The Process to Find a Publisher

Here are the steps I will take over the next several months to publish my fiction book…

  1. I plan to submit query letters to literary agents in the next weeks. Unfortunately, a book lives or dies based on the 300-word query letter an author crafts to entice agents to be interested in his/her book.
  2. Most agents will reject the query – some will respond and some will not respond at all.
  3. Somewhere out there is an agent who will take a chance and ask for a read or a partial read. The most common requests are for the first ten pages, the first three chapters, or the entire book.
  4. After reading the book, an agent can either extend an offer to represent me, decline me with suggestions for improvements, or just decline me altogether.
  5. If an agent wants to represent me, then I sign a contract with them if I think they are a good fit. Typically, a contract means that they get 15% of my profit and that they will work to find a publisher. Agents don’t get paid anything unless I get published and paid.
  6. The agent submits my book to publishers, hoping to find one who will agree to publish the book.

This whole process can take a VERY LONG time. Some authors go through 100 agent queries before they find an agent. Then, there is not guarantee that the agent will find a publisher. Finally, it can take months or over a year between when a publisher agrees to publish a book and when it actually goes for sale.

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