The publishing industry has gathered many myths in it’s time, here are some of the most common misconceptions in the world of publishing.
It’s incredibly hard to get published
Yes, it can be testing. But people make it sound like it’s impossible. With the world of self publishing, you can be published when ever you like. Yes, to be published with a publishing house can be tricky, but it is certainly not impossible.
Books only take a few months to get published
It’s common to assume that publishing is a very quick process. When in reality, it’s not at all. From signing a book to having it on the book shelves can be a very lengthy process. The average time for most established publishing houses is 1-3 years. So if you’ve been signed in October, you can give up the dream of being out for the next Christmas.
Every member of the publishing house will have read your book
As much as everyone would love nothing more than to read every book their publishing house has published. There is simply not enough time. The PR team, marketing team, production team and graphics department will certainly be aware of your book and what it consists of, but we will not have had time to read every book. So please do not assume everyone will. When ever publishers can they do read, so they may well have done! But do not expect them to.
Publishing is traditional in every way. It’s no problem to send in hand written manuscripts
It’s not really a problem, it’s just a huge pain. As much as we don’t like to rely on technology every business has embraced email as the base of communication and work best on PDF and Word files. Getting a hard copy is 1) Scary. The original work is like a prized possession, so if – god forbid it got lost in the mail to us, it would be heart-breaking. On that note, if you ever HAVE to send your work hard copy, please PLEASE scan it, or send anything but the original. 2) A lot of work: Hard copies take a lot longer to arrive, they have to be typed up, hand writing can also be hard to read, it’s bulky, takes up a lot of space. Overall it’s just not the most appealing way to receive a manuscript. If you can, please send all works to publishing houses by PDF of Word. It just makes life so much easier for both parties.
Short books for young children don’t need pictures
In the last 10 years, have you ever seen a short childrens book on the book shelves that have np pictures inside? No? There’s a reason for that. If you’re writing a childrens novel, it is not needed at all. But if you’re trying to appeal to kids aged 3-11, pictures, pictures pictures! Pop into your local bookshop and you’ll understand where we are coming from.
Once your published you will sell.
Bear in mind that over 13,000 books are published each year, in the UK alone. And only 3% of these books actually make enough of a profit to be called a best seller. Most writers work their regular job and write on the side. If you want your book to sell, you need to work on it. If you’re self published = gather a marketing plan. If you’re published with a publishing house – work with your publisher! Books never sell on their own. They need constant pushing.
Your first book signing will have queues outside
The only authors who manage to gather queues outside Waterstones are the best sellers. Yes! It is entirely possible to get to this stage, but as a new, unknown author, family and friends will be key! Once the first signing is a success this can lead to great things!
The cover is unimportant, the story will sell any book
People do judge books by their cover. We’ve said it a thousand times, but it is still as relevant as ever. A good cover is not essential, but it really does help. So have a look at some popular books in your genre and grab as much inspiration as you can. If your publishing house is creating a cover for you, they normally know very well what will work in the current market for your particular book, but comments are always welcome!
Grammar and spelling isn’t important
We’re not saying that publishing houses will not accept books until they our 100% perfect grammatically. But it’s very off putting when there are clear errors sprawled all over the place. Take some time to have a look through your work, have a few friends read through it too. It helps to make a great first impression, and will also make the publishing process far faster for you as it will need less proofing!
Poetry always sells!
It’s common knowledge that poetry is a very niche genre. Some do extraordinarily well. Some flop. All we’ll say is, take a look at the best selling charts or try to name a few modern poets. We hope this changes, as we are huge fans of poetry and would love for it to take over the market. But for now, remember where poetry lays peacefully.
I’m scared to submit my work because publishing can steal it… I’m going to copyright it.
If you’re submitted your work to an established publishing house, they are not going to steal your work. Ideas come in thousands. Regardless of all of this; the copyright law always protects authors written work and you don’t even need to get it registered officially. It is quite simply, automatically copyrighted them moment you start typing/put pen to paper.