Getting your first book published is never easy, even for those with a solid grasp of the source material they're dealing with. If you're holding onto a manuscript, but can't find a publisher to pick it up, you have options available to you. With the advent of e-readers and digital publishing, you can choose to take the plunge without the backing of a major publishing house. Before you do, make sure that you know what you're getting yourself into, and just what you'll be giving up when you sign on the dotted line.
Digital Publishing Options
If you're savvy enough to convert your manuscript into a new file format, and list it for sale with several different book marketplaces, then you know all you need to about digital publishing. For everyone else, it's important that you gain an understanding of what's involved. It all starts with good positioning, in the form of solid cover art, a book synopsis and effective marketing.
Positioning your book to succeed is harder than it sounds, and contracting with a digital publisher can help simplify the process. Anything you can't do for yourself they'll be able to help with. This includes cover art, and professionally recorded audio excerpts from your book. Be aware though, these extra features aren't free, so make sure you have a thorough explanation of any additional charges, fees, or royalties you'll owe to the company handling the leg work.
While e-readers are becoming more common, many readers still prefer the feel of a hard copy in their hands. That said, it's costly to print up a few thousand copies of a single book, especially for an unproven author, which is why many publishers shy away from first time writers. Smaller publishers have begun offering an alternative though, printing individual copies of various books as they're ordered.
Like digital publishing firms, print on-demand publishers can handle a lot of the leg work for you, and many even offer leather bound author's copies at your request. Be aware though, you may be responsible for doing some of the selling yourself, either through social media or through direct contact with book vendors. However, if all you need are a few dozen copies and you're able to pay for the printing yourself, using affordable book printing companies is a reliable and professional means of getting it done.
As an unpublished author, having access to modern technology can open up a number of options that wouldn't have been available before, even just ten years ago. Taking a chance on yourself may be the only way to get a major publisher to sit up and take notice.