The Creative Writing Process: Publishing Your Novel

Here we are. The final stage of the creative writing process. Publishing your novel.

We’ve outlined, written the first draft, revised, and edited… now it’s time to talk about publishing. Which, admittedly, is something I don’t know a whole lot about. So writing this post should be fun.

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The Various Methods of Publishing.

Publishing isn’t easy. It can be a long process and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. With that said, I don’t know much about publishing in any sense. However, I’ve done a little research for myself though I’m still learning. This is just a bare minimum of the basics.

Traditional Publishing. This, in my opinion, is the hardest to get into. You need a lot of approval in order to do this. You need to query your book to many publishers before one decides to take you on. Most of the time, you’d query to an agent first. They’ll help sell your book to a publishing company. However, that’s just an extra step that can take just as long. With traditional publishing, you have a whole team working on your book. Which is definitely nice for you if you want to solely focus on writing the next book.

Self-Publishing. Similar to traditional publishing except you don’t need anyone’s approval other than your own. However, there’s no team working on your book unless you hire them yourself. On the other hand, you make all the decisions which is a nice freedom to have. Some people self-publish just to share their work and not necessarily use it as income as well. Some people see just having their book in the world a “success” rather than “selling” their book as a success. Self-publishing makes it easy to do that.

Wattpad. There are many websites that cater to creative writing. Wattpad is just one of the many that do. You’re not making money from your words, but you’re sharing your stories with the world and that’s just as wonderful. We all write for fun though some people prefer to publish right away on a place like Wattpad and get immediate response from their readers through the comments. I’ve seen some people get picked up by agents through these sites. I’ve also seen people use their audience as beta readers then take the story down, fix it up, and self-publish it.

Blog. So many people have blogs now and use that as a creative outlet to share their stories with the world. It’s similar to Wattpad, except it’s all you and you’re choosing what to put on the blog and when. Plus, all the audience is reading just your work and not browsing a database of all these other writers where they might see your name.

I wasn’t kidding when I said here’s the bare minimum of the basics… if you could call this basics. But there you have it. Once you decide on a goal for yourself and your writing, it’ll be that much easier to decide which publishing route to take.

If you’re published, what method did you use? If you’re planning to publish in the future, what route are you thinking of taking? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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17 thoughts on “The Creative Writing Process: Publishing Your Novel

  1. I’m self-published. Have been for close to six and a half years now. I picked that method of publishing for two reasons:

    1. I want to be in control of every stage of the process, work to my own deadlines, and make all the decisions myself. Partially because I like working that way, and partially because it allows me to work around health issues and irregular sleeping patterns.

    2. While it would be great if I did make loads of money with my books, I’m one of those people who considers just being able to share them with the world, and call myself a published author, a success. I write my stories and poems because I have to; I can’t not write. I publish them because art in all its forms should be shared with the world.

    • I love both of your reasons for self-publishing. I’d love to have total control with self-publishing as well, though I’m wondering if I might get my feet wet in both publishing worlds. We’ll see how it works out though.

      But I also agree with you about just sharing art with the world. I would love make a full-time income from my books but only because I want to put my full time and focus onto my writing, not to be rich or famous.

  2. I’m self publishing my book. The reason why is very simple.

    Most publishers will only deal with agents, while the publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts are very rare, especially here in the UK, while others won’t bother to answer query letters. With this in mind, agents then have a little hold over writers and basically make them jump through hoops.

    All agents have different requirements. One I pitched to wanted a full synopsis of the book in 300 words. How do you condense a 103,000 word novel into just 300 words? I managed it yet it was still rejected. The amount of time spent adapting to every agent, you could have used it to self publish!

    The big problem for self publishing is marketing, but if you’re proactive enough, you can do well.

    • That’s the biggest problem, in my opinion, with traditional publishing. It’s very hard to get started and the process is so long just to get one approval from someone. It is hard to conform to each and every agent just to never get a response. I’ve spent a good deal querying before. It’s not fun, lol.

      • That is it in a nutshell. I’ve submitted and queried over fifty agents, conformed to every requirement and nothing. I kept a log and 27 didn’t reply. For a debut writer, it is soul destroying and makes you feel like the time and effort put into the book is for nothing.

        • It definitely does, I agree. But you can’t give up. Out of all those people, it’s just one opinion out of millions. The first step is always the hardest.

  3. I’m traditionally published. I’m sure my background in writing advertising copy was a big factor when I decided to try writing magazine articles. That experience added to my ability to work with words. Eventually I decided to try fiction. I submitted my first middle grade novel to publishers, not agents and after a few rejections, sold it and four more to School Book Fairs They went out of business and I went back to writing for magazines (mostly travel, antiques and endangered animals) When I decided to write mysteries, this gave me a good background of publication (clips) I submitted my first mystery to several agents–all rejected it. Sold it to the first publisher I sent it to. Kensington. Now working on Book #9. Still don’t have an agent . (They take 15% anyway.) I know there’s luck involved. Your manuscript has to land on the right desk on the right day when the publisher has a need for that genre.But it can be done! Get as much experience as you can and never give up.

    • That’s amazing. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve queried to agents and publishers alike before and, so far, no dice. It’s true that you definitely need that experience and it is luck. It happens eventually though. I’m glad everything worked out for you.

Let me know your thoughts!

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