How To Publish a Novel for the First Time!

Day 5, Final Guest Post  of Author Katie Femia Week. Author of Peacock Swamp The Nine Book 1, Katie is a freelance writer and is currently working on Book 2 of Peacock Swamp. If you enjoy this post, find the full series under “Author Katie Femia” category! Also feel free to reach out to her via her website and facebook page. Author Katie Femia and her Debut Novel, Peacock Swamp The Nine

How To Publish a Novel for the First Time!

         (Aka How to Publish a Book Yourself)

So you wrote your first book, now what? Well, now it is time to get it into the hands of others! Having other readers enjoy your book is a wonderful experience, and a great way to get feedback about the piece as well. This is perhaps one of the most nerving parts of the writing experience, but can also be the most rewarding. There are quite a few ways on how to publish a novel.  For me, publishing Peacock Swamp|The Nine has been a successful independent project, while fellow writers have enjoyed traditional success on their journeys as well. While the steps will vary from person to person, take a look below at some helpful pointers on how to get a book published for the first time!

1. Polish your piece

Send your manuscript out to friends and family to start proofreading it. You may even wish to enlist the help of a professional proofer or editor. Take notes on their suggestions and make any appropriate edits and changes. You want the piece to be perfect, so having multiple pairs of eyes reviewing it for you is essential. It doesn’t hurt to read through the manuscript several more times yourself, reading it out loud even, to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

2. Decide your publishing route

When your piece is polished and you are ready to publish, decide if you want to go the traditional or Indie route. This means, do you want to try to break in with traditional publishers, or do you want to publish it independently? There are pros and cons to each, so research these options to find out which one is best for you. Either way, be prepared for a lot of hard work, rejection, and moments where you want to light your manuscript on fire. Just remember to keep your eye on the prize! The 2014 Guide to Literary Agents is a great start for if you want to traditionally publish, as it will list the agents accepting clients at this time. If you wish to Indie publish, Amazon has a wonderful self-publishing program, called Kindle Direct Publishing. You can also look at companies such as Createspace, also an Amazon company, to independently publish your book in hard or softback. Both sites have guides to help you navigate and offer exceptional customer service for nervous newbies.

How to Publish a novel for the first time

3. Create your query/synopsis

If you are going to try to publish with a traditional publisher, you will need a query letter to showcase your work. This is basically a brief introduction to the piece and lists any credentials you may have. You can find wonderful query examples online, and want to polish your query just as much as your book itself. If you are going to Indie publish, now is a great time to work on a brief synopsis for your book as well as your own biography blurb. You may also want to weigh the pros and cons of the various indie publishing sites such as Smashwords, Createspace, and Lulu.

4. Launch your marketing plan (How to Market yourself and your book)

Even before your book comes out, you want to start your marketing. Create social media pages for yourself and the book. Send out digital copies to bloggers who may be interested in reviewing it, and send press kits to local news agencies. Any chance you have to get your name and your book out there, take it! With or without a traditional publishing deal, you will be responsible for a great deal of your own marketing, so make yourself familiar with easy and inexpensive ways to do this.

How to publish a novel for the first time

5. Don’t forget to celebrate

Publishing your own book is a huge accomplishment! Don’t forget to take the time to celebrate. Have a small book launch party, or send out announcements to friends and family. Local bookstores will be happy to arrange book signings, and friends may invite you to their book clubs. Feel proud of how far you have come, and then start thinking about book two! For Peacock Swamp|The Nine, I was so lucky to have friends throw a beautiful book release party, complete with themed cupcakes and of course, LOTS of peacock feathers! I have never felt so supported and loved in my life, and in this business where everyone can be so critical, remembering to celebrate and let others celebrate you is important.


Everyone’s publishing journey will look different. How to publish a novel for the first time can be stressful. The main goal, however , is to stay focused, surround yourself with support, and don’t be afraid of a little hard work and rejection. In the end, whether you self publish or land a deal with one of the big publishing houses, you wrote a book! And that is not something everyone can say. Good luck!



Author Katie Femia Week Part 1-How to Find the Job of Your Dreams

Author Katie Femia Week Part 2- How to Become a Work at Home Mom

Author Katie Femia Week Part 3-How to Budget for Working at Home

Author Katie Femia Week Part 4- How to Write a Novel?


Hi there!

This is Vinma ( remember me? lol) I am back from my vacation and I can see that you guys had a ball spending time with Katie here 🙂 I guess no one missed me lol.  

Jokes aside, Katie,  I just want to say thank you  for staying over. This was an amazing week we spent in your company. I am sure my readers had a great time listening to what you had to say and I hope that your story will help them in chasing their dreams too…Thank you again! All the best to you 🙂

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