How To Get A Book Published: Book Publishers

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book publishers, erick mertz, portland oregonIf you’re an author on the path to publication, exploring available book publishers is likely an idea you’ve considered. At the bedrock of the publishing industry for as long as anyone can remember, publishers big and small, from multi-national New York City houses to small presses have been a viable option.

With the rise of self-publishing, however, many authors have chosen to eschew the process of submitting to book publishers altogether. While going it alone has its charmss, working with reputable book publishers comes with a number of advantages self-published authors simply do not have.

In order to help you get familiar, I offer a few reasons why choosing a book publisher might be the best thing for your book.

Book Publishers Are A Pipeline To The Pros

Self-publishing authors take on a lot of responsibility for their own work. In order to get a proper manuscript together, they must enlist the help of an editor (or two, depending on their thoroughness) a cover designer, book layout professional as well as marketing, which comes after publication.

Those options can take a lot of time, tax the patience of a new writer, as well as cost a pretty penny. Working with book publishers puts all of those tasks in the hands of professionals.

While finding freelancers to fill those roles is realistic, publishing companies keep an in-house stable on hand for their authors. For some authors, the idea of an “all in one” relationship is quite appealing.

Some writers, after all, simply want to write.

Built-In Relationships

Everyone working in a publishing company, whether large or small, is an industry professional. Signing on with a publisher gives you easier access to relationships with editors, designers as well as other fellow authors.

I am friends with a few authors through a small press here in Portland, Oregon. They put out a hand full of fiction titles throughout the year, staying largely local with their stable of authors and designers. I am always impressed at how tight-knit those writers are. When one has a book come out, the others spread the word, whether through readings or on social media.

They’re fans of one another’s work. They’re like a family.

I’m not naive enough to think that every author gets chummy with every one of their peers at their publishing house. But, if you work it right, the relationships you make with peers and professionals today, will open doors for your career tomorrow.

Remember, it’s not what you’ve got. It’s who you know.

Book Publishers Get You On The Shelf

More and more, the idea of “on the shelf” for most authors consists of a Best Seller/#1 on Amazon designation. The way the book market is trending, that’s not going to change any time soon.

But some authors have a different idea of success for their project. 

I always advise writers I work with to consider their vision for the book. If part of your unique vision is a book store shelf, whether that be your local independent book store or the bright lights of Barnes & Noble, book publishers might be the best option for your book.

Does that mean a self-publishing author can’t get their book on the shelf somewhere?

No, that’s not what that means. Not exactly.

The reality is, most authors, especially early on, don’t have the clout to move into physical shelf space. They’ve either got to pack a few successful books onto their list, OR, have amazing relationships.

Either way, the route to a print book on the bookstore shelf may be through a book publisher.


Whatever you choose now, one thing to keep in mind: if the road you start out on doesn’t seem like it’s working, you can always change. I’ve known a number of authors who, after struggling to find an agent or a publisher, decided to go self-published.

On the other side, plenty of self-publishing authors have flipped the script and gotten an agent.

I will ask now the question I often ask. What is your vision for your book? Whatever you see, strive for that, however specific or lofty it seems. Only with a clear vision of your future can you get what you want.

If you would like to read more on the topic of how to get a book published, check out these additional articles.

How To Publish A Book On Amazon

How To Write A Query Letter

What Is A Query Letter

Ask A Ghostwriter – Help With Self-Publishing

The Best Self-Publishing Podcasts

Publishing Consultant For Fiction

What Goes Into Successful Fiction Books?

Is Self-Publishing On A Budget Possible?

What Type Of Editing Do I Need?

Book Layout and Design

Self Edit Your Novel

How To Write Historical Fiction


Free “How To Hire A Ghostwriter” eBook

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I so adamantly believe that knowing how to conduct a ghostwriting interview is a bedrock of success that I wrote a book about it.

While this book doesn’t necessarily cover book publishers as this blog does, it does serve as an ideal primer for developing a professional mentality to bring to your writing.

If you would like a complimentary copy of How To Hire A Ghostwriter: Your Guide To Finding The Best Pro For Your Project all you have to do is click and download.

If you have read this book, like it, and found it helpful, please share it with some of your fellow writers and take a moment to review it either on GoodReads or Amazon.

How Do I Contact You?

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If you are serious about hiring a fiction editor or having your book, screenplay or non-fiction story professionally written by a ghostwriter, or you need self-publishing help, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzHow To Get A Book Published: Book Publishers

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