Learning how to get novel publishing can be just as hard for a first-time author as writing the book itself. But as the novel publishing industry moves toward digital and traditional publishing, it’s getting easier for first-time novelists to get their books published.

Self-publishing vs. Traditional publishing

There are two ways for new authors to get their first fiction or nonfiction book out into the world. One is to make a deal with a traditional publisher to publish a book. A literary agent usually works out this kind of deal, which gives the publisher the sole right to print and distribute the book. An editor at the publishing house works with an author to make a set number of drafts. Whether or not the novel is published in the end is up to the publishing company.

On the other hand, self-publishing gives many first-time authors a chance to show what they can do. Self-published authors don’t send their books to a publishing house. Instead, they do it on their own. They do this by making the book available for print-on-demand, as an ebook or an audiobook, or by printing and selling copies of the book.

How to Self-Publish a Novel: 4 Ways

There are more ways than ever for independent authors to get their work in front of readers:

1.    Through Print-On-Demand:

Print-on-demand is a novel publishing method where copies of a book are only made when someone orders one. This may be the least risky way to publish a book. For print-on-demand novels, first-time fiction writers often work with companies like Amazon.

2.    As An EBook:

Making digital copies of a book on demand is even easier because you don’t need a paper or a printing machine.

3.    You Can Self-Print Novels:

Before they publish and hope that they will sell later, this is sometimes called “vanity publishing” in the wrong way. If your book does well, you’ll be happy to sell all the copies you made yourself. If it doesn’t sell, you might be stuck with stacks of your book at home, where it will just gather dust.

4.    As An Audiobook:

Novels are often listened to as audiobooks by people today. Audiobooks can be put out by a traditional publisher or by the author themselves, just like printed books. In either case, you will need a narrator who may have to record dozens of hours of prose narration.

How The Traditional System Of Novel Publishing Works

The vast majority of novels that a lot of people read are published in the traditional way. A traditional publisher puts out every book on the New York Times’ list of best-selling books. You don’t have to be a best-selling author like Dan Brown or David Baldacci to get a book deal. Even if a writer’s book doesn’t sell many copies, they can still get a contract with a big publisher like Random House, Penguin, Knopf, Riverhead, or others.

The traditional way to get novel publishing is to work with a literary agent. These people decide what gets published and what doesn’t. With the help of an agent who knows a lot of people, a great book can get published by one of the most prestigious companies in the world. Alpha Book Writers have sometimes worked with writers who don’t have agents, but the process is much more complex.

How To Publish Your Book: 4 Steps

Often, a famous author will get an offer to publish in the deal for more than one book, with money paid in advance. This gives them a place to put works that don’t even exist yet. Publishers can also get manuscripts they didn’t ask for as long as the author takes the right steps. Here are some ideas on how to get novel publishing the old-fashioned way. Note that these aren’t writing tips. Instead, they’re about the novel publishing process.

1. Check For Errors

A few typos won’t ruin your career, but many of them will make you look like an amateur. Remember that a publisher or literary agent may only give you one chance, so make sure they see your best work.


2. Identify A Target Audience For Your Book

A writer’s market for novel publishing houses is based on the market for their book or the group of people who might be interested in reading it. Some types of books are more popular than others in the publishing industry. In the world of literary fiction, these are things like children’s books, books for young adults, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and romance novels. Any genre can have a great book, but these are the ones that people are most likely to read.

3. Identify Potential Agents

Having an agent doesn’t guarantee that a publisher will pick up your book, but it does help. Most agents and agencies have websites that list their needs and how to get in touch with them. The annual Writer’s Market book also has a list of all the Book Writing Services who are currently working.

4. Send In A Proposal For Your Book

Most literary agents don’t want you to send them an entire novel when you first contact them. Here are some possible things they’ll want: A query letter, a summary of the whole book on one or two pages, and one to five sample chapters.

5. Send It To A Publisher Directly

If you don’t have an agent, you can sometimes send your work straight to a publisher. However, your chances of being accepted are meager if you do this. Most of the time, though, publishers won’t look at a novel unless it comes from a reputable literary agent. This rule can break if you send a niche novel to a niche publishing house or if you know an editor who would be willing to read your work because of your connection.


Having a representative is the most important thing you can do to get a publisher. Most publishers won’t even look at your work if you don’t have an agent. Once you have an agent, they can help you through the process and send your work to the right companies. These can help you get away from the hard process of novel publishing.