Publishing Resources Megathread

Publishing Resources Megathread

Are you an aspiring author looking for resources to get your foot into the door of the publishing world? Or just a writer curious about what options there are to make money off of your work? Either way, this is the place to learn about the possibilities you have with making money from writing. Here, you can find information about the querying process, finding reliable services for self-pubbing, promoting your book, online publishing options, and much more.

In the post below this one, you will find the Table of Contents, which links you to the various posts with resources. If you’re looking for anything specific, the ToC will guide you.

We are always looking for more resources to add to our lists, so don’t hesitate to tag me (@FireAlwaysReturns) if you’ve found any. I will personally go through them and add them to the list if they are appropriate.


Please note that this thread is all about making money off your writing through publishing, not about publishing for free on sites such as Sweek or Archive of our Own. You will not find tips to get more reads, comments, and votes here.



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Table of Contents

Click the number of the post in the Table of Contents to be moved to the post that you want to view.

Post Contents
1 Book Publishing - Traditional, Self, or Social?
2 Traditional Publishing Resources
3 Self-Publishing Resources
4 Social Publishing Resources
5 Other Publishing Resources
6 Book Promotion
7 Other Resources



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Book Publishing - Traditional, Self, or Social?

You have completed your manuscript and rewritten and edited it to make it as perfect as it can be. Now you want to sell it. But how, with who, and in what way? Nowadays, there are so many different ways to publish or get published, it’s hard to decide what you want to go for. The main two routes are traditional publishing, in which you query agents, editors, and publishers to get your book on the shelves; and self-publishing, in which you pay for all expenses to distribute your books. Recently, a new opportunity has presented itself: social publishing, which relies on the internet and the audience.

But which is best for you? What matches your needs and desires? What are the pros and cons of the different routes?

Below are two infographics, made by Ximera Grey and Jane Friedman respectively. They will give you insight into the different routes and give basic information about them so that you can compare. Take a good look at both, and if you want more information, there are countless of articles about this on the internet. If you find good ones, feel free to share them here.


Infographics

Ximera Grey
Traditional and self publishing at a glance


Jane Friedman
Key publishing paths



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Traditional Publishing Resources

Getting into traditional publishing consists of two major parts: finding the right agents/editors/publishers, and then sending them the best query or pitch you can to entice them to represent your manuscript. That is also why this post has been separated into two sections, one for each of the two.


Finding representation

Submission Grinder
Submission tracker and market database for writers

Query Tracker
Helping authors find literary agents

Publisher’s Marketplace
More information about literary agents ($25/month)

Manuscript Wish List
The place to find what agents are looking for


Query letters, synopses, and pitches

Ximera Grey

How long a synopsis or a pitch should be

A synopsis is (roughly) 1000 words and includes complete plot and character arcs, including the ending. I would mention the plot points that will be carried through the series (insofar as they are pertinent to the main plot and character arcs in THIS book). It should be VERY clear that this book has a complete (finished) story line.

A pitch is (roughly) 150 words that entice the agent to read more and includes the critical information necessary to show that the concept includes all the elements of a commercially-viable story. At the end of the pitch (if it’s a pitch NOT in a query letter) I would probably include the sentence, “This is a standalone story with series potential.” If the pitch is part of a query letter, includes that sentence in your final paragraph.

Queryshark
How to revise query letters to make them work

Noah Lukeman
How to write a great query letter

Janet Reid
How to format your query letter

Emily Hartstone
The First Twenty Pages



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Self-Publishing Resources

One of the most important parts of self-publishing is finding reliable services. What you want is good service for a decent price. Be careful, as a higher price may not mean higher quality service. This post is split into two parts: one about services, and one about additional information that is useful as a self-pubber.


Services

Michael J. Sullivan
Some advice on working with editors

Self Publishing Advice
The best and worst self-publishing services

Joanna Penn
Book cover design

Joanna Penn
Professional editors to help with your book


Additional information

Publishing with Love
Banned Amazon keywords

Self Publishing Advice
Business models for indie authors



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Social Publishing Resources

Social publishing revolves around gathering a large audience online and getting them to pay for your content. This is a relatively new concept, but it is quickly rising in popularity. It’s a completely different market than traditional and self-publishing, though, and that means I have limited information on it. I would appreciate it if people found more resources.

