Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Trying to Get Published

5 min read

As I have said before publishing your book is a huge accomplishment. This signifies that you have made it, your book is done and you can be called an Author. How you get there is the better question.

I have talked about how I went through the publishing process by way of self-publishing. There are many different ways that you can go about this, paying someone to do it for you or doing it completely on your own (my chosen path). In regards to the path of traditional publishing, I myself have been working hard on queries to get two books published this way. In order to do this, I needed to do some research.

Steps to get a publisher:

  1. Finish your novel: This is self-explanatory.

  2. Find an Editor: This is very important. Finding the right editor that works well with your style is something that I think writers forget, as our goal is simply to get it edited and to move on through the process. There are lots of sites you can use to find them. I use Upwork to find editors where you can choose your budget and their level of experience. Reedsy, Fiver, and even a Google search can also find you editors that suit your needs.

    1. Type: Editing Company- When finding an editing company be sure to look at their rates, customer reviews, and testaments. These will help you to find the best fit for you. 

    2. Freelance Editor- When hiring a freelancer for editing be sure to do an interview with them and ask for samples of their work. This helps you to be sure that you are hiring a reliable editor. When I posted a job for my editing on Upwork, I asked the editors to edit the first three chapters of the book so I could see their style and I chose from three editors' works. This was really eye-opening and helped me find the best fit for my book.

    3. Services: Grammatical Edit- One of the most crucial edits you need for your book is for someone to do a grammatical edit. Make sure that all your I’s are dotted and your writing makes sense. 

      Content Edit- Having someone look through your book to assess the plot, structure, and character motives. This can vary from a simple overview of what needs work such as, the plot doesn't make sense or even (if you rework the beginning three chapters, the rest falls into place). Then there are developmental edits that help you fix the flow of your story and make sure the plot arch is good from the reader's perspective.

      **Believe me. You never want to be the only one editing your work. As many times as you read over it and fix it, we all still subconsciously place words in our work. By all means, make sure to go over your book as many times as you can but either have an editor or a person who is great with grammar look over your work. You would be surprised how much grammar affects readers and causes them to put your book down as a result.**

  3. Finding a Literary Agent: When finding a literary agent you need to do your research. You want to find a literary agent that specializes in your genre, this means that they have other authors and are interested in your genre as well. Then you need to catch their attention and sell yourself through a query letter. A query letter is where you will provide a summary of your book, talk about your social media presence and sell yourself to make them want to represent you. Be sure to look over the agent's submission requirements before submitting a query. If it doesn't include what they are asking for, it could end up right in the decline pile.

    I have yet to find myself an agent but I am hopeful that it will happen one of these days. One of the things that I have found helpful is having other writers look over my query letter and give me some feedback on how to improve it. Having an outsider's perspective is extremely helpful. Please also keep in mind that the road to traditional publishing is a marathon. For my one novel, I have now received 89 rejections, however, I am hopeful that someone will see its potential and love it the way that I love it.

Once you have done these steps and obtained a literary agent you are well on your way. Publishers require a literary agent to make sure your book is serious and complete to move forward. There are publishing houses that don't require an agent, however, I caution you to do your research and read all of the fine print. Make sure that they are doing more for you than you could do on your own if you were self-published. This is something you have put your heart and soul into, make sure it's in the right hands.