Get Your Books Published (Publish my book)

Get your books published (publish my book) Series on How to Sell big

Get your books Pub­lished Content

Pub­lish my book : Pub­lish­ing house, agency or self-pub­lish­ing? I How to apply to an agency or a pub­lish­ing house I What to con­sid­er when Self-Pub­lish­ing I Lat­est



Get Your Books Published

Pub­lish my book may sound easy at first for laypeo­ple. But in fact, many indi­vid­ual steps must be tak­en before a book can be bought in a book­store. First, the author should ask him­self how the book should be pub­lished. An agency, a pub­lish­ing house or self-pub­lish­ing can be con­sid­ered. I pub­lish in self-pub­lish­ing because it gives me a lot of cre­ative free­dom and it fits very well with my work. I use many dif­fer­ent plat­forms for cre­ation, pub­li­ca­tion, and mar­ket­ing. In this series, I would like to intro­duce you to plat­forms that help you pub­lish your books in self-publishing.


At one glaze — Publishing-Platforms presented on this Blog

How to Sell Big with:

  • IngramSpark
  • Draft2Digital
  • Pub­lish Drive
  • Find­away Voices
  • Smash­words


Since self-pub­lish­ing might not be inter­est­ing for every­one, I would like to give you a short intro­duc­tion to pub­lish­ing books the clas­si­cal way with an agency or a pub­lish­ing house.


Publish my book: Publishing house, agency or self-publishing?

After a book has been writ­ten, an author is faced with the impor­tant ques­tion of how best to pub­lish his or her book. Do I want to have my book pub­lished by an agency or pub­lish­ing house, or do I pub­lish my book in self-publishing?

If you are look­ing for a pub­lish­er, the first thing to do is to present your book to an agency. In gen­er­al, agen­cies do not accept man­u­scripts that have already been reject­ed by var­i­ous pub­lish­ers. How­ev­er, it is quite pos­si­ble the oth­er way round: pub­lish­ers also accept books that have already been reject­ed by agen­cies. If I don’t find an agency that is inter­est­ed in my books, I try the sec­ond step of going direct­ly to a publisher.

If I can’t find an agency or a pub­lish­er, I can still pub­lish my book in self-publishing.

Of course, it can also be decid­ed from the begin­ning to pub­lish the books in self-pub­lish­ing. Many plat­forms for this will help you. On this blog, I will intro­duce you to dif­fer­ent plat­forms, tools, and hacks on how you can suc­cess­ful­ly pub­lish your books by your­self. I’m hap­py to help new authors to their first pub­lished book, but I’m sure, that even pro­fes­sion­als don’t know all plat­forms and their pos­si­bil­i­ties and can get to know new ideas and plat­forms here.


Publishing through an agency

When I sub­mit my book to an agency, they first check my book for its mar­ket poten­tial. If the agency comes to a pos­i­tive result, they sign the author. In the next step, the agency will look for a pub­lish­er to pub­lish the book. Since agents often have good net­works and con­tacts, the chances of find­ing the right pub­lish­er are good.

Respectable agen­cies only demand mon­ey from the author once the book has been signed with a suit­able pub­lish­er. Usu­al­ly, the agents then receive a suc­cess fee between 15–20%, which is linked to the income the pub­lish­er house pays to the author.

Many agen­cies are spe­cial­ized in cer­tain gen­res and would like to be offered the right man­u­scripts. There­fore, the author should first think about the genre under which he wants to pub­lish his book. In con­crete terms, this means that he or she research­es on the Inter­net and on the agen­cy’s web­site to see if the genre match­es his or her manuscript.


Publish my book through a publisher

If I have already offered my man­u­script to sev­er­al agen­cies and they have not been inter­est­ed in it, I can still con­tact a pub­lish­er house direct­ly. Of course, before I con­tact the pub­lish­er house, I check if my man­u­script fits into the port­fo­lio of the pub­lish­er house since they also spe­cial­ize in gen­res and sub-gen­res. Often thor­ough research on the pub­lish­er’s web­site or the old-fash­ioned walk to the book­store to find out where the pub­lish­er specializes.

