How to be published? there are three main ways, but they are difficult and risky.
Look for a traditional publisher
This usually costs you an immense amount of energy and time: doing alone, if you have not accumulated a minimum of experience in publishing, is likely to be counterproductive: there is the risk of reading and reviewing your own manuscript several times seeing you always check out new errors.
Or to let the book read to people who, despite having a degree in literature, ignore many criteria of publishing houses; there is the risk of having to consult the dictionary or Italian experts many, too many times to resolve one’s doubts; the risk of having to start rewriting, losing more precious time; the risk of sending manuscripts to dozens and dozens of publishers at random, without letters of introduction and spending a fortune on stamps; the risk of writing a publishing project to present to a publisher without knowing where to start; there is the risk of starting a long research on the publishers of the sector, neglecting many or coming across, unintentionally, in publishers that after an enthusiastic response will ask you for money. In short, the risks in doing alone are many, and the greatest risk is that of having spent too much energy, time and money to end up with nothing.
Entrust yourself to a literary agency
Looking for outside help is a good choice, but care must be taken. Help can come for example from those mediators between editor and writer who are literary agencies. These agencies are many, of many types, with different functions, criteria and methods. Ideally, an agency that has a suitable text and great potential at hand, will be able to try to place it not only at the main publishers but also at film and television production houses, to make a film. They have very variable prices and reading and evaluation times. Obviously agencies, like publishers, would like to deal with texts that respect certain editorial and professional requirements. The selection can be very hard. If you choose to take the way of the literary agent so that your text is represented, try taking a look at our agency page.
Choose self-publishing with print on demand, ebook or traditional print
In recent years, a third way is emerging to publish. By renouncing the ambition to reach traditional publishers, they decide to publish a book on their own with self-publishing services such as Lulu, My Book, Photocity, Amazon and the various ebook publishing and promotion services. The ebook can be in various formats, for example a simple PDF, or ePub or Kindle (the Amazon format).
The beauty of the ebook (in particular in ePub format) is its versatility, the possibility of publishing it online, distributing it almost immediately on multiple sales platforms and the possibility of reading it on a tablet, an iPad, any other e-reader, home computer and even a mobile phone. In addition, on the ebook reader everyone can set the size and type of characters they prefer.
You can then decide, for the initial period, to give readers the opportunity to download the book for free. The choice of free download (which can take place from online libraries or online bookstores like Amazon) can also be used for promotional purposes. Other promotional initiatives can be implemented independently or even by relying on special providers of professional promotional services for ebooks. Another interesting way of self-publishing can be the audio book. Then, of course, there is the more traditional way of printing with a publisher. Beyond the print on demand – that is, printing only at the request of anyone who intends to buy and place an order – there is the possibility, for the most ambitious authors, to print books with important print runs, in the traditional way (offset printing) ).
Self-publishing is not necessarily a second-rate choice, because it offers you many freedoms, opportunities and possibilities for autonomous intervention that are not available in traditional publishing. In terms of distribution, it still has great limits, especially in Italy, but it is getting closer and closer to the levels of micro-publishing. The possibility to easily insert the ISBN on your book, offered by various self-publishing services, allows you to have a national distribution in practice, above all because your book is sold through the main online bookstores, such as Ibs, Hoepli, University Library, Publisher Club, Garden of Books, Amazon, InMondadori, Rizzoli and many others.
Furthermore, a self-publisher, if he has good will, has the opportunity to participate in events such as the Turin Book Fair and other fairs, where the public can buy his books directly.
However, this freedom of the self-publisher must be accompanied by a strong sense of responsibility, otherwise the results in self-publishing can be poor. In fact most of the self-published texts are of amateur quality for those of books who know about them. Here is the main pitfall of this third possibility: amateurism: publishing a mediocre book (at least in the form) that nobody will want to read. So: how to self publish a text of professional quality comparable to that of the best publishers?
In the United States there are talented writers who got rich and became famous with self-publishing. But they almost always have their text reviewed by a professional editor who corrects and optimizes their text and a graphic designer who creates the cover and works on the photos and the image, arranging it and eventually using photo editing, and other graphic correction works .
Then there is another way: to participate in literary competitions for unpublished texts. Many of these competitions present the possibility of winning a literary prize that can also include the publication of one’s own text in a book or in an ebook.