If you have spent a couple of years or months writing a fascinating book and it’s finally ready for the world to read, you must first be well-informed about the publishing industry before making any moves, as it is a very difficult business to get into. Only a certain number of books are published every year (there are some publishing companies that only print 30 titles a year). There is a lot of competition; therefore, you must play your cards right for the sake of your one-of-a-kind book.
Before you begin your publishing journey, you must make sure that your book's word count meets the requirements of most publishers so that you can avoid getting rejected right away. If your book is an adult novel, approximately 80,000 or more words are the ideal word count that you should aim for. On the other hand, if your book is about sci-fi or fantasy, you should aim somewhere between 100,000-115,000 words.
Middle grade books should be 20,000- 55,000 words, and upper middle grade books should be between 40,000-50,000 words. If your book is geared toward young adults, try to aim for 55,000-69,999 words. For picture books, about 500 to 600 words would be perfect. Western books must contain between 60,000-80,000 words. Memoirs should have a count of 80,000-89,999 words.
Once you have your book's word count on track, it is time for you to write a query letter in which you will try to convince a literary agent to take a chance on your work. If you don’t know how to write a good query letter, Google examples of query letters that have helped authors attain book deals so that you can have an idea of the kind of persuasion route you should take. You can also opt to purchase books that provide more insight on query letters, such as ‘The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters.’
A literary agent will basically act on behalf of you when it comes to dealing with publishers. Most agents have years of experience in this arena, so they will work hard and make the correct calls to try to get you a book deal in a short period of time. To find credible agents that have a good track record, it would be a great idea if you could purchase the ‘2014 Writer’s Market.’ This book, which is constantly being updated, is one of the most trusted guides to finding the right literary agent and to getting published.
At the moment, approximately 80% of the books that the New York publishing houses have printed were referred by agents. For that matter, it is a great idea to find an agent, as they have inside contacts with specific editors and know what publisher or editor would most likely buy your particular kind of work. Agents are paid 15% of everything you are paid, so avoid sending your manuscript to agents who charge fees.
Read the submission guidelines of every agent who accepts your kind of genre and send your manuscript right away to them! If you are fortunate, you’ll get an agent and a book deal within a few weeks or months. If not, don’t be discouraged from rejection letters, as many successful authors, such as J.K. Rowling, received numerous of rejections letter before their masterpiece was finally accepted for publishing.
Go for it! Don't be scared about people's reactions to your book, as the only thing that matters here is that you believe in your work. Don't ever give-up. Keep trying and trying, even you get rejected 500 times, because sooner or later, your chance will come.