marketing ideas
  • Endorsements
  • Your analysis of competing books, and where yours fits
  • Up to three sample chapters

The average proposal can range from between 10 to 25 pages. Keep it as tight as you can without leaving out anything crucial.

Which is best, a query or a proposal?

As a rule, a query letter precedes sending either a proposal or a full or partial manuscript. But check potential agents’ submissions guidelines on their websites

Some want to start with your proposal. Show them you’re thorough and willing to work.

  • How to Self-Publish a Book

Getting Self-Published

The biggest mistake many self-published authors make is spending more on design and marketing than on professional editing and proofreading.

A great looking book with a terrific cover and lots of promotion will die a quick death in the market unless the editing and proofreading are also evident.

Resist the urge to hire a relative who majored in English or even teaches English; book editing is a unique discipline.

The last thing you want is a handsome product that reads like the manuscript made the rounds of the traditional publishing houses, was rejected, and had to be self-published.

Writing quality sets you apart in a saturated marketplace. Amazon is by far the biggest player for self-publishers, so it’s worth your while to learn how to publish a book on Amazon .

Engaging a Self-Publishing Company vs. Doing It Yourself

Many companies offer all the services you need to self-publish, but some are more trustworthy than others. It takes a lot of success—and sales—to recoup the costs of such services.

You may run across the term “hybrid publishing,” referring to different pay-to-publish methods, but the bottom line is that it’s still self-publishing.

As I’ve said, you are the publisher. You pay the bills.

My friend Jane Friedman’s helpful article, What is a Hybrid Publisher? , explains this in detail.

In short, hybrid publishing companies claim to combine the best of a traditional publishing house with a self-publishing model. But beware.

Many of these are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Again, do your homework, get references, compare pricing. The more popular platforms to “publish” online:

  • Amazon Createspace: a print-on-demand option also prints paperback copies ordered  on Amazon.
  • Kindle Direct Publishing: you can publish an ebook online available for purchase on  Kindle and Kindle Apps worldwide via Amazon.com.
  • iBooks: you can publish a book to the Apple iBooks store and distribute it anywhere on the internet.

Other considerations for self-published titles (unless you’ve hired someone to navigate this process):

  • Create an author website .
  • Format and upload your manuscript for the internet.
  • Purchase an ISBN (International Standard Book Number, a 13-digit unique identifier).

But hear me: Please exhaust all efforts to be traditionally published before resorting to self-publishing.

If you are fortunate enough to have your manuscript accepted by a traditional publishing house, they assume all the financial risk, so it costs you nothing.

Should you choose self-publishing, the cost varies greatly. You can “publish” virtually free online if you don’t engage an editor, proofreader, or designer.

Self-publishing actual books can range from between $1,500 and more than $10,000, depending on how many services you require or which company you hire.

  • My Opinion on How to Publish a Book

I’ve made it my life’s work to coach writers to get their work to a level where they can market it to traditional publishers. Even if you choose self-publishing, you want your writing up to that standard.

A great starting point? My 21 Ferocious Self-Editing Tips Checklist can turn you into an aggressive self-editor and give your writing the best chance to impress industry gatekeepers.

Regardless whether you choose to compete for a traditional publishing deal or self-publish, give everything you have to your writing.

Hone your skills . Read everything you can get your hands on about the craft.

Your reader deserves it.

And so do you.

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How to Publish a Book in 2024: A Beginners’ Guide

Craft, Publish, Thrive: A Step-by-Step Guide to Your Book's Success in 2024 and Beyond.

So you want to publish a book in 2024? With evolving technology, the publishing industry has changed drastically in recent years, providing more opportunities than ever for aspiring authors. Whether you dream of seeing your name in print or getting your ideas out into the world, this guide will walk you through the key steps for publishing in today’s landscape. We’ll cover everything from writing your manuscript to understanding the different publishing options available—self-publishing, traditional publishing, and hybrid approaches. You’ll learn insider tips for editing , cover design, distribution, marketing, and more. Follow this beginner’s guide, and you’ll gain the knowledge you need to successfully publish your book this year!

Step 1: Plan and Write Your Manuscript

The first step on the road to publication is to plan and write your book. This process requires focusing on genre selection, target audiences, market analysis, and competitive research.

Select a genre that fits your story idea and writing strengths. Research popular tropes and styles for your genre. Outline your plot, characters, settings, and themes in line with reader expectations while still presenting a unique story.

As you write your manuscript , keep your ideal reader constantly in mind. Define their key demographics, like age range, interests, and values, and then craft content to resonate with what they want from a book in your genre.

Research the competition by reading current bestselling titles similar to your book. Analyze what makes them compelling page-turners in the eyes of readers, and aim to offer distinguishable elements in your own storytelling and writing style. Use market analysis to help position your book.

Take the time to carefully craft the best possible manuscript. Most published authors go through multiple drafts prior to publication. Refine the plot, add dimension to characters, polish themes, and tighten the writing. Excellence in your manuscript will maximize your chances of publishing success.

Step 2: Prepare for Submission

With your manuscript complete, the next step is to prepare your content for submission by following standard publishing industry formatting guidelines. This helps demonstrate professionalism and allows editors and publishers to better assess market viability.

For fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, use 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font, double-spaced lines with indented first lines for each paragraph. Only include page numbers, aligned top right, on content pages. Follow typical margin spacing of 1 inch on all sides for 8.5″ x 11″ pages.

Strictly adhere to a style guide like AP Style or Chicago Manual Style . Pick one and apply it consistently throughout for spelling, punctuation, grammar usage, title capitalization, and more.

Format any images, charts, and graphs according to publishing standards for your genre. Place tables or figures sequentially for fiction or near related text passages for non-fiction. Include all credits, notes, and permission documentation.

Thoroughly proofread your prepared manuscript and run spell checks. Edit again, aloud this time, to catch any remaining errors that impede readability and professionalism. Then you’re ready for the next critical step on the path to publication!

Step 3: Pursue Traditional Publishing

Authors who want to break into the industry with a major publisher have the option to query literary agents first or contact acquisition publishers directly. Do your research to find agents passionate about your genre or publishers seeking new authors in your category.

Querying agents:

  • Research reputable agents accepting queries in your genre
  • Follow submission guidelines precisely for each agent
  • Write a compelling 1 page query letter selling your story, genre/category and brief bio
  • Include first 10-15 pages or proposal outline , depending on fiction or non-fiction
  • Personalize each query while querying in batches

If an agent requests your full manuscript, success could lead to representation and their connections for a publishing deal. But their help comes at an industry-typical 15% cut of royalties forever.

Alternatively, authors can directly submit unsolicited manuscripts to acquisition editors at major publishing houses through their online portals. Response time here may be slower with lower odds of acceptance.

While chasing a traditional publishing deal often represents the validation and distribution reach so coveted by debut authors, be prepared for extensive delays and layers of rejection before you might land a contract. Even best sellers today had to push past piles of no’s on their way up! But if/when you do sign, congratulations! Now the real work begins…

Step 4: Work Cooperatively with Your Publisher

When a publisher invests in your book, they will have a vision for how to make that publication process mutually beneficial. Welcome their professional perspective! Publishing houses have extensive experience maximizing a book’s exposure in the marketplace. It serves aspiring authors well to build collaborative positive partnerships.

Be open to constructive feedback during the content editing phase. Publishers analyze everything from overall structure to chapter pacing and themes. They have a keen eye for what makes a book impossible to put down… or what causes readers to lose interest quickly. Leverage their know-how.

Discuss direction for the book cover design and other marketing materials. Publishers invest quite heavily here to position a book to appeal to bookstore browsers. Though you may have your own creative ideas, publishers excel at this piece and know what sells.

During publication planning conversations, offer your thoughts on publicity opportunities related to your background and connections, but again, default to the professionals when it comes to retail channels, distribution networks and overall launch strategy.

Getting your first book successfully shipped and sold requires genuine teamwork between author and publisher if you hope to expand readership and have a publisher willing to contract your next book!

Step 5: Consider Alternative Publishing Options

Traditional publishing , even if successful instantly, would still mean waiting often years before seeing your published book. But authors today now have options if they want to skip past the proposal/agent hunt and inevitable period of rejection letters from major publishers not yet willing to take a chance.

Alternative approaches exist to get your book to market faster as an independent self-published author. Distribution channels have expanded recently, and without prohibitive upfront publishing costs. Social media also helps authors build audiences to sell books directly. Print-on-demand technology prints copies as ordered so minimal financial risk too for author-publishers focused on digital channels.

For book formatting complexities beyond DIY comfort levels, affordable freelance services help prepare print ready files and ebooks for independent publishing needs. Editors, cover designers and marketers can provide any specialized assistance an author requires.

Independent authors retain all rights and royalties. You hold creative control while keeping publishing profits. But the self-publishing route also expects authors handle their own publicity and distribution legwork without an advanced network typical of major publishing houses. Yet, for business-savvy creatives willing to learn while publishing, this path offers faster entry to readers.

Hybrid Option

The good news? Those determined to traditionally publish but weary of years spent querying don’t have to abandon all hope during their own independent publishing journey either. Consider hybrid authors who self-publish early books as they build readership and continue working toward the dream of major publishing houses.

Use self-publishing endeavors to grow your author platform. Expand social networks connecting with readers. Develop marketing skills through independent distribution efforts. Earn royalties while aiming for representation. Then, if you later land a traditional publishing contract , leverage and expand that existing foundation.

Step 6: Distribute Your Book

Without distribution, the best-written book in the world stays an unpublished file relegated to some dark dusty digital folder. Don’t let that happen to your publishing efforts! As outlined above, authors have choices these days when it comes to distribution channels, whether they independently publish or sign traditional publishing contracts.

brick and mortar retail remains extremely useful to reach print book readers unlikely to buy online. Independently published authors face more legwork securing this kind of distribution, but boutique consignment agreements or corporate self-publishing packages do exist. Traction here bolsters credentials for bigger contracts down the road too.

Book websites offer the fastest, least expensive distribution channel, however. Whether publishing independently or with the reputation and support of major publishing houses behind them, authors absolutely want to drive potential readers to buy books from their own sites. Payment processing and mailing costs apply but generate much higher royalty profits since no third party markups factor in.

