I finished my first full um curso em milagres a couple of months ago and am in the stage where I am waiting for publishers to respond to my submissions. Although previously published in a peer-reviewed textbook on resilience, the editors coordinated that book so I was spared involvement in the publishing aspects.
So learning the steps necessary to find a publisher were more work than writing the book was a surprise. I have chosen to go with traditional publishing. The reasons are my own so I will leave it there for this article.
I am the type of person who researches things to understand them. As I researched how to be published, I learned much I wish I had known before I wrote the book.
Naively, before writing the book, I thought I could submit the same manuscript to numerous publishers and then just wait to see what happened. I felt thankful that I teach people how to develop and maintain a positive outlook, because the waiting would be far more stressful without those skills.
I imagined finishing the book, emailing or sending copies to several publishers whose books I often read, and then focusing on other things. The process is nothing like my expectations. I hope to make the process easier for other writers by sharing my experiences.
The good news is that the high rate of manuscript rejection comes as a result of not being aware of or following the guidelines I describe below.
The first “Aha” moment came when I learned there are a variety of style manuals. I did not even know what a style manual was before I completed my book. A style manual contains the rules for a specific writing style. The first publisher I wanted to submit my manuscript to required compliance with the Chicago Manual of Style, a tome of almost 1,000 pages. Style manuals vary greatly in their requirements.
The second insight came when many of the publishers wanted a marketing plan. They wanted detailed plans demonstrating how I would promote my book if they published it. I am lucky in this regard because my book is tied to my full time occupation, so devoting significant time to promotion will be easy for me. This is not the case for many writers. Perusing hundreds of publisher websites made it clear publishers prefer work from writers with an established network. This makes sense. It lowers the risk a publisher will be left with hundreds, or thousands, of unsold copies.