The Most Important Question to Ask
So, you've written a book – congratulations! You are light years ahead of those who claim they have the “perfect idea” for a book but never get around to actually writing it. You have no doubt worked diligently on your manuscript but the hardest part is yet to come: how to get your content out to the public. Before you launch into the lengthy and arduous process of trying to land a publisher, here's the most important question you should ask: why do you want to be published? The answer will provide you with a clue for the next steps to take.
In the world of publishing, throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something will stick will likely prove to be ineffective. You can spend hours sending out query letters but this will net you little gain until your clarify who your intended audience is.
Like many writers, I worked tirelessly to try and attract a publisher, but none were interested in my work because I wasn't represented by an agent. I was unable to get an agent because I had never been published. It seemed like an impossible circle to break into! When I finally got around to asking myself why I wanted to be published in the first place, the answer was simple: I wanted my work to be turned into an audio book.
I had needlessly assumed that in order to have my work presented as an audio book, it must first come out in print form. In a supreme “ah ha” moment, I realized this wasn't true at all! This discovery gave me the courage to form Straight to Audio Productions, LLC and begin work on my first audio book.
Perhaps audio books aren't your thing or it's an option you would like to consider at later date. It is still important to figure out why you are trying to get published. Fame and fortune aside, pinpointing the intended purpose of your work will bring focus your efforts.
If you have written something that only appeals to a small segment of the population ie: a history of the invention of plywood, perhaps you could start a blog and offer your content online. Maybe you've written a family genealogy which holds little allure to those not related to you. In this case, you could find a desk-top publishing company which offers “print on demand” books. But if you believe your project has mass appeal and traditional publishers are ignoring your work, e-books are an excellent option.
Thanks to the internet, there are endless opportunities to share your content. By identifying the goals for your work, you can sharpen your efforts and increase the probability of success.