Social media notoriety converts to book sales with targeted marketing campaigns and engaging digital content. Publishers assist authors here or solo creators can spur organic growth themselves. Consider giveaways, free samples and deep discounts as short term tactics to build awareness and email lists. Promoted posts also help expand social media distribution efficiently.

No matter what publishing path you choose, work diligently to drive book sales across multiple platforms if generating income as an author remains the end goal. Without spreading links and opportunities far and wide, reaching readers willing to spend on your book proves nearly impossible. But the good news? Authors today have more control over their own distribution strategies than ever before if ready to hustle.

Step 7: Promote Your Work

You wrote the book. You navigated the complex publishing process. Your book now sits available for order on various sites. Excellent progress! But without promotion, few potential readers recognize that new book exists waiting to delight their intellectual palate. Read on for methods to effectively promote your work.

Leverage Existing Connections

Start promotion by activating existing networks. Share publication news through email lists and social media channels where you already built an engaged audience. Ask network connections to help spread the word organically to their circles. Word-of-mouth referrals remain invaluable in book promotion.

Consider cross-promotional opportunities also with non-competing books by other authors willing to mutually boost each other’s work to respective readers.

Kick off promotion strong among those most likely to buy right away. But view this as just first phase in an ongoing marketing effort.

Expand Reach Through Media

Pitch your book to reporters, bloggers, and influencers writing for relevant online publications or channels. Offer unique angles tied to the book’s key themes tailored to each media outlet. With perseverance, earn features and reviews to raise awareness beyond existing spheres.

Book signings or reading events at libraries, bookstores, or other community venues also help expand visibility, especially when pitched for calendar listings or other media coverage. Any news gained early fuels further interest.

Advertising and Paid Promotion

With a launch phase complete among known contacts, advertising introduces your book to wider general potential readership. Multiple paid channels now exist to promote books digitally , from Facebook and Amazon to The Bookish Elf, BookBub and Goodreads.

Consider paid ads on social media and relevant websites. These platforms are particularly powerful for spurring sales spike across internet booksellers. Submit for their coveted Featured Deal status for max visibility.

Amazon Ads program helps authors bid on keyword placement and targeted promotions tied to book-related searches within the dominant bookselling ecosystem online.

While most vendors require some upfront ad spend without guaranteed ROI, treat paid promotion as an investment and split test approaches. The more quality exposure, the better any book’s chances to resonate with buyers.

Ongoing Engagement

Rather than intense book launch publicity followed by silence, continual engagement keeps you relevant, discovering new readers. Participate regularly in book-blogging networks. Host your own blog to offer entertaining, educational content related to your book’s core topics. Comment on industry stories across social networks. Seek speaking opportunities at in-person or virtual events to share expertise from your book.

Essentially, establish yourself as a thought leader people want to engage and follow. Don’t go quiet as the author once words published. Promotion requires actively nurturing attention long after launch mania subsides.

Follow these seven key steps from manuscript to marketing mania, and you’re on your way to authoring success. Remember, writing the book simply begins your journey as a published creator in the 21st century. But if you tackle all aspects—writing, production, publishing operations, and continual promotion—with strategic gusto, your book still holds power to build your authority and income for years to come. Let this guide set you on the path to publish your book in 2024!


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Home / Book Publishing / How to Get Your Book Published in 2024: The Ultimate Guide for Authors

How to Get Your Book Published in 2024: The Ultimate Guide for Authors

The publishing landscape has changed drastically over the last decade or so. Digital books and print-on-demand services have made indie publishing a reality for thousands of aspiring writers.

But when authors ask about how to get their book published, they're usually talking about landing a deal with traditional publishing houses. Whether this means one of the “Big 5” New York houses, or one of the numerous others, there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a trad publishing deal.

And while it's considerably more difficult to land a trad publishing deal than it is to self-publish your book, it's entirely possible.

That's what we'll focus on in this article, so read on to find out how to get your book published by a traditional publishing house.

  • Things to Know About Trad Publishing
  • How to Determine Your Genre
  • Whether You Need a Literary Agent
  • How to Write Query Letters
  • What to Expect in Terms of Rejections
  • Dos and Don’ts of Getting Your Book Published

Table of contents

  • Royalty Percentages and Advances
  • Copyright Length
  • What is Hybrid Publishing?
  • Certain Genres and Categories Increase Your Chances
  • All About Agents: Do You Need One?
  • What Happens Next?
  • When is Enough Enough?
  • The Self Publishing Option

Note: We will not talk about pay-to-play or “vanity” publishers. If you have to pay a company up front to publish your book, they're a vanity publisher. I’d advise you to stay away from companies like this. They're not worth it! (These companies are not to be confused with those that offer reasonably priced editing, formatting, and cover creation services.)

Things to Know About Traditional Publishing

Trad publishing is defined by several factors that it's important for aspiring authors to keep in mind. People think of Stephen King, Lee Child, or Nora Roberts, imagining the huge sums these writers are paid.

And to be sure, they're well-paid authors. But it's rare that new authors start out getting huge advances or royalty checks.

So, it's good to be clear on what a common traditional publishing deal entails for new authors.

(Listen to my short podcast episode on What Publishing Companies Are Really Like !)

It's hard to predict the size of an advance for any given book. Big-name authors who sell tons of books are given huge advances because the publishers are confident that the new book will sell.

Publishing a book costs money , so each manuscript is looked at in terms of risk vs reward. So if you land a publishing deal, your advance could be anywhere from $5,000 to $75,000. It's usually broken up into multiple payments — with the last one coming once the book is published, which is usually a year after you submit the final manuscript.

Keep in mind that the advance is exactly what it sounds like: an advance on future royalties. The size of the advance is usually a good indicator of how well the publisher thinks the book will sell.

Once the book is published and copies are selling, you have the chance to earn royalties. But you only earn royalties once the book has “earned out,” meaning it has sold enough copies to pay for your advance at your negotiated royalty rate. A standard royalty percentage is 10% of the cover price.

So, let's say you get a $50,000 advance and the cover price of your book is (for the sake of simplicity) $20. For every book you sell, you'll get $2 (10%). That means you won't start earning royalties until your book has sold 25,000 copies.

Some books don't sell enough copies to earn the author royalties. On the other hand, many do.

While not standard practice except in the academic world, some publishers may want to hold the copyright in their name, rather than the author's. This is a red flag and one of many reasons why it's good to have an agent if you're going the traditional publishing route. More on agents later.

For now, keep in mind that US copyrights last the life of the author and an additional 70 years. So if you sign a book deal giving the publisher the copyright, your children's children can eventually enjoy full ownership of the work.

Seeing the writing on the wall, some companies are shifting from traditional publishing to a hybrid model that includes aspects of both self publishing and the trad model.

Generally, hybrid publishing companies will offer authors higher royalty rates in exchange for an upfront investment from the author. Unlike trad publishing, in which the publisher pays for editing, book cover design, and most of the marketing, the hybrid model asks the author to pay a significant portion of these costs. The author gets a higher return on each sale, while the hybrid publisher assumes less risk.

This topic deserves its own blog post because there are some concerning similarities between hybrid publishers and vanity publishers. We won't be discussing this in detail in this article.

For now, I'll just say that hybrid publishing is an option for authors, but you should do extensive research to see if it's right for you. If you do go this route, make sure that the publisher has some kind of submission process and that they don't simply accept any author willing to pay, as this is a red flag that signals a vanity publisher.

Now, on to the steps for getting your book published by a traditional publisher.

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Determining Your Genre – And Your Audience

The first step in the publishing process is determining your genre, and, as a result, your audience. After all, without an audience that will be interested in the book, your chances of getting published are slim to none.

But if you write in a popular genre (or category) that you have taken the time to nail down, your odds are much better. Let's look at determining your genre in fiction and your category in nonfiction.

This will also help you determine what publishing company will be best for your particular book.

Determining your genre takes research, and it's best done before you write your manuscript. This is also often called “writing to market,” which makes good sense whether you're aiming to be successful in the trad world or the self-publishing world.

However, in order to get a book deal , you need to have a polished manuscript to show. Trying to determine your genre after you write the manuscript is not the best idea, but it can work occasionally.

The best ways to research your genre?

There are two:

  • Read A LOT in the genre.
  • Use keyword research tools like Publisher Rocket to determine how popular the genre is.

The most popular fiction genres include:

  • Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Each of these genres encompasses a wide range of sub-genres. Some subgenres do better than others, so the more targeted you can get, the better off you'll be.

There are also the categories of literary fiction and contemporary fiction, which are a little harder to pin down. Literary fiction encompasses the classics still read in high schools and colleges around the world. Contemporary fiction usually focuses on exploring the human condition through realism.

If you have a nonfiction book idea, you should have a good grasp of what the category is before you pitch it to agents or publishers. The good news is that, with most nonfiction, it's possible to sell a book that hasn't been written yet though a good book proposal .

The most common types of nonfiction categories are:

  • Relationships and Advice
  • Self-Help & Personal Development
  • Health/Fitness

Note: It's difficult to sell a memoir unless you've already written it. This is the one nonfiction category where you're better off having written the manuscript before you pitch to the publishing industry. (Unless, of course, you're a famous public figure!)

It's no secret that some genres are more popular than others. In self-publishing, writing for an extremely niche market can be an excellent thing. However, if you're looking to be a traditionally published author, your book will need broad appeal in a popular category.

Some books are hard to get published through traditional routes. These include:

  • Books of poetry.
  • Nonfiction books written by authors without expertise or name-recognition in their field.
  • Long books in most categories (exceeding 150,000 words).
  • Experimental fiction.

Once you've nailed down your genre and you have a polished manuscript (for fiction and memoirs) or a book proposal (for nonfiction), you can start shopping around — for agents.

Finding the Right Publishing Companies

One of the best ways to find successful publishing companies is to analyze the genre for your book and see what other companies are publishing books in that genre.

If you're doing this manually, this can take a very long time, and you'll end up finding a lot of other companies that aren't really great.

Thankfully, there's a tool that makes it easy to see all of the major publishers for the bestsellers of any genre.

That tool is Publisher Rocket .

With Rocket's category analysis tool, you can easily find a list of publishers for any genre by doing the following:

  • Finding your desired category/genre through the Category Search
  • Clicking on the “Insights” link
  • Hover over the “i” icon under the Large Publisher tile
  • Find a list of large publishers in that genre

A lot of these publishing companies will be traditional publishers, so you can reach out to them if you want a traditional publishing deal. Or you might find some hidden gems, like lesser known but successful small publishers.

