Finishing a manuscript for a book is a very exhilarating and satisfying experience. The steps that follow, however, can be somewhat overwhelming. This is when you start to ask yourself the really hard question. “What am I going to do with this manuscript now?”

Most authors want their manuscript to be published. It would be a shame to put in months, even years, of work without anyone ever seeing it. Knowing what to do to get your book published, though, is key. There are a number of different ways to see your book in print, but not all of them may be right for you.

Ways to Get a Book Published

When most people think of getting their books published, they think of going under contract with a trade publisher. When you are under contract with a trade publisher, you are basically selling the publisher the right to publish your book for you. You make a deal with the publisher that in exchange for them absorbing all of the costs of production, they will make a certain percentage off the sale of each book. You will also make a percentage off the sale of each book. This is called a royalty.

This is a mutually beneficial partnership because you will not have to put up the production costs, and they are not paying you to write. Sometimes a publisher will give pay you an advance on royalties before you write a book if they believe it will sell, but usually this advance will go against any future sales. This is appealing to most authors because the publishing house will take on most of the risk of publishing the book. These deals, however, are not available to everyone, and first-time authors will have a hard time getting a trade publisher to offer them a contract.

What If a You Can’t Get a Trade Publishing Deal?

When you write a novel without a book advance, you are writing on spec, or speculation. You are writing with the hope that a trade publisher will want to buy the book and publish it. This may not happen, however, as the book industry is a competitive one. If you have tried to get a publishing house interested in your book to no avail, all is not lost. There are other ways to get your book published.

The most obvious way to get your book published is to publish it yourself. These days, anyone can publish anything if they are willing to take on the majority of the risk. In the past, the high cost of publishing a book made the task prohibitive to all but large publishing houses. Recent technology, however, has opened up the publishing industry to all who are interested.

How to Publish a Book Yourself

If you have a book you believe in and you think there will be a market for it, or if you just want to see your manuscript in print, you can publish it yourself. You can pay a self publishing house to produce the book and market it yourself. Some self publishing companies offer marketing support in your efforts.

You can either produce the books in a mass quantity for a lesser price and enjoy a larger profit margin, or you can produce books on demand as they are needed. If you order a large quantity like 3,000 books, you will save on the per book price, but you will have to put up more capital. If you choose the on demand option, you will pay more per book, but you will only be required to order one book at a time. In order to determine what is right for you, you have to consider how much money you are willing to risk in the publishing industry–only you can decide which method is right for your book.