How do I get my LGBTQ+ book published?
Getting your book published can be very difficult, but if you follow these tips, you'll have a good head start.
So - you've written a book - congratulations! Many people around the world have a dream of writing a novel, but if you're reading this, you've likely done it - or very nearly have! The first thing to do is celebrate. Whatever happens next, you've accomplished something amazing.
Now, not to be a downer, but many people say that once you've written a book is where the work really begins. This may or may not be true, depending on how you feel about editing, marketing, and all the other important parts of creating a successful book.
Before you start sending your manuscript off to publishers such as us here at Spectrum Books, there's a few things that it's important you consider to give you the best chance of getting published.
1. Read your book!
This process can be harder than it may sound, but is very important. We recommend that when you make those final touches to your manuscript, you leave it alone for a few weeks, perhaps even a month or two. It can be hard to resist, but whilst it's fresh in your mind, it's challenging to read through and to spot errors. Fresh, relaxed eyes are much more likely to pick up any plot holes or story errors.
2. Ask other people to read your book.
Ideally, you'll have friends or contacts who have already been published, or have self-published, who will be willing to proof-read your manuscript. There's no better way to find those pesky errors that you've missed (and there will be some, no matter how many times you read it yourself!), and to get feedback on your writing style. Many smaller publishing companies, such as us here at Spectrum Books, are founded by authors, so have been on all sides of this process and can vouch for its importance.
3. Edit to the best of your ability.
No publisher should expect that your manuscript be free of errors - firstly; that's almost impossible and secondly; editing is part of our job! However, you should edit your manuscript to the best of your ability. Many publishers, including us here at Spectrum Books, receive many submissions, and a well-edited manuscript will certainly improve your chances oft getting signed up. For some people, this is most easily done by printing out their manuscript and reading the physical copy, some people prefer to convert their document to a .mobi file and highlight errors on their kindle. Find what works best for you, and spend some time editing to give your submission the best possible chance.
4. Format your manuscript.
Most publishers will have a list of formatting guidelines that they ask potential authors to follow. This is mainly to make the editing and formatting process more streamlined and effective. Guidelines could include, for example, not using tabs for paragraphs and using line spacing instead. Though not usually strictly enforced, doing your best to follow them will not only make for a better manuscript, but will also show that you, as an author, or willing to do the work required to evolve your manuscript into a great book.
5. Write a blurb / synopsis.
This can be one of the most challenging steps towards getting your LGBTQ+ book published. It's important as it gives the publisher an idea of what to expect from your book, and it's the first piece of you're writing that they'll read, so make sure you spend time makign sure it's the best it can be. Summarising your book within 200 words can be daunting, but try to briefly introduce main characters, settings, and an outline for the story. Your final blurb is also what readers will use to decide if they want to buy your book, so will greatly help improve your sales once you're at that stage.
6. Research suitable publishers.
You've spent a lot of time and effort, blood, sweat and tears on your manuscript, so before sending it off to publishers, make sure they're the giht fit not just for you, but for your book. You're going to spend a lot of time working together with your publisher (at least, if they're any good!), so it's important that they match your goals and ideals.
Have a read of the mission or aims of any potential publisher to get an idea of what they're all about. Speaking with their published authors over socials can help too, and authors are typically a very friendly and helpful bunch!
7. Time to submit!
It's finally time to submit your manuscript! Before you do, do one last check of the requirements set out by the publisher, and make sure you're as happy with it as you can be. Most publishers receive a large amount of submissions so you need to make sure you give yours the chance it deserves. Some authors choose to send to multiple publishers at once. There's no reason not to do this, as long as you are able to dedicate the time to responding to each publisher once you hear back.
8. Be patient.
This is perhaps one of the hardest parts of getting your LGBTQ+ book published! It can take some time, up to a few weeks even, for publishers to be able to respond to your submission. Be patient, and don't follow up your submission with a bombardment of emails! Any good publisher (which we do our best to be!) will get back to you, whether they want to publish your book or not. Perhaps use this time to start writing your next book!
9. Set your expectations.
It's a sad fact that the majority of people who submit a novel to a publisher end up getting rejected. That's not the end of the world, though! Use the feedback they provide you with to improve your work - and try submitting again! At Spectrum Books we always offer feedback if we choose not to go ahead with a submission, and we'll let you know if we'd be happy to receive it from you again in the future.
Ready to get your LGBTQ+ book published?
Congratulations for getting this far! Hit the button below to find out why you should pick Spectrum Books, and to submit your work to us. We'd love to share your pride with the world.