A literary agent facilitates the vast majority of books published by traditional publishers. In fact, many of the big publishing houses don't accept manuscripts directly from authors — they only accept them through agents. 

There are some publishers that accept manuscripts directly from authors, and you can learn about them here . 

But for the most part, if you want to break into the traditional book publishing world, you'll need an agent. Of course, it's possible to get published without an agent, but it makes things much more difficult and much less likely. Agents are an integral part of the publishing industry, and they serve important functions other than getting your book into the hands of publishing house editors.

Here are a few things agents do to help authors:

  • Provide their expertise in the industry.
  • Help you pitch your book until it sells.
  • Negotiate the book contract on your behalf.
  • Help you avoid bad deals and/or scams.
  • Deal with the publishing house so you can write the next book.

Agents are paid only when they make a deal for the author. They earn a percentage (usually 15%), which gives them a great incentive to sell your book. Remember that hypothetical $50,000 advance we talked about earlier? Your agent would get $7,500 (15%) of that at.

So, getting an agent is a good idea, and will provide you with the best chance of getting published. But how do you find an agent?

By using these online resources:

  • Agent Query
  • Writers Market
  • Query Tracker
  • Association of Authors' Representatives
  • Publishers Marketplace

Make a list of several agents you think are a good fit and do a little research on them. A good working relationship is a key factor when searching for a literary agent, and while you're limited in what you can find out online, it's a start.

Once you have a short list of agents you wish to query, you can start writing and sending off letters.

Writing Query Letters

It can be tempting to send out your manuscript to an agent (or even a publishing house) with a letter that says “Read this! It's awesome!”

While your book is no doubt awesome, sending an unsolicited manuscript is never a good idea. It's simply not the way things are done. There are too many authors pitching agents and publishers for them to read all the manuscripts that are sent their way.

So, to narrow down the numbers, the trad publishing industry uses query letters. Essentially, a query letter is a short introduction to you and your manuscript. And you should send a personalized query letter to each agent on your list who you think will be a good fit.

Here’s what you should include in your one-page query letter:

  • The title, genre (or category), title, subtitle (optional), and the word count. 
  • A brief (200- to 300-word) description of your story. This is often called the “hook,” and it needs to be compelling and polished.
  • A bit about yourself. This should briefly include any expertise, writing success, or literary awards you’ve won. Keep this bio under 100 words.
  • A courteous closing section. Thank the agent for their consideration. This is also a good place to personalize the letter. 

Make sure to locate any submission guidelines that the agent or agency has in place and follow them to the letter. It's also important to personalize each letter, as opposed to copying and pasting one letter for all the agents.

Take the time to get the query letter right. Make sure you spell the agent's name correctly and that you start things off on the right foot. Think of the query letter as the first impression — the importance of which is hard to overstate.

If you're a published indie author who has an eBook or two out and decent sales, you can mention this in the letter. Any success you've had as a writer is relevant, but you don't want to spend too much time on this stuff. Keep it short and sweet. 

If an agent you queried is interested in learning more about you and your book, you'll get a response back, usually asking you to send in your manuscript. Sadly, some of those who aren't interested probably won't contact you to let you know. There just aren't enough hours in the day to respond to each query.

If you get an agent who wants to help publish your book (and you think they're a good fit for your needs,) then you should celebrate! Your hard work has paid off. But, just because you have an agent doesn't mean that your book is as good as published. You will probably work with your agent to make some changes to the manuscript in order to make the book more attractive to publishers.

Your agent will then pitch your book to a traditional publisher or two (or ten).

A Word About Rejections

It's important to realize that the life of an aspiring author is filled with rejections. Stephen King's first published novel, Carrie , received 30 rejections before it was finally accepted. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance received over 100 rejections. Kathryn Stockett's The Help was rejected 60 times before publication.

There are very few books that are published without first being rejected. Over and over again.

This is good to keep in mind if you're aiming to be the proud author of a traditionally published book. Expect rejections.

While rejection is a part of the publishing journey, it can wear down on you if it goes on for long enough. You have a book you believe in — that you've poured yourself into — and it keeps getting rejected. When do you decide to give up?

This is something each writer needs to decide for themselves. But there are some red flags you should keep in mind while attempting to get an agent or land a publishing deal.

  • If you don't receive any manuscript requests from your list of agents, take a critical look at your query letter. Do some research and see if you can determine what may have turned the agents off.
  • If you do get manuscript requests but continue getting rejected, take a critical look at your manuscript. Look at the rejection slips and pay close attention to the reasons for rejection — they can often tell you what needs work.

Sometimes it takes years to find the right agent and book publisher for your work. But if you've been trying and trying to no avail, you may want to consider the self publishing option.

As a self-published author, you have ultimate control over your book cover design , book launch , advertising , and promotion . Using the Amazon Kindle store and KDP Select, it's possible to get your self-published book in front of readers much quicker than you would if you were to get the book traditionally published. Besides the Kindle store, Amazon also offers print-on-demand options, making it easier than ever to offer both eBook and print book formats .

However, self publishing is highly competitive, and there's no magic bullet. But that doesn't mean you can't be wildly successful as a self publisher. You can grow your own email list of excited fans that will be happy to buy your work every time you have a book sale or a new release.

Plus, it has never been easier to advertise online to get your work in front of new readers!

We have everything you need to know about self publishing here. Check it out if it sounds like a good idea to you!

Dos and Don'ts Getting Your Book Published

Before we close out this article, I want to share with you some other tips that can help you find an agent and get published. First, we'll cover what to do. Then we'll look at what not to do.

  • Take the time to ensure your manuscript is the best that it can be. This may mean hiring an editor and/or a proofreader.
  • Research your genre extensively by reading a lot of books like yours.
  • Look for names of agents in the acknowledgements of books that are like yours (and that you love).
  • Research each agent you plan to send a query letter to. Let them know you care enough to learn a bit about them.
  • Attend writing conferences and network with writers, agents, editors, and publishers.
  • Prepare for meetings with potential editors, publishers, and agents by doing research on the individuals attending, preparing a list of thoughtful questions, and being ready to learn.
  • Rework a bestselling book to try and capitalize on a trend.
  • Submit your query letter, manuscript, or book proposal before you're absolutely sure they're ready. Rushing will only get you rejected faster. Take your time.
  • Show up in person to a publisher's or an editor's office without first having an appointment. Do things through the proper channels. The same goes for cold calling — don't do it.
  • Get down on yourself if it takes longer than you hoped for. Getting an agent and a publisher takes time.
  • Have a bad attitude — no one wants to work with a rude or inconsiderate author, even if your work is fantastic (which I'm sure it is).
  • Stop writing. Always be working on the next book, even when you're trying to sell the last one. Many authors don't get their first book published. More books means more chances for publication.

Whether you have a fiction book, a children's book, or a nonfiction book, you can get published with a trad publisher. There is no guarantee that you'll land an agent or a deal, but if you follow the steps outlined above, you'll increase your chances considerably.

Keep in mind that there are some positive and negative things about traditional publishing. You don't retain much control over your work, new authors rarely make much money for their first book, and navigating the murky waters of a publishing deal almost always requires a professional.

However, there's a lot of prestige in getting published in the traditional manner. You can always try both self publishing and traditional publishing for different books to enjoy the best of both worlds. Many authors find that the potential for more money and more control lie in the self publishing world.

No matter which route you choose, you've got options for becoming a published author!

Dave Chesson

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

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Learn How To Self-Publish a Book in 6 Easy Steps

Paul H

  • January 12, 2023

For self-published authors and creators of all kinds, publishing a book has never been easier. With the explosive growth of self-publishing and ecommerce platforms, indie authors are no longer held back by the whims of a traditional publisher or literary agent. Today you can secure book printing for your work with just an email address and your content files.

Self-publishing today may be easier but that doesn’t mean it’s a simple process. You’ll need to manage your book’s design and marketing. Book print-on-demand services give you complete design control but are no guarantee of book sales. 

In this guide, we’ll cover every part of self-publishing your book.

6 Steps To Self-Publish a Book

  • Write Your Book
  • Research The Market
  • Edit & Revise Your Book
  • Pick A Self-Publishing Platform
  • Format Your Files
  • Design Your Book Cover

Being a successful author in today’s creator economy means thinking and acting like an entrepreneur. This means more than just writing a book. You’ll need to identify a target audience and create content like blog posts, emails, social posts, videos, and more to supplement your book and continually build a community around your work.

Traditional publishers handle the design and formatting for authors, but as an indie author doing custom book printing, you’ll need to do all the work to design the book, sell your work, and grow your audience. This 6-step guide will help you understand the process and prepare you for creating your own self-published book.

#1 Write Your Book

Before you think about publishing, marketing, or anything else, you need the first draft of your book. If you’re a new author and this is your first book, you should also be developing a business plan as you write your book. Even then, you need to focus on completing a draft before you take any other steps in the publishing process.

Create a Writing Habit

Writing a book is a marathon. If you want to get a book written, you need to create a strong writing habit . If you can’t commit to writing on a schedule, you’ll find yourself struggling to finish writing your book. 

Even before you start writing your book, you should get in the habit of writing every day. That could be drafting outlines for your book, journaling, or doing prompts. 

Create a Writing Schedule

It’s helpful at this stage to look at some other books in your genre. Don’t spend too much time researching (that’s the next step!) but you should get a sense of two things:

  • The way they structure their book
  • The total page/word counts

The structure will give you some hints about what your readers expect. Are your samples broken up into chapters or sections? Maybe both? Are there long paragraphs with rich details or is it mostly dialogue? Take note and make an effort to craft your own book with a similar structure to the books your potential readers are buying.

Creating a Style Guide for your book business - blog graphic header

Creating a Writing Style Guide for Your Book

As a writer, creating a style guide for your book, author website, & social media ensures your writing is consistent & accurate. Learn to make your own style guide.

Creating a Style Guide for your book business - blog graphic header

Likewise, you can use the estimated page count or word count to get a sense of how long your book should be. If most of the authors in your genre are writing 60,000-word novels, you can use that to set your own word count goals when planning your book.

Use that word count to create a writing schedule. If you can get 800 words written a day, it would take you about two-and-a-half months to finish your draft (75 total days). Find a word count and timeframe that works for you and stick to it!

