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How do I get my book published?

The two primary ways to get a book published are traditional publishing through a commercial book publisher and self-publishing.

Many authors choose to pursue having their books traditionally published which offers substantial benefits but can be very difficult. To do so, you would first need to create a book proposal and then use that proposal in your query efforts as you seek to hire an agent. You can find information on agents and book proposals by searching the internet. We work with a variety of agents so we do not suggest or recommend specific agents due to the potential perception of a conflict of interest.

You can also obtain the names of prospective agents by visiting a bookstore and finding several examples of books like the one you have in mind. The author will usually thank their agent on the acknowledgments page, and you can note those agents as good candidates for your book. If an agent was successful in placing a book like yours then they may have a better chance of placing your book too. The contact information for an agent can usually be found by searching for their name online.

An agent would help you develop your book proposal further and pitch your book to publishers. They should not charge any fee up front but usually receive 15% of the royalties if they help you sell your book to a publisher. Many agents receive thousands of queries every year and take on less than 5% as clients. They provide a valuable service to authors and publishers by helping to identify the best projects and helping those authors pitch their books in a professional manner.

With over 500,000 books published every year, publishers do not have time to consider every project, and so we depend on agents to identify many of the best projects. With the growth of self-publishing, we also rely on sales reports and reviews of the titles we have helped authors self-publish to identify additional candidates to consider acquiring.

Many authors invest substantial time and money in building their platforms before, during, and after they write their books so they have a strong email list and other marketing opportunities when they are ready to launch their books. One of the challenging parts of both traditional publishing and self-publishing is rising above the crowd when so many books are published each year. Publishing service providers and marketing companies offer a variety of marketing services, but the return on investment (ROI) varies dramatically depending on author platform, writing quality, and timing.

If you are not able to hire an agent or get acquired by a traditional publisher within an appropriate time period then it may make sense to consider self-publishing.

To that end, HarperCollins Christian Publishing operates a self-publishing imprint, WestBow Press, in alliance with Author Solutions, LLC, a third-party provider. Authors choose self-publishing to achieve a variety of goals including creating a book for family and friends, building a ministry or business, and pursuing commercial success as an author.

Through an established alliance between HarperCollins Christian Publishing and Authors Solutions, LLC., WestBow Press offers publishing packages that have enabled thousands of authors to self-publish all genres of books focusing on Christian principles, inspirational themes, and family values. WestBow offers a broad range of services including editorial, design, and marketing.

Visit WestBow Press for more information.

What resources do you suggest to authors?

The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style by former Zondervan editor, Robert Hudson, can be a helpful resource as you write and edit your manuscript.

The Author Learning Center (ALC) is a one-of-a-kind online author education community developed by Author Solutions, LLC, the company HarperCollins Christian Publishing works with on our WestBow Press self-publishing services imprint. The ALC is designed to help educate, motivate, and support you as you pursue your calling to publish, and it offers nearly 700 experts sharing their experience and wisdom through live and recorded webinars, video interviews, and articles. In addition, the unique author-inspired Book Launch and Author Circle tools allow you to plan your journey and create a private online writing group. Click here for more information and use reference code WBM to start your free trial.

Following are some examples of the helpful information provided by the ALC:

How can I submit my manuscript to Thomas Nelson or Zondervan to be published?

Please visit the Manuscript Information page for information on submitting your manuscript.