For a direct appli­ca­tion to a pub­lish­er house, an author needs a lot of patience. Often it takes months before the author receives an answer to his man­u­script. Can­cel­la­tions often come in a stan­dard­ized form and with­out a list of rea­sons for the rejec­tion. A rejec­tion does not nec­es­sar­i­ly speak for the qual­i­ty of the book, but can also be based on inter­nal deci­sions of the pub­lish­ing house. For exam­ple, a book can be reject­ed if a pub­lish­er does not want to pub­lish the book because it does not fit into the pro­gram the­mat­i­cal­ly, the pub­lish­er already has anoth­er book on the same top­ic, the bud­get is too tight and many oth­er rea­sons. Rejec­tion is, there­fore, no rea­son to be discouraged! 

If big pub­lish­ers have already reject­ed my book, it can make sense for me to look around for small pub­lish­ers. These are often even more spe­cial­ized in sub-gen­res, themes, regions or tar­get groups. If I find a small­er pub­lish­er that fits my book exact­ly, I often have a bet­ter chance of being signed.

Good and bad expe­ri­ences can be made in both small and large pub­lish­ing hous­es. The way authors are dealt with depends on the edi­tor and the cor­po­rate cul­ture itself.


Publish my book in self-publishing

Self-pub­lish­ing allows me to pub­lish my book myself, with­out a pub­lish­er. For this I don’t even have to found a pub­lish­ing house, I just have to find the right ser­vice provider. (On this blog you will find many great plat­forms that can help you a lot). Many well-known authors have pub­lished their books them­selves before they were “dis­cov­ered” by a pub­lish­er house. Of course, pub­lish­er hous­es are only inter­est­ed in self-pub­lish­ers whose books are doing well.

There­fore, self-pub­lish­ers must be able to com­pete with books from pub­lish­ers in terms of qual­i­ty. To achieve this, it is espe­cial­ly impor­tant to be able to tell at a glance to which gen­re/­sub-genre a book belongs, the title should sound crisp and good and a pro­fes­sion­al­ly designed cov­er is essen­tial. If pos­si­ble, the man­u­script should also be of very good qual­i­ty, ide­al­ly proof­read by an editor.

What should not be for­got­ten is that self-pub­lish­ers must also mar­ket their books them­selves. As a rule of thumb, at least as much work is involved in mar­ket­ing as in writ­ing the manuscript.

Also for the mar­ket­ing of self-pub­lish­ing books, you will find more plat­forms and hacks on this blog, which hope­ful­ly will help you to get your books ahead. Who knows, maybe at some point pub­lish­ers will come to you of their own accord to sign your books.


Printing cost subsidy publishers

Nev­er use print­ing cost sub­sidy pub­lish­ers. These only cost mon­ey and bring noth­ing at all. I rec­og­nize such a pub­lish­er by the fact that I, as an author, should pay a lot of mon­ey to have my man­u­script print­ed. At the same time, the pub­lish­er tells me that the man­u­script has been crit­i­cal­ly reviewed, where the pub­lish­er accepts all man­u­scripts and earns mon­ey from the authors.


publish my book via a publisher

How do I apply to an agency or publishing house?

Assumed you decid­ed to apply to an agency or a pub­lish­ing house, you need to know which stept syou have to take from now. For an com­plete appli­ca­tion to an agency or a pub­lish­ing house you need a cov­er let­ter, an exposé and a read­ing sam­ple of your book. Nev­er send unasked the full man­u­script right away. Do some research, plan your approarch and convince. 


The cover letter

If I am an unknown author with a fin­ished man­u­script and I con­tact an agency or pub­lish­er, I should nev­er just send the fin­ished man­u­script. A suc­cess­ful first con­tact includes a cov­er let­ter, an exposé, and a read­ing sam­ple. Sim­i­lar to an appli­ca­tion for a job.

