Suppose you are a novice author. You have written several stories, separate chapters, or even a full-fledged novel. Friends like your work. Perhaps you even posted your texts on the Internet, and there you also had readers. And once you wanted to become a real writer: to see your brainchild printed and dressed in a beautiful cover, on which your name will stand. It is likely that such a dream warmed your heart since childhood or adolescence. Or maybe it appeared only now, when you finished your first full-fledged work, received positive feedback not only from friends, but also from strangers - and so you realized that you know how to interest the reader. Or, perhaps, while studying the assortment of the best-selling department of the local bookstore, you realized: “I can do that too!” So the decision came to publish the book.
Before you begin, remember one important thing. It may sound sad for you, but nevertheless it is so: large, venerable publishers will never undertake to print for free books by beginners and authors not known to the general public. No matter how talented a newbie you are or seem to yourself, there is still no recipe for “How to Publish a Book in Russia for Free”.
We will have to accept it as a fact: publishing is the same business as any other; no guaranteed profit - no cooperation. So if you are not a best-selling author yet, then hoping for a meeting with open arms is pointless.
Find the genre and publisher
However, no one forbids you to look for ways to publish your book in a large publishing house. Just find one that fits your topic. Currently, the most popular genres are:
2) women's novels;
3) detective stories about Russian realities;
5) children's illustrated books;
6) benefits for self-development and self-education;
7) business leadership;
10) pseudo-historical novels with patriotic pathos.
When planning how to publish a book in Russia, remember: the less popular the genre in which you write is, the longer you will have to look for a suitable publisher. The names and contacts you need can be found on the Internet or when studying the assortment of bookstores - for fidelity, you can use both methods.
We send the manuscript
If the publisher’s website has a special form for authors, it must be completed and sent. You can also find and download the plan prospectus (basic information about the book and the author), fill it out once and then send it to all the publishers you are interested in. If you are looking to publish your book, this may be your chance.
For information about the author and the work, it is necessary to attach a synopsis (short description) of your work. Usually it takes no more than two to three pages. Synopsis covers the entire work from beginning to end, demonstrating all the merits of the plot. Writing a good synopsis is not easy enough, so take this issue very seriously, read the recommendations of experienced authors.
You must also provide a sample of your work. Do not send the entire manuscript, but only a fragment (no more than 20 pages). Consideration of each manuscript can take up to six months, so be patient if you are looking for ways to publish your book, liked by the publishers. True, if you succeed in doing this - the wait, unfortunately, will not end there. Then you will need to patiently wait for the publication of your book, because the publisher has its own marketing plan.
Participate in the competition
Literary contests in various genres are held annually. Usually they are organized by literary magazines or various foundations, less often - publishing houses. Some events accept work free of charge, others for a small fee. Winning a contest is one way how can I publish my book.
Examples of annual contests include Eurocon and Quasar (works in the fiction genre), Written in pen (organized by the eponymous literary portal), High Heels (prose written by women) and various events from the Russian Writers Union.
Choose the contest that best suits your writing genre. Carefully read the terms and conditions and follow them all exactly. Make sure that your work is original in its idea and character images, and also high-quality in terms of stylistics and Russian language norms.
The works of the contestants are evaluated by a jury consisting, as a rule, of recognized writers, as well as representatives of publishing houses and magazines. Finalists usually receive the right to publish their work in a publishing house or in a literary magazine. Therefore, participation in a literary contest is an opportunity to attract the attention of competent and influential people.
To those who write for children and adolescents
Authors of children's and teenage literature deserve special mention.
The New Children's Book, an annual competition from Rosman Publishing House, can be your chance if you are looking for how to publish a book for children and adolescents. Perhaps it is your work, now lying in obscurity on the hard disk of a computer, in the future will be able to become a laureate of the contest, be published in a well-known publisher and get a real chance to access an impressive number of young readers. Don't be afraid to look for a free way to publish your children's book.
We publish at our own expense
Perhaps you are a very active person by nature and are not used to waiting for “miracles from heaven” in the form of a generous philanthropist, a good publisher, or your victory in an accidentally turned up literary contest. In this case, you will find it helpful advice on how to publish your book at your own expense.