WARNING: If any ‘editor’ or ‘representative’ DMs you on a free writing site with a sketchy, generic message that looks like it’s most likely copy paste, a strange username, and a standard profile picture, BACK AWAY. These people are most likely scams, and if they aren’t, chances are their contracts are terrible for authors. They live off of poaching writers. On top of that, almost all writing sites have it in their ToS that poaching writers on their site is forbidden.


Wattpad Paid Stories

Jane Barnaby and Nick Ukoski
AMA about the Wattpad programs with the Editorial Lead of Wattpad HQ


Dreame/Ficfun

Christopher D. Schmitz
Is Dreame/Ficfun/Stary ltd. a scam?


Patreon and Ko-fi

No content yet.

Tapas

No content yet.

Radish

No content yet.

Webnovel

No content yet.



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Other Publishing Resources

These options are mainly aimed at flash fiction, short stories, and poetry. These are commonly published in online magazines and literary journals. The querying process is usually far less extreme than in traditional publishing, but the pay and the reach is generally less. The quality of the magazine and journal you publish with varies on a case-by-case basis.


Finding magazines and journals

Submission Grinder
Submission tracker and market database for writers



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Book Promotion

What might be the most important thing of publishing is promotion. Whether you go trad, self, or social, almost all the promotion falls on your shoulders. Without it, no one will find your book. If you do it wrong, no one will want your book. But if you do it right, your book can sell like delicious cake. For the sake of clarity, this post is divided into three sections: promoting your book, getting reviews, and other information.

Promoting your book

Michael J. Sullivan
Marketing resources for book promotion

Michael J. Sullivan
Author’s guide to self-promotion

Author Marketing Experts
Book promotion simplified


Getting reviews

Michael J. Sullivan
Dos and Don’ts for getting reviews for your book

Michael J. Sullivan
How to get your book reviewed


Other information

Sabrina Blackburry

Branding yourself as a writer

I’ve seen a lot of people asking about branding lately, so I thought I’d try to help out. That being said, I’m no expert. This is just my take on what I’ve learned so far and what looks like it works. Maybe a place to start if you’re completely lost.

Branding yourself is essentially picking out that slice of ‘you’ that the readers get to see and interact with. It’s a balance between highlighting important things to you, and keeping a steady flow of posts, pictures, and news about your writing career. But here’s the thing, no one wants to follow someone who only posts ‘read my book! Buy my story!’

On the flip side of that, no one wants to see the tiny everyday things about your life. “Have to buy new toothpaste today!” and “Who knows how to tell if a grapefruit is ripe?” Are not interesting things for readers either.

So what’s that balance? The balance is highlighting the important things to you. Take something your passionate about for that more personal slice of who you are. But you also need to showcase who you are as a writer. Let’s see some examples:

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Look at Tamara. This is the top of her website, and it shows exactly who she is as a writer. Sexy books for sharp women. The graphics even showcase a beachy vibe. This is a writer of sexy beach reads. The rest of her internet presence continues to show this too:
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These are from her website and instagram. The colors, graphics, and content all keep showing a writer of beach reads who enjoys her relax time in the sand. You can also find her love of her dogs present as well. Now, what don’t you see? We don’t know that she just broke a nail on her car door, or that she’s thinking about having a greek salad for lunch, or that the grocery store was packed today. We all have those little things in our days, that’s nothing that separates you from everyone else. We all deal with lines at the store, we all eat lunch at some point (okay, there are variables here, but you get what I mean). But we don’t all have a relaxed beach vibe with our dogs and books on the sand. That’s a very Tamara thing, and her social media shows us that part of her.

Let’s look at another one:
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I can tell right away that Elle is a traveler, and books are an important focus for her. The rest of her site continues to showcase these exact features about her.