Often the agen­cy’s or pub­lish­er’s web­site will state in what form they would like to receive a book offer. Also, we often find a con­tact per­son or a direct addressee for our appli­ca­tion. If the pub­lish­er receives many requests, often a length of the read­ing sam­ple and the scope of the exposé is also spec­i­fied. These spec­i­fi­ca­tions should be adhered to at all costs, oth­er­wise, the pub­lish­er may put the man­u­script away direct­ly with­out tak­ing anoth­er look at it.

The cov­er let­ter should state that I would like to offer my man­u­script to the pub­lish­er and whether a con­tact has already been made before. It should not be explained how great oth­ers have already found the man­u­script, this seems unpro­fes­sion­al and an expert will not be influ­enced by the opin­ion of oth­ers anyway.


The exposé

An exposé should be appeal­ing and enter­tain­ing and should awak­en the read­er’s desire for more. For many authors, writ­ing an exposé is incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult: the entire sto­ry must be short­ened to a few sen­tences. But it is worth it all.

A good exposé should con­tain the fol­low­ing build­ing blocks:

  • Author’s name and address
  • The num­ber of pages and char­ac­ters (includ­ing spaces) of the entire manuscript
  • The infor­ma­tion on the genre of the book
  • Venue
  • Pre­cise data on the course/time of action (e.g. which epoch)
  • If the book is part of a series or a sin­gle title
  • A short por­trait of the main char­ac­ters (no more than 2–3 sen­tences per character)
  • A short sum­ma­ry of the sto­ry (5–10 sentences)
  • A longer sum­ma­ry of the sto­ry (about 2–3 pages)

The entire exposé is on aver­age three to five pages long. The short sum­ma­ry should be writ­ten like the blurb in a book. The long sum­ma­ry should also con­tain a con­clu­sion and give a rough overview of the writ­ing style.


The reading sample

To show an agency or a pub­lish­ing house how the book was writ­ten, a read­ing sam­ple is need­ed. This should be between 15 and 30 pages long. Many authors choose a read­ing sam­ple from the first chap­ter, as this is a good intro­duc­tion to the top­ic. How­ev­er, this is not necessary.



After an ini­tial let­ter has been sent to an agency or pub­lish­er and has been con­vinc­ing, the man­u­script can be asked for in a sec­ond step.

The man­u­script, as well as the read­ing sam­ple, must be prop­er­ly for­mat­ted. This means more precisely:

  • The entire text is for­mat­ted in stan­dard pages (30 lines with 60 char­ac­ters each)
  • The begin­ning of a chap­ter is marked by a num­ber, let­ter or heading
  • Each scene begins with a blank line
  • Dialogs are marked with quo­ta­tion marks and stand out from the rest of the text
  • The lit­er­al speech of a fig­ure begins with a new para­graph. If anoth­er fig­ure speaks, his speech also begins with a paragraph
  • The foot­er of the entire man­u­script includes the work­ing title of the book, the author’s name and a tele­phone num­ber or e‑mail address of the author

The man­u­script should, of course, be near­ly error-free, com­plete­ly fin­ished and revised sev­er­al times. Only rarely does a pub­lish­er or agency pro­vide infor­ma­tion about what they think is miss­ing or should be dif­fer­ent. Assume that error-free man­u­scripts are expect­ed to be ready for publication.

The last edit­ing before pub­li­ca­tion is by default done by the pub­lish­er when it is decid­ed to pub­lish the book. Self-pub­lish­ers must, of course, pay or take over the edit­ing out of their own pocket.


E‑mail or paper?

Most agen­cies pre­fer to receive offers by e‑mail. How­ev­er, pub­lish­er hous­es often pre­fer a print­ed ver­sion of the offer deliv­ered as a letter.

Often you will find a note on the web­sites of the agen­cies and pub­lish­ers. You should always study the agen­cy’s or pub­lish­er’s web­site care­ful­ly in advance and send the doc­u­ments as indicated.


publish my book

What do I have to consider if I want to publish my book in self-publishing?

If you want to pub­lish your book in self-pub­lish­ing, in addi­tion to the man­u­script, you have to con­sid­er and take into account oth­er cri­te­ria such as book for­mats, cov­er, ISBN, bleed, mar­ket­place, and marketing.


