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May 14, 2012
And now for the second part of Jocelyn's question…
Q. "How can I publish my book?"
A. Want to see your book on the shelves of bookstores all over the country? (Who doesn't?!) In that case, you're probably going to want a pretty major publisher - meaning one that's well-known and large enough to get the book out there. The so-called "Big Six" publishers include Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, Random House, and Simon & Schuster. But there are many other big ones, too.
Publishing with this group is competitive. In most cases, these publishers don't even want to hear from writers directly. So how do they find books to publish? They talk to literary agents who sell writers' work. As you might guess, landing a literary agent is also competitive. Not impossible, but definitely not easy.
The "Big Six" and their pals aren't the only decent publishers in the world, however. There are plenty of smaller, independent publishers that accept submissions from writers without an agent. That way, you can at least cut out one step. Smaller publishers might not have the money to get your book into every store in the country. But they can give more attention to each writer they work with, since they publish fewer books. "Attention" could mean anything from editing your book so it's in great shape to getting people interested in buying your book.
Self-publishing is always an option, too, but it comes with a couple of major drawbacks. For one thing, you have to pay to publish your book instead of the other way around. Also, getting people to buy and read your book is all up to you - and that's no easy task.
Most writers don't have an easy time finding a publisher. Famous authors are no exception. J.K. Rowling and Dr. Seuss had their work rejected before they hit it big. Many publishers even turned down Anne Frank's diary. So if a publisher says "no" to you, don't take it too hard. Just know it's normal - and keep searching for the publisher who'll say "yes."Jocelyn asked a two-part question. First...