#2 Research the Market

This might not be the most fun part of publishing your book, but it’s important to spend some time researching your genre and the market for your book.

If you’re a first-time author or a returning veteran, it is important to understand who your audience is and what kinds of books they like to read. The first step in your marketing research is to read the most popular books in your genre. These books are your competition. Evaluate what the authors did right and areas where you can innovate on their ideas.

This could be format, style, or plot-based. Researching your market reveals what has been working but also gives you an opportunity to find room for new ideas. 

Use Social Media for Audience Research

Start your audience research by finding other authors who publish similar books in the same genre. Then go and follow these authors on their social media platforms and follow them. Pay attention to what they post and use that information to develop your own marketing plan.

Take Your Brand To Social Media

Learn the basics about using the most popular Social Media platforms to market your brand and your book!

As you spend time on various social media platforms, you should know which ones your potential fans are using and which ones are less active. Use that information to focus your marketing efforts in the lead-up to your book’s launch on the platforms you know work. 

Create Reader Profiles

You should make a profile that is as detailed as you need, but you don’t have to develop long, in-depth personas. Your reader profile can be a simple outline of who your readers are and what they like (and maybe what they don’t like).

The goal is to help identify small ways you can tailor your content and your marketing efforts to appeal to your readers. 

You’ll find most of the information you need by observing other authors and creators who are successful in your genre. 

Look for: 

  • Shortlist to consider: Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, Discord, Goodreads, Reddit, Medium, Substack
  • The kinds of posts that get the most attention
  • Unique elements used for the cover design
  • Where their book is available for sale (both online and in bookstores)
  • Check reviews on Amazon and Goodreads to see what readers are saying
  • The average price for digital and print books

#3 Edit and Revise Your Book

After spending some time learning about the marketplace and readers you hope will buy your book, it’s time to get back to your content and work on editing and revising. This means going through it several times to catch any spelling or grammar errors, and having at least one other person (preferably a professional copy editor) read it over as well. A poorly edited book will reflect poorly on you as an independent author. This is particularly true for self-published books; if you don’t do the work to make your book look professional , your readers will notice.

Using that time between writing and editing to research your readers will help you come back to your work with a deeper understanding of the commercial side of self-publishing. Traditional publishing houses have professionals who will do this work; the benefit of being an indie author is that you will know your work from all sides.

Self-Editing Your Book

Professional editing is a must if you’re planning to sell your book. But you can start by self-editing to bring focus and cohesion to your work. Reread your manuscript with an eye for:

  • Trimming the fat – This is anything that doesn’t contribute to the story or develop your characters. Also, look for opportunities to rewrite sentences so they are shorter and more direct.
  • Refine the plot – The first draft of fiction stories are always a mess. Even the most prolific and skilled writers are churning out mediocrity (at best) with the first draft. In your first round of editing, look for ways to refine and focus the plot. 
  • Read sections aloud – Some editors will advise reading the entire story aloud. If you have the time, do that. Otherwise, just sample some sections and read them aloud—either by yourself or with a listener. You’ll find awkward phrases you might have read past when you read your story aloud.
  • Use spelling & grammar checkers – I like Grammarly or ProWritingAid . No matter what you use, take some time to review all the suggested edits and corrections from your spelling & grammar software.

Browse Lulu’s collection of professional designers, editors, and marketers to help you publish like a pro!

Browse professional designers, editors, and marketers to help you publish like a pro!

Professional Editing

Hiring a book editor is (nearly) a necessity. Professional editors will look at your content with dispassionate eyes, helping you further refine your story.

We’ll cover this more later, but you should include editing as part of your budget for publishing. The cost to have a book edited will vary, but the Editorial Freelancers Association has a chart with the average costs for numerous book editing activities. Use this to get an idea about the cost of a professional editor, but remember you can use more affordable freelancers from platforms like Fiverr .  

Book Editing Round Two: Beta Readers

After doing a round of editing your own book and working with a professional editor (or a couple of editors), you’re probably ready to publish, right?

Not so much. But you are ready to get some Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) sent to your beta readers. This is one area where being an indie creator really benefits you. Beyond having creative control over the entire project, you can also use print-on-demand to quickly and easily create ARCs and send books to your readers directly .

Your beta readers should have a bunch of new feedback for you. Take all of that and give your manuscript another thorough edit. You might be satisfied and ready to publish, or you might need to go back to your pro editor to re-edit the newest version of your story. 

I write 4 drafts of anything I write. I want to make each paragraph, sentence, word earn its keep. Ann Handley

#4 Pick a Self-Publishing Platform

You’re not quite ready to publish your book yet, but once the content is done being edited, it is time to find a publishing service. Online book publishing has blown up in the last few years, so you’ll have a lot of options. Here are a few important things to think about when you’re researching self-publishing companies:

  • How will you sell your book? 
  • What are your publishing goals?
  • What is your publishing budget?

Each platform has its own set of features and fees, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that best meets your needs.

How Will You Sell Your Book?

As a content creator, you’ve got more publishing and distribution options today than ever before. From massive platforms like Amazon to distributing to your followers on social media, your options are vast. 

Luckily, you did that market research and you’ve got a good sense of who your readers are, where they spend their time, and what they like to buy. With that information, you need to consider how you’ll sell your book.

If you write serial fiction , you might use a dedicated platform like Wattpad. If you write ebook novels, you might be on Amazon. And if you’re publishing books for your business, you might want direct sales to your captive audience . The point is, that you need a clear sense of how you plan to sell your book before you select a publishing service. 

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What Are Your Publishing Goals?

Do you aspire to become a full-time author or is your book a hobby or supplement to your existing business? Are you a skilled book marketer or is this your first foray into selling your content? 

Without a goal, you’ll struggle to be successful. And you’ll run the risk of selecting a publishing company that isn’t right for you.

If your goal is to sell books on Amazon, use Amazon. There isn’t another publisher in the world who will make it easier or more efficient to sell on Amazon than their own publishing service.

Likewise, if you’re trying to sell your book through retail bookstores, you need to use Ingram. And if you plan to sell directly to your fans on your own site or social media, you need to use Lulu. 

Different publishers offer different product and service options. Define your goals for your book (and your publishing career) and then start looking for a publishing company that fits your needs and will help you achieve your goals.

What Is Your Publishing Budget?

This one might be more difficult. But have you ever stopped to think about how much it is to self-publish a book? The cost ranges from $0.00 to $10,000+ depending on your goals and the publishing company you work with.

Consider the costs of self-publishing when you plan your budget.

Additional Self-Publishing Service Considerations

The three questions above are fundamental when selecting a self-publishing platform, but there are a few additional features you may want to look for:

  • How much does publishing/printing cost? Some publishers provide services like editing and layout but charge thousands of dollars to publish. Other platforms (like Lulu ) are free to use and only charge you print costs. Evaluate the cost to publish and the cost to print carefully, as both will impact your earning potential.
  • How much will you earn? The amount you can profit from your book sales will vary wildly. For example, with Lulu Direct you earn 100% of the profit on each sale, while some self-publishers will share as little as 30% with you.
  • What’s the deal with ISBNs? The barcode on the back cover of most traditionally published books is the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), a globally recognized means of identifying the book. If you’re self-publishing and intend to sell through distribution channels (like Ingram or Amazon), you’ll need to include an ISBN . If you’re selling directly to your fans, an ISBN isn’t required. You can purchase your own ISBNs from companies like Bowker (in the USA). Many self-publishing companies will offer free ISBNs for your or include them in your publishing package. It’s important to note that an ISBN is unique—you would need a separate ISBN for a print book and ebook version, even if the content is the same.

#5 Format Your Files

The last step! Before you can self-publish your book, you need to create book files and format those files properly for your publishing platform.

To publish with Lulu, you’ll need to create a PDF for your book interior and a separate PDF for your book cover. 

The basics for creating, designing, and printing a book

How To Create and Print a Book for Beginners

Learn how to print a book for a gift or to sell! This guide covers the basics and includes all the resources you’ll need to publish today.

The basics for creating, designing, and printing a book

Creating Your Interior Book File

Start by creating a file with MS Word or Google Docs that contains just your book’s text. No images, no header or footer text. Just the words.

Next, open up one of our page templates using your preferred page layout software. I suggest using one of the following programs to lay out your work:

  • Microsoft Word – If you’re publishing a novel, memoir, or other work with very few images or complex elements, Microsoft Word is the easiest way to lay out your book.
  • Adobe InDesign – On the opposite end of the spectrum from Word, we have the gold standard for page layout with Adobe InDesign. You’ll need to learn how to use InDesign and it is expensive, but if you intend to do a lot of page layouts or have complex books like comic books, magazines, or photo books, InDesign is an impressive tool.
  • Affinity Publisher – Affinity Publisher is a low-cost replacement for InDesign. It lacks some of the features but offers many of the same functionality as Adobe’s products. Again, you’ll need to dedicate some time to learning Publisher, but if you plan to do the layout for multiple books but don’t want to invest in Adobe products, Affinity Publisher is the best option.

Creating a Professional Interior File

There is a lot that goes into creating a professional, eye-catching book layout . A few important elements to think about include:

  • Front and Back Matter – The front matter of your book includes the title, half-title, copyright page, table of contents, introduction, and any other content that you’ll include before the main contents of your book. Back matter includes anything at the end of your book, like an index, appendix, about the author, or sample chapter for your upcoming release.
  • Setup Your Pages – For MS Word, this means using page breaks and styles to define the margins, spacing, fonts, and more for each of your pages. If you’re using InDesign or Publisher, you’ll work with page templates, called Master Pages , to define how your pages will appear.
  • Add Page Numbering – The content in your Header and Footer will include page numbers, your author name, the book or section title, and anything else that should appear on each page. If you’re working in Word, page numbering should come last; for InDesign and Publisher, you can incorporate page numbers into your master pages.
  • Create a Style Guide – If you’re planning to write multiple books, you should define styles in a simple guide to keep all your work consistent. This might not seem like a big deal upfront, but it will save you time and energy years later and ensure your books retain the same ‘look’ throughout your publishing career.

Creating Your Cover File

If you have a professional book cover designed, be sure to use the cover template you can download while publishing. The cover file can be a challenge, as you may want your graphic designer to begin work before you’ve finished designing the interior file. But you will NEED that interior file to get the spine dimensions (based on your page count). 