Which book format is selected to publish my book

First of all, it should be con­sid­ered whether the book should be pub­lished only as an e‑book, as a print book or as an audiobook.

Ebooks offer many advan­tages, as they are quick and easy to pub­lish, can be sent around, can be read on a large num­ber of devices and can be revised quick­ly if changes are required.

Print­ed books are clas­sic books, print­ed on paper. Even today, many peo­ple pre­fer to read on paper rather than on a screen. Print books are a bit more com­pli­cat­ed and can hard­ly be pub­lished with­out the right self-pub­lish­ing ser­vice provider. In this case, you have to pay atten­tion to the trim of the pages and the cov­er, as well as to an ISBN.

Audio­books are a very spe­cial top­ic. Audio­books must be spo­ken clean­ly, with­out stut­ter­ing and with a clear voice. You can do this by your­self if you feel con­fi­dent enough to do so. Oth­er­wise, a speak­er can be bought in addi­tion or the whole process can be out­sourced. Of course, I will also present the appro­pri­ate plat­form for this.


The Cover

All three book for­mats (whether ebook, print or audio­book) need a cov­er. The cov­er should be pro­fes­sion­al­ly designed. It is the first thing that catch­es the eye. The cov­er should fit the tar­get group and the theme of the book. The gold­en cut and line man­age­ment should be observed. If you want to out­source the cov­er, you should find a pro­fes­sion­al design­er. Many free­lancer plat­forms offer the right ser­vices. The prices depend on the free­lancer and can range from 2–1000$, depend­ing on the qual­i­ty and the designer.



Only print books need an own ISBN. The ISBN is the num­ber with which a book is list­ed in the book direc­to­ry. With this book direc­to­ry, a book can be ordered from a book­seller from any­where in the world. For print books it is even manda­to­ry to have an ISBN, oth­er­wise, the book can­not be sold.

Now there are two options. There are ISB­Ns that I can buy on the inter­net and thus secure my place in the book direc­to­ry. I can then assign this ISBN to my book.

A sec­ond option is to buy an ISBN from my print ser­vice provider. They usu­al­ly charge a ser­vice fee for this, but then they also make sure that my book is prop­er­ly entered in the book direc­to­ry and that my book is offered for sale world­wide. This ser­vice provider can be the same one I use to print my book or anoth­er one.



The bleed is also only rel­e­vant for print books. Before a book is sent to print, it must be ensured that both the cov­er and the man­u­script have suf­fi­cient mar­gin for the paper to be trimmed.

Under this point, I would like to men­tion that of course the for­mat (size), paper, cov­er hard­ness and coat­ing of the book are indi­vid­ual cost fac­tors that should also be tak­en into account.


Marketplace and marketing

Depend­ing on whether an e‑book, a print book or an audio­book has been pub­lished, there are dif­fer­ent mar­ket places where I can sell my book and pub­lish it if nec­es­sary. Prob­a­bly the biggest and best-known mar­ket­place world­wide for self-pub­lish­ing books is Ama­zon. Self-pub­lish­ing via Ama­zon is very sim­ple and user-friend­ly for all three for­mats, so pub­lish­ing via Ama­zon is real­ly easy. Ama­zon is a bit trick­i­er with mar­ket­ing because a lot of peo­ple pub­lish books here, so make sure to get to know to the Ama­zon Mar­ket­ing Ser­vices (AMS). 

Apart from Ama­zon, there are also numer­ous oth­er plat­forms through which books can be pub­lished and dis­trib­uted. Among the most famous are Draft2Digital, IngramSpark , Smash­words and Pub­lish Dri­ve.

Some oth­er plat­forms are only meant for the mar­ket­ing of books. These include author and read­er net­works, book cir­cles and genre niche sites.

Let’s dis­cov­er togeth­er how we can best get your book pub­lished. In this series, you will find many plat­forms and hacks that will help you pub­lish and mar­ket your book in self-publishing.


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