For starters - an option for those who just want to see their favorite creation in the form of a full book. In this case, you can simply order at the printing house and pay from your pocket the issue of several copies: keep one or two at home, and distribute the rest to friends and family. But even such a simple event, at first glance, how to write and publish a book, takes time. First of all, calculate how you can save your money on preparing a book for printing.
This process includes the following steps:
- editorial proofreading of the text (for errors and typos);
- layout (the correct design of all spaces, intervals, paragraphs, footers and other graphic components);
- cover design for a future book;
- registration of the title page and its turnover (author, title, abstract and output).
Of course, all these operations can be performed at the printing house for an appropriate fee, but something can be done on the home computer.
On the other hand, if you want the book to look really real, it makes sense to entrust the whole process to professionals. Sometimes it is advantageous to give the manuscript for prepress processing to one publishing house, and then print it in ready-made layouts in another place.
How much is the first run?
So, you have prepared the layout of your book, and how much money will you have to invest in the release of your first, even small, circulation? Its cost depends on the following parameters:
- how many copyright sheets per publication (1 copyright sheet = 40,000 characters with spaces; the meaning for your work can be found in Word);
- what circulation is planned;
- what type of cover (hard or soft; in the first case it will be more beautiful and practical, but more expensive).
- paper quality for the text block and cover materials;
- the colorfulness of the future edition (if the cover is planned in color);
- how time-consuming prepress preparation will be (for example, the availability of illustrations).
As for the time for publication (including editing, design, layout and printing), on average this process takes from 3 to 6 months. If desired, you can reduce the waiting time, but this will mean additional costs.
And now - an option for those authors who plan to make money as a writer. In general, this is true: you honestly worked, wrote, invested yourself - and your work should be paid. Another question is how specific the book market is and how to sell a book in modern conditions. Indeed, paradoxically, now only the lazy does not write, and readers are simply not enough for everyone.
To take the first step, you need to promote your book. Do not expect that others will do it for you - a publishing house or a literary agent - because, as we already found out at the very beginning, no one will publish and promote a little-known author for free. If you want to get a positive result, you have to take up the matter yourself.
To get started, in order to be eligible to sell an issued book, you need to get an international standard ISBN. This can be done in the Russian Book Chamber. It is required to pay a certain fee for the service, as well as submit documents giving you the right to carry out publishing activities.
Now you are ready to sell the book. You can come to the bookstore and try to interest the owner in order to conclude a sales contract. When assigning value, proceed from the fact that after interest markups (from the publisher and the store) the book will cost two times more than the cost of its production. For example, if you personally issue the circulation cost 150 p. for 1 copy, then on the shelf of the bookstore your creation will be exhibited at a price of 300 p. But how big is the percentage of people who buy an unknown book? Therefore, before releasing your brainchild to the market, you need to make a name for yourself as an author. Next is how to publish an e-book.
The easiest way is to achieve recognition for yourself and your book on the expanses of the World Wide Web, or at least its Russian-language segment. There are several ways to publish an e-book. Among them:
- an e-book in its purest form;
- print on demand;
To make your book popular enough for sale, you need to draw attention to it. There are several ways to publish an e-book. One of them is placement in digital libraries, for example: Aldebaran, Fenzin, Littleportal, FictionBook, Bookz.ru, etc. Some online libraries (Librusek, Litres) themselves find new authors, popular on the network, and share their work.
However, the main profit in distributing the electronic version of the book is not at all financial. The more downloads, the more readers will find out about your book. And the higher the chances of selling it in the paper version: you will earn a name for yourself, and you will have something to offer the publisher.
There is a misconception that a person would never buy in paper form the book that he had already downloaded in electronic form for free. In fact, readers are happy to purchase those works that they plan to reread in their home library. The latter is up to you as a skilled author.
If you're looking for a way to sell an e-book, check out Print-On-Demand technology. In this case, a fragment of the book is laid out on the site (several chapters, cover, etc.), and the interested reader pays for his copy, which is specially printed for him.
One way to sell an e-book is to make an audio version. This can be done both in the studio and at home. Audio books are distributed most often in online stores in the form of a paid download link. Audiobooks are in demand, but this market is still underdeveloped, and therefore there is less competition, which is a significant plus.
Once in your mind an idea has arisen. And you asked yourself: “How to publish your book?” If you already became interested in the answer to this question, then you are ready to set yourself the task - to publish. And putting it, you can find solutions.