Book publishing is not something that just about anyone who has a story line can accomplish. It is a task relegated to those who have the determination to make it through the tough world of publishing.
Even authors themselves ask this question – “How do I get my book published?” More than anyone else, they are the ones who are aware of how difficult it is to enter the book publishing industry.
The Necessity for a Literary Agent
It involves more than having a well-written manuscript. It also means having to tap a literary agent to represent you before a commercial book publisher. This is because of the sad reality that most big book publishing houses out there would only accept submissions from a literary agent. Even small publishing centers tend to have the same requirement.
In fact, the odds of you winning in the casino are much higher than you getting your book published. It is said that around 25 million people in the US call themselves writers but only 5% of them were able to have their works printed. On a given day, roughly five to six million manuscripts are awaiting to find a book publishing house to accommodate them.
Cut-throat competition in the book publishing arena
When asked about how many unsolicited inquiries, proposals, submissions, and samples they receive annually, literary agents claim that they number to nearly 5,000. Out of these, only 11 lucky souls can usually make it to the cut. This means that only one out of 500 wishful authors can be represented by an agent. This is how tough it is to break through the walls that separate a neophyte writer and one with a proven track record.
You must remember that unlike other industries, book publishing does not produce a significantly high Return on Investment (ROI) for its investors. That is why, those who are into the business concentrate all their efforts into making every published book as profitable as possible. The result is that they prioritize known authors over beginners, a business strategy that appears to be rather prudent.
How you can make it to the book publishing industry
The first step is to write a book that you’d think would sell since book publishing is just like selling ideas and stories after all. Your target readers must be able to relate to your masterpiece. Then submit your manuscript to an agency. Since it’s difficult to stand out from the stiff competition, submit to more than one agency. Do this to increase your chances of being chosen from the rest and to finally enter the arena called book publishing.
Remember also to submit to leading publishing companies. Considered as the big five in the industry are HarperCollins, Penguin USA Random House Inc, Simon & Schuster, and Time Warner. Statistics shows that these big publishing houses account for almost 80% of all book sales in the United States.
Keep all these in mind and you might just be on your way to selling books published under your name!