Regardless of when you start working on the cover, the final design must be sized precisely and adhere to the margins included in our template or you risk text bleeding over onto the spine or being cut off on the edges.

#6 Design Your Book Cover

Once you’ve got your content finalized and you’ve selected a publisher, you’re ready to design the cover.

If you’ve got some graphic design skills, take advantage and design your own book cover. All authors can take advantage of low-cost cover designers:

  • Lulu’s New Book Cover Designer
  • Using Canva For Your Cover
  • Adobe Express For Authors

Creating a Book Cover That Sells

A book cover should grab the attention of a casual browser. Refer back to your market research and look at the most popular books in your genre. What do all their covers have in common?

Consider your long-term goals when designing your cover. If your first book will extend into a series, the covers will need to be consistent . Thanks to print-on-demand, you can easily correct a typo by uploading corrected book files. But updating your cover is like a new book launch. 

Professional Book Cover Design

If you want to sell your book and don’t have experience designing book covers, hire a professional to design your cover. Seriously, if you have only one publishing expense, make it the cover. A professional book designer will help you get your book noticed—remember that online retailers will display your title and cover thumbnail and maybe a portion of your book description. You need your cover image to capture attention and pull in potential readers.

I’ll say it one last time before we move on: you need a professional book cover.

Your Free Lulu Account

Create a Lulu account today to print and publish your book for readers all over the world.

Create a Lulu account today to print and publish your book.

Publishing Like Successful Content Creators

As an author, you are a modern content creator and if you’re selling your books (or aim to sell your books), you’re a content entrepreneur. That means you need to think about your book-selling efforts as a business and treat them as such. 

When planning your self-publishing, you have to create a budget, plan the story from start to finish, and develop a marketing strategy based on the readers and online platforms that will serve you best.

Finding success as an author starts with publishing, but there is much more involved—from marketing to networking to diversifying your product offerings. You’ll need to be on top of all these factors throughout the writing, editing, publishing, and promotion phases of your book launch. 

Paul H, Content Marketing Manager

Paul is the Senior Content Manager at Lulu.com . When he’s not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat-tolerant.

Thank you for sharing these valuable insights on self-publishing a book! Your six-step process makes the journey seem less intimidating and more achievable. I particularly appreciated your emphasis on editing and proofreading, as these are crucial steps in producing a polished final product. Your tips on marketing and promotion are also valuable and will be helpful for those looking to get their book out into the world. Overall, this was a great read for anyone considering self-publishing.

Thanks for this blog


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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

You’ve written, re-written, and fine-tuned your poetry collection. Now it’s time to get it published. The next step you need to consider is formatting.

In poetry, where every word carries weight and every line bears significance, the way a poem is presented on the page can profoundly impact its reception. Proper poetry formatting is not just about aesthetics; it’s about enhancing readability, complementing the poem’s rhythm, and enriching the overall artistic experience for the reader.

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of formatting poetry books. We’ll explore essential considerations and offer practical guidance for you in your quest to publish your poems.

Table of Contents: • How to format your poetry book • Preparing for poetry book publication

How to format your poetry book

One thing to keep in mind is that there isn’t one specific way to format a poetry collection. For example, the poems of E.E. Cummings wouldn’t work if they were formatted the same way the poems of Walt Whitman were, and vice versa. Here are some essential formatting concepts to consider.

Spacing and shaping your poetry

White space is as much a part of poetry as the words themselves. Proper spacing and stanza structure can enhance the visual impact of a poem, guiding the reader’s eye and emphasizing key moments.

If you want help with interior text formatting for your poems (to ensure that they look the way you want them to in both print and in eBook), be sure to hire a professional.

BookBaby’s book formatting solutions ensure that each poem’s layout is optimized for maximum impact, with careful attention to line breaks and spacing to preserve the integrity of the poet’s craft.

Font selection

Your choice of font and text formatting can significantly influence the tone and style of poetry. Whether sleek and modern or elegant and timeless, the right font sets the stage for the reader’s journey through your words.

Here are some essential tips for choosing the right typeface:

  • Ultimately, you want people to look at your poems and start reading them — not to look at your poems and notice the font. Therefore, be sure to avoid anything that calls too much attention to itself. This will simply snatch attention away from your work.
  • To follow on that last point: Avoid novelty fonts at all costs. They’ll just make your work appear amateurish.
  • Pick fonts like Times New Roman that are easy to read both in print and on eReaders .
  • Generally speaking, you want to stick to the classics, or at least modern fonts that have been modeled after the classics.

Some fonts to consider:

Times New Roman is the classic choice. On the plus side, every single word processor and every eReader has it, so once you set it, you know exactly how your text is going to look. On the downside, it’s a bit boring. Then again, because it’s so universal and boring, that can be a strength. By not calling attention to itself, it will allow your poems to speak for themselves.

If you want something that feels just as timeless as Times New Roman but has a bit more personality, go with something like:

  • Baskerville for a clean and classic look
  • Century for something more old-school
  • Palatino that is highly readable

If you want to go the sans-serif route, choose something timeless and unobtrusive like Helvetica or Arial, or if you want something with a bit more personality that’s still readable, go with Gill Sans, Century Gothic, Optima, or Montserrat.

Choosing a title

A good title should intrigue and compel your readers to check out your book. It should also nicely sum up or hint at the overarching theme of your poetry collection, or if you had poems published elsewhere, be named after your best-known poem in the collection.

The table of contents

Don’t forget your book table of contents ! You want your readers to be able to easily find their favorite poems of yours.

Page numbering and margins

Adhere to standard practices for page numbering and margin settings to ensure consistency and readability throughout the book.

Incorporating visual elements

Visual elements such as illustrations or photographs can complement and enhance your poetry, adding depth and dimension to the reading experience. Be sure to hire professional photographers or illustrators, as you don’t want your photos to look amateurish.

Special formatting considerations for poetry

Some poems may require special formatting considerations, such as concrete poetry book layout or intricate visual patterns. If you are doing your own formatting, be sure to test your poems on as many eReaders as possible to ensure consistency, but honestly, if you are writing concrete poetry, where the typographical effect of your poetry book layout is integral to the piece, your best bet is to hire a professional, like the pros at BookBaby, for formatting and book design .

How many poems are in a poetry book?

The typical range of poems included in a poetry book can vary widely depending on factors such as length and style of each poem, as well as the collection’s thematic coherence. While some poetry collections may contain a handful of longer, more elaborate poems, others may comprise dozens of shorter pieces. Ultimately, the number of poems in a poetry book is determined by your artistic vision and the theme of your collection.

Choosing the right trim size

The book trim size determines the dimensions of the book and plays a crucial role in its overall look and feel. While most novels are set in US Trade (6” x 9”) trim size, poetry books tend to be smaller, like Digest size (5.5” x 8.5”).

Of course, you can choose a non-traditional size for your poetry collection, too. Consider a Pocket Book (4.25” x 6.87”) if your poems are short, or maybe even a Landscape (12” x 9”) if you want to include photographs or illustrations.

BookBaby offers a range of trim size options, allowing you to tailor your book’s dimensions to suit your poetic vision, whether you prefer a compact volume for intimate reading or a larger format for expansive verse. See our comparison chart about various trim sizes and bonding options .

Preparing for poetry book publication

Now that you’ve formatted your book, you have a few more steps and considerations before you can send it off for publication.

Proofreading and editing

Professional editing and proofreading are essential steps in preparing any poetry manuscript. It’s important to have your book edited after you have formatted it because any time you are manipulating the text, mistakes can creep in. BookBaby’s book editing services ensure that each poem is polished and error-free, maintaining the integrity of the poet’s voice while enhancing clarity and coherence.

These days, poets have a range of publishing options available, from traditional publishing houses to self-publishing platforms. If you are looking to self-publish your poetry book, be sure to check out BookBaby’s self-publishing packages , as they include everything you need to publish and sell your poems all around the world.

Marketing your poetry book

Effective marketing is key to reaching a wider audience and maximizing the impact of a poetry book. BookBaby offers a suite of book marketing services to help give you the boost you need to promote and sell your book.

Bringing your poetry to life

In summary, proper poetry formatting is essential for enhancing the readability, aesthetics, and impact of a poetry book. With BookBaby’s expertise in printing, editing, and formatting services, poets can transform their manuscripts into professionally published works of art, ready to captivate readers and inspire audiences around the world.

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How to Make Money Selling Ebooks in 2024

How to Make Money Selling Ebooks in 2024

Written by: Orana Velarde

publishing your book

Everyone knows that a free ebook is one of the best lead magnet strategies for businesses of any size. But if you’re an author looking to earn some income you can make money from selling ebooks. Writing ebooks for money is also a common form of passive income, preferred by some, especially after the pandemic.

In fact, ebooks are in popular demand, so much so that ebook sales have exploded in the past few years, and the growth is expected to continue to grow at a steady annual rate of 3.92% up to 2028 internationally.

Even though free ebooks offer value to the subscriber exchanging their email for the download, paid-for ebooks must deliver a wealth of valuable information plus actionable advice for the reader.

In this article, we'll help you learn why ebooks are great for earning passive income, and share tips and guidelines for where and how to sell your ebooks.

Here’s a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit ebook templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more templates below:

publishing your book

  • Table of Contents

Why Ebooks Are Good For Passive Income

7 sites to help you sell ebooks, ebook file types and formatting, how to sell ebooks in 11 simple steps, selling ebooks faqs.

  • Ebooks are not just for lead magnets but make a great source of passive income that can help you to make money in the long term.
  • You can use several sites to sell your ebook, including Visme, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Rakuten Kobo, Sellfy, Payhip and Gumroad.
  • Choosing the right file type and formatting for your ebook is essential. File types include Printable PDF, Interactive PDF, Multimedia/Interactive HTML5 or EPUB.
  • To sell your ebook, you should know your audience, get an ISBN, write and design your ebook, create an eye-catching cover design, publish and share it, price it, create a landing page, promote it, track sales and nurture leads.
  • With Visme, you can choose from a wide range of beautifully designed ebook templates to get started, access intuitive editing features, or publish your ebook with a shareable link.

Passive income is one of the most sought-after sources of income today. It means you're able to generate income with minimal labor involved. In other words, work less and earn more. Who doesn’t want that, right?

