How To Publish Your Book

Thank you for visiting the Plan. Write. Publish! Blog. I often get questions about how to become an authorpreneur and how does one publish a book. My book, The 7-Step Guide To Authorpreneurship, provides a step-by-step guide from Planning Your Book to Publishing/Promoting Your Book, but in the meantime I thought we could keep it very simple! By following this basic guide, you’ll be able to Plan, Write, Publish and Market your book with some degree of confidence.

Step 1. Plan Your Fiction Novel or Non-Fiction Book

The first thing that you need to do in order to get a book published is to have a manuscript. If you are just getting started, plan out what type of book you are writing, who your audience is, why are you writing this book and what each reader should get from your book.

The steps will change depending on whether the book is Fiction or Non-Fiction, but these two articles can help you get started:

Planing Your Fiction Novel

Planning Your Non-Fiction Book

Reasons to Write an eBook for Your Business

Step 2. Write, Right Now

Use the planning steps mentioned above to plan your book in advance, and once you have things planned out- write until you are done. The publishing process will come to a complete standstill if you are unable to finish your first draft. Getting your book on paper (or into MS Word) is the most important step, yet it doesn’t end here. If you don’t produce a quality publication, your career as an author will be over before it starts. To avoid this tragedy, after completing your first draft you should:

  1. Distance Yourself from the MS– Send your work to an editor or trusted friend for feedback.
  2. Write or Refine Your Book Proposal and Marketing Plan–  Think about who your target audience is, why they should read your book, and how you plan to reach them. I placed this step here because when you go back to edit your manuscript, you should have this plan in mind to ensure you are delivering on your claims.
  3. Polish Your Manuscript- Now that you have had several weeks away from your manuscript, print it out and edit it as you read. Do a final check as you enter your changes to the electronic copy.

Here a few articles that can help you ensure that you write the premier content that your readers deserve:

Finish Your Novel in 4 Easy Steps

Keep Your Book Fresh: Avoid These 25 Writing Cliches

How to Capture Your Audience

7 Productivity Strategies to Stay on Track

Writing Tips for the Uninspired

How to Clean Up Your Manuscript: What to Look For, What Not to Do

Step 3. Get Published

This is where you begin submitting your manuscript to publishers if you are going for traditional publishing. Before submitting your manuscript, be sure to hire an editor to help you polish your submission and ensure the plot, character development, spelling and grammar are sound.

Once you have submitted your manuscript you begin the waiting game. A reply from a traditional publisher can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months just to get your initial contact, and up to 2 years to publish your work. Expect rejections, and be prepared to make changes to your MS based on the feedback you get.

If you are planning to self-publish, you should be seeking a qualified editor to work on your manuscript and get it ready for publication. You will also need to begin looking into your self-publishing options, or select your final choice based on previous research. It’s important to be honest about whether you are an authorpreneur or just an author before you self-publish. For self-publishing to be successful, one must have an entrepreneurial spirit and the motivation to stay on top of your marketing plans. Check out these articles on the pros and cons or traditional and Self-Publishing, along with a small list of publishing resources:

Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing?

5 Reasons You Should Self-Publish

Christian Publishers*
*Companies not accepted unsolicited manuscripts have been omitted

Christian Editors*
*This is not meant to be a list of recommended services.

Christian Agents*
*This is not meant to be a list of recommended services.


Step 4. Marketing Your Book

Once your book release date is set, the marketing fun begins! If you have chosen a traditional publisher, they may provide you with marketing materials that you can use to promote your work. You need these items at a minimum:

  1. Sell Sheet with book and distribution information
  2. Postcards to let people know about your new book, and as a reminder
  3. Bookmarks to hand out at bookstores and events

Whether you are publishing traditionally or DIY, make sure that you have a marketing plan that realistically outlines what you can do yourself and what you need to outsource to professionals. I would suggest starting to ramp up your marketing and book review requests 3to 6 months before the publication of your book. You should also have a post-publication plan, and a plan to revitalize your book when it is no longer considered a new release. Here are a few articles to help you through your marketing, book launch and beyond:

How to Create a Book Trailer

Press Release Writing Tips

Create a Digital Press Kit

5 Tips for Writing Great Book Marketing Copy

How to Throw a Book Launch Party

Publicity and Book Marketing Are Not the Same

Making Your Book a Bestseller

Step 5. Enjoy, Rinse & Repeat

Congratulations! You have now planned, written, published and marketed your book successfully. Take a moment to enjoy the glory of having your dreams come true. For some authors, this is where you get off and you have no intentions of doing this all again.We hope you enjoyed the process, and may your book be ever successful! If you need a more detailed step-by-step instruction, check out my book The 7-Step Guide To Authorpreneurship.

For the Authorpreneur who views writing as a business, you will be looking towards your next novel or non-fiction book. Undoubtedly, you have learned some lessons along the way and the second or third go around will be better than the first. We wish you Good Luck as you continue on your journey, and invite you back to share what you know!


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