Traveler, writer, enjoyer of books. Does she buy groceries, sigh over the line at the store, collect stamps? Maybe, but that’s not the bit we’re seeing here. She’s highlighted these aspects that are important to her and are something interesting about herself to show her readers.

So what do you want to take from all this? Try to find some of those things that you like to focus on. A hobby. A passion. A cause you fight for. But also consider what it is you write. Dark romance? Fluffy friendship adventures? Space dramas?

When you have all the ‘pieces’ of you that you want to make into your brand, you will now have multiple sources to draw from when you make posts. You don’t want to post several things in a row about one aspect of you, you want to switch it up. So maybe one day you post about your latest WIP, so maybe tomorrow you post about that charity you’re super passionate and involved in. Maybe next time it’s your obsession with cooking/food/recipes. You have those selection of things to post about, and you remain a writer who is relatable. They can see the person behind the books, and you stay relevant with posts about your writing too.

I hope this gave a slightly better glimpse into branding for some of you who didn’t know where to start. Again, I’m no expert so if anyone here has experience please feel free to add to the post! (Maybe I’ll learn some more myself :wink: )

Michael J. Sullivan
An author’s guide to Goodreads



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Other Resources

These are the resources that don’t fall into the previous categories. This includes manuscript formatting, email lists, and other bits and bops.


Manuscript formatting

Lina Hansen
Manuscript formatting template

William Shunn
Novel manuscript format


Email lists

Freedom With Writing
Paid writing opportunities email list

Author’s Publish
Publishing opportunities email list


Other bits and bops

Writer Beware
Help for writers

Michael J. Sullivan

How do you know your work is ready for primetime

In another thread, I was asked to start a new topic on this subject so I am. Here are a few things I can say on the subject.

#1 - You have to catch the readers attention and provide them with incentives to keep reading. This is known in the industry as “being compelling.” If you feel you need to do a bunch of “setup” work you probably aren’t starting your book at the right place. Readers (whether they be agents, publishers, or readers) will give you scant little of their time early on, so make that time count. In particular. If you can’t get them “hooked” within 5 pages, your work probably isn’t ready for prime time. If you want an example of this read the opening of my short “The Thieves” When you get to the line that reads: If they say to avoid them, there’s a good reason.” You are at the end of the 5-page mark (when using standard submission formatting (double spaced, 12 pt, Times New Roman, with 1" margins).

#2 - Don’t be wordy! Your writing needs to be “tight.” Again, in those first five pages (in particular) every word should play a part, and if it doesn’t get rid of it. Be ruthless with your line edits. Let me give an example…

  • He sighed, his shoulders slumped as he considered the possibility that he had to talk to a stranger.

Do you see all the extra words? I can easily pair it down to:

  • He sighed, his shoulders slumped as he considered talking to a stranger.

Both say the same thing but the second does so with six fewer words – words that provide NO VALUE.

#3 Does your piece meet the length requirements of the target? YA tends to run shorter, fantasy, longer. But if you have written a 48,000 “novel” and think it’s ready to submit to a fantasy publisher – you’re wrong. It has to be at least 80,000 (the sweet spot probably being 90,000).

#4 Does your story continuously give your readers a reason to keep going? I make the analogy that it’s like the movie ET when Elliot is trying to get ET out of the shed and does so by placing Reeses pieces on the ground at regular intervals. You have to entice your reader. Get them to the bottom of the page, the end of the chapter, and on to the next. Look at what Dan Brown did with The Da Vinci Code.

#5 Get the opinions of others – and hopefully people who don’t know you personally. This means beta readers and critique partners. If you ask them if they feel it is “ready” and they all come back to “not yet” then you have more work to do.

I may think of more but those are the “big things” for now.



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If anyone knows any resources, especially about social publishing, feel free to share ^-^

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A new resource has been added to the Traditional Publishing Resources: a free ebook on how to make the vital first 20 pages as enticing as possible for agents, editors, and publishers

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Resources are still welcomed :slight_smile:

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This seems to be a vanity press. A real publisher wouldn’t charge you money to publish your book. Congrats on the bestseller list, though! Which list are you on?