Well, ebooks are a great addition to any passive income strategy. The hard work starts at the beginning, and once it’s done, all you need to do is maintain your sales and marketing. Once you create an ebook, market it and share it, it can technically sell itself.

To make money writing ebooks takes a decent amount of effort to write valuable content. Not to mention, building a strong brand that will carry your ebook to success is not an overnight task.

But when you do set everything up correctly, ebooks can help you make money for a long time. In fact, the more evergreen your content is, and the more you keep promoting and updating it, the longer the life of your ebook.

Need more convincing? Here are some reasons why ebooks are great for passive income:

They’re relatively easy digital products to make.

Even though an ebook will take work to put together and publish, it’s still a much easier digital product to create than a multi-lesson online course. You might even have most of the content in your blog post articles that can together create the foundation for an ebook.

Templates also make ebook creation a lot easier than starting from scratch. Using them also increases your chances of creating a successful ebook.

Visme, for example, offers pre-designed multipage templates in lots of different designs and for a variety of industries.

Putting the ebook together once you have the content is pretty straightforward. If you’re working with a team inside your company, then it’s even easier. Using collaboration tools makes ebook building an accessible and inspiring activity.

Plus, even if it takes you a while to create your first ebook, it will be much easier to make more. Why? Because you'll learn from the failures and successes of your last ebook (or ebooks) and make sure your future works are best-sellers.

Beyond being an easy digital product to make, you can easily sell your ebooks online. In the latter part of this article, we’ll discuss how to sell an ebook online.

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They make for great lead magnets.

Collecting leads for your business is a vital step in the marketing funnel. Ebooks are great lead magnets because you are offering value as you get the person’s email. Many people create free ebooks in exchange for a sign-up, so your paid ebook must provide more value than a free one.

The best ebooks, specifically the ones that are most suited for passive income, are the ones that offer evergreen content. A good example of evergreen content is a topic that won’t change or evolve too fast after you’ve written it.

They help with link building.

Ebook creation and promotion generally need a landing page on your website as the lead generation starting point. Add the landing page URL to relevant blog posts and other content on your site.

Likewise, other people can add your link to their content, and you can share the landing page directly on social media.

Selling ebooks needs a good and trustworthy platform. There are many publishing and distribution options, big and small. Choose the one that works for you.

If your ebook is not in the file type your publisher or distributor asks for, there are plenty of free online converters. Additionally, if you have the content and want someone else to convert it to ebook format manually, you can find many people on Fiverrr who offer this service.

In this section, we’ll show you where to sell ebooks online and how to get started.

Visme logo

Visme is an all-in-one design and content creation platform. Its easy-to-use platform lets users with little to no design experience create visually stunning content from scratch or with the help of professionally designed pre-made templates.

Writing and selling an ebook is a long and challenging process. Visme provides a comprehensive space for authors to finish their ebook designs confidently without the need to hire a programmer or designer.

Access ready-to-use ebook templates designed for the B2B or B2C space or Visme's AI Designer to help quickly generate a personalized template that suit your needs. For ebooks of fiction and non-fictional genres, you can bring your ebook cover ideas to life with Visme’s AI image generator or access a library of thousands of images, icons, graphics, animations and so much more.

Visme has a rich library of stock photos you can use in your ebook. If you don’t have any image that fits your context, Visme’s AI image generator is a great solution. With a descriptive prompt, you can generate unique visuals, including images, art, 3D graphics, paintings, pencil drawings and more.

“Some templates you stumble upon and are blown away that someone put the time and effort into creating them. You did not know you needed them in your life until that minute.” - Lorens K., A Graphic Designer who uses Visme .

Plus, you can easily edit your ebook’s most essential information with dynamic fields . This allows you to automatically insert or edit personalized text fields or assign any value needed without the need for painstaking manual updates.

Here's a quick video tutorial to walk you through creating an ebook in Visme:

publishing your book

Once you’ve finished designing your ebook in Visme, whether it’s plain text, multimedia, interactive or animated, you can decide to download or share your ebook as a digital PDF or a printable PDF with bleed marks to ensure your content and words stay in their designated area when professional printed.

You can also turn it into a shareable link that you share with your readers once they’ve made a purchase on your website. As well as make your ebook a private project so you decide who gets to view or read your ebook.

You can also track the number of views on your ebooks when you share them via Visme. This is great for analyzing the performance of your content as you track sales and marketing efforts.

2. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Amazon kindle direct publishing logo

Amazon is one of the largest online platforms for selling digital ebooks. Most authors are proactively selling ebooks on Amazon. Publishing your own ebook is one of the most popular ways to make money on Amazon , which can potentially make $1000+ a month.

Ebooks on Amazon are published using Kindle Direct Publishing. KDP will request that you upload your manuscript, which should meet certain requirements. You can upload Microsoft Word files, EPUB and their signature Kindle file type, KPF.

Choose to publish it as an ebook, paperback or both and once it’s been accepted by Amazon, your ebook will be available to readers worldwide.

3. Smashwords

publishing your book

Smashwords is an ebook publisher and distributor that offers lots of solutions for new and experienced ebook writers. You can upload a Word document or an EPUB file. They turn it into a digital ebook product and distribute it to all major ebook consumer platforms.

4. Rakuten Kobo

publishing your book

Rakuten Kobo is another ebook publisher and distributor offering to sell your ebooks on their site and many other distribution sites. To publish with Rakuten Kobo, simply follow the steps on the website. You can upload Microsoft Word and EPUB files, among others. They also offer solutions for selling audiobooks and even have their own digital readers for sale.

publishing your book

Moving away from sites that concentrate on ebooks alone, there’s also Sellfy — a digital product marketplace where you can sell any digital product for download. You can sell directly from Sellfy or use the link on your website.

publishing your book

Another digital download marketplace is Payhip. To sell an ebook on Payhip, it has to be ready as the file type of your choice. For a site like this, you’re better off selling your ebook as an EPUB. Sell with a Payhip link or add the link to a button on a landing page.

Gumroad logo

Finally, we have Gumroad — this online marketplace allows users to create a store to sell digital products such as courses, memberships, and ebooks. You have a bit more control over where and how your ebook is marketed as well as the price for an ebook when compared to other platforms.

Ready to use any of these platforms? You can start raking in your ebook profits by pairing Visme with any of the tools we’ve shared.

People have different ways of consuming content, and that’s why your ebook should be easy to read in a variety of digital formats. Also, there’s no golden rule that says your ebook must be in a vertical orientation.

For example, reading an ebook on a laptop is easier when it’s horizontal as the entire page is visible. The choice you make depends on how you expect your readers to view the ebook.

The next choice you need to make is the format and file type. There are four commonly used ebook formats and file types:

Printable PDF

Interactive pdf, multimedia/interactive html5.

publishing your book

The file format you choose will mostly depend on your ebook's style. Many ebooks are just plain text, resembling a paper book but digital. Think Kindle readers, for example.

Other ebooks are highly visual and have more of a magazine feel, with large images and creative fonts. Furthermore, an ebook can be interactive with videos, animations and even sound.

But what’s the difference? Let’s take a look.

The classic printable PDF is one of the most common digital formats for transforming paper books and documents into online versions. Essentially, a PDF ebook can be printed and bound or read on a digital device.

The main downside with a static PDF ebook format is that the pages aren’t responsive on screens, and the viewer needs to zoom in and out to read small text.

Your best use of a printable PDF is to offer one as an option to the reader. Create an interactive PDF or digital experience and provide a printable PDF download as an option.

A great way to improve a regular PDF ebook is to make it interactive.  Add hyperlinks, in-document navigation, informational popups, videos and interactive data visualizations.

Downloading interactive PDFs will only keep the links; everything else will deactivate. To share the full interactive version with the reader, you’ll need to share your ebook via a link and offer the option to download the less interactive version.

Like an interactive PDF, you can share your multimedia interactive ebook  as an HTML5 file or via a live link. Of all the formatting options, this is the one we like to call “a digital experience” due to the multimedia capabilities.

Not only can you add links, videos and popups, but you can also add animated elements and transitions between pages.

EPUB is the universal ebook file format legible by most digital readers. To create an EPUB ebook, use a design tool like Adobe InDesign or Pages from Apple. Thankfully, you can also convert PDF files into EPUB files. But the best conversion suggestion is from HTML5 to EPUB.

You’re much better off publishing as an EPUB than a PDF for professional ebook publishing and distribution. EPUB ebooks are responsive and fit better on digital readers for easy reading.

Now to the good part — selling your ebook(s). Even if you’re hoping for your ebook to grow your brand awareness and be a good lead magnet, you also want it to be profitable.

Here are the steps to follow for selling ebooks that fatten up your bank account.

1. Find Out What Your Audience Wants, and Plan

To make money from ebooks, they need to be worth paying money for. Your ebooks must bring valuable information and actionable advice to the reader.

The content should be either timely or evergreen. If the content is about a current trend, you must update the ebook when needed and send previous buyers a notice to download or read the new version.

Have a planning meeting, or start a Slack channel with your team to get the ebook project off the ground and running. Use a project management document with charts to organize the tasks by importance, dependency and person in charge.

Brainstorm with your team to get a good plan going and start doing the research. Here's a project plan template you can use to organize and plan your own book writing project:

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The one golden rule about ebooks is to “write what you know.” That said, it also needs to be content that your audience wants; otherwise, they won’t feel the need to buy your book.

Use tools like Google Trends, SEMrush, Answer the Public, Quora and Reddit to find out what people are searching for in topics you know about. Also, check what your current customers ask your support team; you might get some ideas there.

Here are the best-selling ebook categories on Amazon:

  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Biographies and Memoirs
  • Business and Money
  • Cookbooks, Food and Wine

Finally, look at the ebooks already available online. Take notes on the best-selling titles, their price, number of pages and what the cover looks like.

To help with the voice and message of your ebook, create a user persona profile to have a better idea of whom you’ll be writing the ebook for.

Here's a user persona template you can customize for your own use:

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You might already have user personas from branding and marketing strategies; leverage those to save time. When planning the outline of the ebook, have the user persona always in mind for the messaging, wording, voice and tone.

2. Write Your Ebook

Now it’s time to write your ebook . Before you start, check if you don’t have content you can reuse from blog posts or newsletters. You can, of course, write the book with all new content.

Here are some tips for writing the content for your ebook.

Start with an outline.

Like any type of long-form content, start your ebook with an outline. The depth of subheadings and bullet points depends on your earlier choice: text-heavy or visually rich formatting.

Separate your content into chunks; for an ebook with mostly text, you’ll need main headings, similar to how chapters have titles. When creating a visual style ebook, branch down from your main headings and use subheadings, bullet points and quotes. Make a note of any image placements and their captions.

Use the main titles to draft an initial table of contents. Rule no.1 of creating the table of contents pages: Do so at the very end; you won’t know the final page numbers and titles until you’ve finished the entire ebook.

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Write the content.

Using the outline, write the content. Remember we said to write what you know? Well, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to fact-check. You need to show that the statements you make are accurate and back them up with expert quotes, links to research, footnotes or proof of personal and professional experience.

When giving advice or tips, use examples of possible scenarios that apply to what you’re sharing. It’s better if the examples are real, but you can change names for anonymity. Mention and refer to case studies or previous experiences to prove that your advice works.

When you’ve got the entire ebook written, put it down for a couple of days (if you have the time) and then come back to it with fresh eyes. Read it from beginning to end and check for these things:

  • Is there a flow from opening to closing?
  • Is the introduction inviting and interesting?
  • Does the content progress in some way from one topic to another?
  • Are all the visuals supporting the content positively?
  • Does all the interactive and multimedia content work as it should?
  • Do the transitions between sections make sense?
  • Is the conclusion concise and well-rounded?

Don’t forget to proofread!

Finally, don’t forget to proofread the text. Use tools like Grammarly or Language Tool as you write, and then do a final check with Grammarly Pro or Hemingway App to find language and grammar inconsistencies. If there’s an editor in your team, have them look through it and make changes to improve the flow, message and tone.

One of the reasons we love interactive ebooks made with Visme and shared with a live link is that all changes will reflect for the user the next time they open the ebook. This way, changes as small as a typo or as significant as a missing paragraph won’t mean republishing the ebook completely.

Having a writer's block? Or perhaps you need help proofreading your ebook. Visme’s AI text generator can help you create high-quality content. You can also use it to draft your ebook outline or proofread your content.

3. Get an ISBN For Your Ebook (Optional)

Before you design your ebook to sell, you might need an ISBN for it. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and is what distributors and bookstores use to distinguish your ebook from others.

Most publishers and distributors need an ISBN to sell any book, including an ebook. The only exceptions are Amazon and Visme live links and some digital download sites like Gumroad.

If you self-publish a physical book and an ebook of the same manuscript, each will need a unique ISBN. The same applies to different file formats of the same ebook.

4. Design Your Ebook

Designing your ebook is next. If you decide on a text-heavy format, incorporate some visuals to break up the content here and there. For expert knowledge ebooks, don’t use random stock photos to fill up space; use data visualizations instead.

These will both add visual richness and value for the reader. If you write a fiction book with very few visuals, try adding a small illustration at the beginning of each chapter, even the title or chapter number can be creative.

For ebooks with a highly visual approach, you’ll need to consider visuals a homogeneous and balanced collection. The imagery is meant to both support and accompany the text while helping with the flow of content.

An ebook template available to customize in Visme.

Placement of the visuals is vital for an easy-to-read pattern on every page. Take a look at some magazines to get inspired. Analyze how the text is easy to read with images and visuals dispersed in between.

Here’s a quick rundown of the pages your ebook needs:

  • Content Pages

About the Author

The info page includes the copyright, ISBN, year of publication, any disclaimers, acknowledgments and primary sources of content that need mentioning.

You have two choices to begin putting everything together: start with a template or design from scratch. The choice depends on your team and how confident the person in charge feels about it.

Even if you want to start with a blank canvas, there might be a template you like the look of. Templates are great for inspiration, and if you didn’t know, even designers use templates .

Start with a template.

Templates are great for free ebooks because they’re usually shorter and include less information. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use these for longer ebooks that you will charge for.

Look for templates on sites like Visme, Behance or Renderforest and choose one that fits your content. You can add, remove and duplicate pages in templates easily.

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Create your ebook View more templates

As you design the pages, you’ll notice why it was important to separate the content into clusters. Separating the content this way makes it easier to format both the text and visuals into the pages.

Take note of what content you copy into the template to avoid duplicating or missing significant sections.

Design your ebook from scratch.

Designing an ebook from scratch does need a certain level of design experience and time. If you want to add your own unique flair to your ebook, rather than using a template, then create from scratch.

You’ll need to plan the formatting first and take notes from ebook templates or ones you’ve bought or read previously.

Try out a couple of designs with sample pages and test with your team before fully finalizing all the pages. This technique will save time, much like a wireframe saves time when designing websites.

Here’s a checklist to help you complete all the steps when creating an ebook.

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Tips to improve your ebook design.

Regardless of whether you’re using a template or not, these design tips will help. Each section has a link to more helpful reading about design. Open them in a new tab to read later.

  • Font choice: Use no more than two fonts (or two styles of the same font) in your ebook—one for the headings and the others for body text. Great fonts for body text are; Lato, Garamond and Verdana. Choose the one that best matches your brand voice and tone.
  • Color palette: Choose a color palette that won’t tire the reader. Avoid using color for the main body text and stick to black or a very dark gray. For the visuals, stick to the same balanced color palette for illustrations, data visualizations and even for photography .
  • Visual hierarchy: Follow the rules of visual hierarchy on every page of your ebook. Also, apply flow hierarchy from page to page. Every section starts with a large title, maybe a smaller subtitle and then the body content in a regular size. Further down in the hierarchy could be footnotes and image captions.
  • Margins and spacing: One of the biggest mistakes made by non-designs is to forget about the margins . Give your ebook page margins big enough to make the content feel like it's floating in the center of the page. Maintain the same margin for every single page. The only exceptions are full-width images.
  • Page numb​​ers: Remember to number the pages in your ebook, but do so at the very end. You don’t need to put a page number on the cover, info page, or table of contents. Most document creators can number the pages automatically , look for that before trying to number the pages manually.

5. Create an Eye-Catching Ebook Cover Design

Create a clever and exciting ebook cover design with the target reader/user persona in mind. Use visuals that will be attractive or relatable to them. Remember that the cover design will not only be part of the ebook itself; you’ll also use it in a mockup to promote the ebook.

The cover design should include the following elements:

  • Ebook Title
  • Company Name/Logo
  • Brand Colors and Imagery

Even though people say to “not judge a book by its cover,” you can bet that people will do just that, regardless. Make sure the cover is inviting and makes sense with the topic of the book.

Use visual hierarchy to organize the content. For example, the title has the largest font, then the subtitle and finally the author name. You can see this in the example below.

publishing your book

6. Download & Publish Your Ebook

When you’re confident that your book is ready to publish, you’ll have to get it ready to sell. Refer back to the section above, where we list the different types of ebook file types. Choose the one that’s right for you. Here are a few more tips regarding your options.

If you choose to download it as a PDF (static or with active links), you’ll need some way to send the ebook to your clients. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Upload the PDF to your website to generate a link.
  • Add the PDF file to a Dropbox folder, generate the link and when sending it to the client, change the last digit from 0 to 1, so it downloads as soon as someone clicks on it.
  • Publish the ebook to the web with Visme and share the live link with customers. They’ll be able to read in Visme (without needing an account) and can download from there if they wish to do so. This option also allows for password-protected access.

Do you want to publish your book on one of the online publisher or distributor sites? You’ll need an EPUB or Word document file.

  • Use an online converter to change your PDF ebook into an EPUB— the best only for mostly text publications.
  • For responsive ebooks with lots of visuals, download it as an HTML5 and convert it to EPUB.
  • Upload your Word document file ebook to the publishing site, and they will convert it for you.

Is your ebook a digital visual experience with multimedia, animations, videos and more? Your best bet is to use the Visme publication option mentioned above.

7. Price Your Ebook

When putting a price on your ebook, it’s crucial to do some market research. How much are other writers charging for their ebooks on similar topics?

Notice how books are priced like this: $6.76, $16.78 or $13.89. It’s all about pricing psychology and how consumers see the price in decimals as being lower than a whole number.

When you choose the platform to publish and distribute your ebook, look at how much they take as a service fee. Mark up the price to a point where you’re making a profit.

How do you know if you’re making a profit? Calculate the time and work it took to create the ebook, to begin with. How much are you planning on spending on marketing?

Is your target audience people that will pay for a higher-priced book, or not? Calculate how many books you’d like to sell before making a profit and then price according to that.

Getting your pricing strategy right means you get to rake in good ebook profits.

8. Create a Landing Page For Your Ebook

Regardless of how you publish your ebook, you’ll need a landing page to promote it and bring people into your sales funnel. There are several ways to get your customers to pay for the book. Remember that the least number of clicks is always best.

Sell ebooks via your website using an e-commerce integration. Both Shopify and WooCommerce are great options. For something more simple, just add a PayPal button to the landing page. Then either set it up for automatic download or via an email to their inbox.

If you’re using a publisher or distributor like Amazon or a digital product marketplace like Gumroad, add the product link to the button on your landing page.

The landing page below is for a book that’s for sale both as a hardcover​​ or an ebook. Each button directs to the relevant sales page.

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9. Promote Your Ebook

Now that everything is ready, it’s time to promote your ebook. Some writers and marketers start promoting the book before it’s even finished, building excitement and expectation.

It’s your choice whether to start promoting before or after the ebook is ready. To advertise in advance, you have to be confident that it’ll be finished on a specific date, otherwise, a delay can harm your marketing strategies.

A great way to promote and share news about your ebook is to create a mockup graphic. Here are some ways you can promote your ebook, using the mockup in a promotional design:

  • Social media posts
  • Social media ads
  • Newsletters and email blasts
  • Outreach opportunities like guest posts on other sites
  • A popup on your site
  • As a footer or sidebar ad on your blog posts
  • Add a link to the landing page on your email signature
  • Ask readers to leave honest reviews which you can share

When you have more than one ebook, create a landing page for all of them together like an archive. Add the main page with all ebooks to your website’s primary menu as an essential resource for your visitors.

Need help with ebook marketing? This comprehensive guide has everything you need to know about marketing your ebook.

publishing your book

10. Track Ebook Sales

Tracking ebook sales performance is essential to know how to proceed with promotional strategies or further ebook creation. Use a combination of techniques to track sales and reading time; that way, you can find out if the people who buy the book are actually reading it or just letting it sit in their inbox.

Most of the sites to sell ebooks in the list above offer some type of analytics. You’ll have to see what each of them has in store when you look at the pros and cons of choosing. Visme, for example, has an analytics tool that shows visitors, views and demographics.

Use Google Analytics to track who visits the landing page but doesn’t buy. Add a UTM parameter to the landing page link when sharing it on social media or anywhere else. Create unique UTM parameters to track where the visits are coming from specifically.

11. Nurture Your Readers

If someone bought one of your ebooks, they’d likely buy another. Once you’ve captured their email and contact through email or via a Facebook pixel, nurture the communication with them.

Use an email provider to send newsletters about upcoming books and personalize messages relevant information to their interests.

Use Facebook ads to retarget people that have visited your site, landing page or Facebook page before. Use mockups with your cover design to make your ebook look inviting, interesting and worth buying. Send repeat buyers the first couple of chapters of an upcoming book, asking them to have first access when it goes live.

Q. Where Can I Sell My Ebooks?

There are various online platforms where you can sell your ebook. Some of the top platforms to consider are Visme, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Rakuten Kobo, Sellfy, Payhip and Gumroad.

Q. Is It Profitable to Sell Ebooks?

Ebooks are profitable, but simply publishing one is not enough. eBooks are profitable when they are marketed and sold properly with intent. Some authors who use Amazon to publish their ebooks can potentially make $1000+ a month.

Q. How Much Can You Make Selling Ebooks?

You can make a lot of money selling ebooks. However, the question—how much do ebooks make?—isn't cut and dried. The amount of money you make from selling ebooks depends on a lot of factors, including the cost of your book, additional expenses such as ebook platform fees and how well it’s received by its audience.

Q. Which Ebooks Sell the Most?

Bubble Cow found that the five top-selling ebook categories were religion and spirituality, biographies and memoirs, business and money, self-help and cookbooks or those focused on food and wine.

Write and Sell Ebooks to Generate Passive Income

Ready to start making money selling ebooks? In this guide, we've shared how to write an ebook and make money, from writing, designing and publishing an ebook to several possible sites to sell your ebook through.

Adding an ebook to your passive income strategy might be just what you need for the next quarter. There’s surely a wealth of knowledge you could share with readers, or maybe a fictional story or memoir you’ve been working on. Inspiring ebooks do well also in both business and self-help circles.

If you’re looking for a platform to create an ebook to sell, try out Visme's online ebook creator . You can easily create a multimedia ebook to share as a live link or convert to EPUB. Or, create a static or interactive PDF ebook to download and share in various ways.

Create beautiful, engaging content your audience will love.

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"Devastating loss" —

Internet archive forced to remove 500,000 books after publishers’ court win, internet archive fans beg publishers to stop emptying the open library..

Ashley Belanger - Jun 21, 2024 9:42 pm UTC

Internet Archive forced to remove 500,000 books after publishers’ court win

As a result of book publishers successfully suing the Internet Archive (IA) last year, the free online library that strives to keep growing online access to books recently shrank by about 500,000 titles.

IA reported in a blog post this month that publishers abruptly forcing these takedowns triggered a "devastating loss" for readers who depend on IA to access books that are otherwise impossible or difficult to access.

To restore access, IA is now appealing, hoping to reverse the prior court's decision by convincing the US Court of Appeals in the Second Circuit that IA's controlled digital lending of its physical books should be considered fair use under copyright law. An April court filing shows that IA intends to argue that the publishers have no evidence that the e-book market has been harmed by the open library's lending, and copyright law is better served by allowing IA's lending than by preventing it.

"We use industry-standard technology to prevent our books from being downloaded and redistributed—the same technology used by corporate publishers," Chris Freeland, IA's director of library services, wrote in the blog. "But the publishers suing our library say we shouldn’t be allowed to lend the books we own. They have forced us to remove more than half a million books from our library, and that’s why we are appealing."

IA will have an opportunity to defend its practices when oral arguments start in its appeal on June 28.

"Our position is straightforward; we just want to let our library patrons borrow and read the books we own, like any other library," Freeland wrote, while arguing that the "potential repercussions of this lawsuit extend far beyond the Internet Archive" and publishers should just "let readers read."

"This is a fight for the preservation of all libraries and the fundamental right to access information, a cornerstone of any democratic society," Freeland wrote. "We believe in the right of authors to benefit from their work; and we believe that libraries must be permitted to fulfill their mission of providing access to knowledge, regardless of whether it takes physical or digital form. Doing so upholds the principle that knowledge should be equally and equitably accessible to everyone, regardless of where they live or where they learn."

Internet Archive fans beg publishers to end takedowns

After publishers won an injunction stopping IA's digital lending, which "limits what we can do with our digitized books," IA's help page said, the open library started shrinking. While "removed books are still available to patrons with print disabilities," everyone else has been cut off, causing many books in IA's collection to show up as "Borrow Unavailable."

Ever since, IA has been "inundated" with inquiries from readers all over the world searching for the removed books, Freeland said. And "we get tagged in social media every day where people are like, 'why are there so many books gone from our library'?" Freeland told Ars.

In an open letter to publishers signed by nearly 19,000 supporters, IA fans begged publishers to reconsider forcing takedowns and quickly restore access to the lost books.

Among the "far-reaching implications" of the takedowns, IA fans counted the negative educational impact of academics, students, and educators—"particularly in underserved communities where access is limited—who were suddenly cut off from "research materials and literature that support their learning and academic growth."

They also argued that the takedowns dealt "a serious blow to lower-income families, people with disabilities, rural communities, and LGBTQ+ people, among many others," who may not have access to a local library or feel "safe accessing the information they need in public."

"Your removal of these books impedes academic progress and innovation, as well as imperiling the preservation of our cultural and historical knowledge," the letter said.

"This isn't happening in the abstract," Freeland told Ars. "This is real. People no longer have access to a half a million books."

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‘He Talked About Wanting to Be a Doctor and Ate His Chopped Cheese’

Stopping for food in the Bronx, a windy day on Third Avenue and more reader tales of New York City in this week’s Metropolitan Diary.

Chopped Cheese

Dear Diary:

I was on my way to a Jackson Hewitt tax office in the Bronx on a Monday night. I stopped at a Bengali place for dinner. I left with two samosas, plus dinner and lunch for the next day.

It was 9 p.m. when I got to the subway station. I looked around and noticed a boy on the platform. He was playing a video game.

I opened the container with the samosas, but before I could dip one in sauce, the boy interrupted me.

Excuse me, Miss, he said. Do you have a dollar for water? I’m thirsty.

I put my food away.

Let’s go, I said.

We went downstairs.

Are you hungry? I asked him.

Yes, he said.

We walked to a Jamaican restaurant on the corner known for its jerk chicken, bread fruit and steamed fish.

Please, Miss, the boy asked, can we go to a deli?

We found one nearby. He ordered a chopped cheese and an Arizona iced tea. I paid, and we ran back up to the station.

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Hillary Clinton announces new book, tour in September

Hillary Clinton has penned a new memoir that will be published in the lead up to November’s election.

Simon & Schuster will release “Something Lost, Something Gained” in September, supporting it with a book tour that will last into October.

What You Need To Know

Hillary clinton has announced a new memoir and book tour for september simon & schuster will publish "something lost, something gained: reflections on life, love and liberty" the book will be released sept. 17 clinton will promote the book on a five-city tour that begins in washington, d.c. and ends in seattle in october.

“I can’t wait to hit the road and talk about ‘Something Lost, Something Gained’ with you in person. I hope you can join me for wide-ranging conversations that go behind the scenes and include never-before told stories,” Clinton said in a statement. “We’ll discuss the state of our politics and creating the future we want for our children and grandchildren and, most of all, have some fun while we’re at it!”

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Subtitled “reflections on life, love and liberty,” the latest memoir from the former first lady, and U.S. Senator for New York, U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee will offer “her candid views on life and love, politics, liberty, democracy, the threats we face, and the future within our reach,” according to the publisher.

Her tour will begin in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16 and continue with stops in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle.

Clinton has written ten other books, including “What Happened,” published in 2017, about her failed bid for the presidency in 2016.


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  20. Online Self-Publishing Book & Ebook Company

    Create & self publish your book for free! Quality and affordable custom book printing at your fingertips with our international Print-On-Demand network.

  21. How To Publish A Book For Free: 11 Best Platforms

    6 Steps to publish your book for free. 1. Finalize the title of your book. 2. Convert your book files to the right format. 3. Choose a book cover. 4.

  22. How to Write and Sell eBooks on Amazon With Kindle Direct ...

    2. Create a New Kindle Book as an Amazon Seller. To create a new Kindle book, click the. + Create. button. You'll now see the Kindle eBook Details screen, the first of three sections you'll need ...

  23. Poetry Formatting: How to Correctly Format Your Book

    Bringing your poetry to life. In summary, proper poetry formatting is essential for enhancing the readability, aesthetics, and impact of a poetry book. With BookBaby’s expertise in printing, editing, and formatting services, poets can transform their manuscripts into professionally published works of art, ready to captivate readers and ...

  24. How to Publish a ‘Timely’ Scholarly Book

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  25. How to Make Money Selling Ebooks in 2024

    2. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon is one of the largest online platforms for selling digital ebooks. Most authors are proactively selling ebooks on Amazon. Publishing your own ebook is one of the most popular ways to make money on Amazon, which can potentially make $1000+ a month.

  26. 13-Year-Old Boy Makes History, Publishes First Ever Book About

    Wash Your “T” and Close Your Eyes, which he co-authored with his mom, Patrice Tartt Chappelle, is a delightful and educational book set to transform how children, particularly Black and brown children, perceive and practice skin care. A few weeks after publishing the book, the duo was also awarded a $2,000 grant to use towards the business.

  27. Internet Archive forced to remove 500,000 books after publishers’

    377. As a result of book publishers successfully suing the Internet Archive (IA) last year, the free online library that strives to keep growing online access to books recently shrank by about ...

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  29. Hillary Clinton announces new book, tour in September

    Hillary Clinton has announced a new memoir and book tour for September; Simon & Schuster will publish "Something Lost, Something Gained: Reflections on Life, Love and Liberty" The book will be released Sept. 17; Clinton will promote the book on a five-city tour that begins in Washington, D.C. and ends in Seattle in October