What to Expect When Publishing for the First Time

The act of writing a book can be an arduous and complicated process. But the joy that comes with having your book published for the first time makes it truly worth it. However, publishing a book can be a challenging journey as well. Tasks like approaching editors, agents, and publishers can be stressful, especially with some rejection along the road.

This can often have a negative impact on the emotional state of a writer. But this should not prevent you from making your voice heard and introducing your art to the world. Here are a few things to expect when publishing for the first time;

The Emotional Element

For first-time authors, the biggest hurdle they have to face is the emotional aspect of publishing. Writing has proven itself to be a healing process for a lot of writers, and they are eager to share their art with the world.

So when the book is done, and there are challenges when trying to publish the book, it can have a negative impact on the writer’s mental health. One such challenge is rejections which are quite common when it comes to first-time publishing. 

First-time authors will either have to submit their book to agents or Publishing Houses or both and in order for the book to be published, it has to be approved or rejected by both. J.K Rowling, the author of the world-renowned Harry Potter book series, stated that she was rejected by 12 publishing houses before she could publish her first book.

This kind of rejection can have a negative impact on a writer’s mental health. So it would be a great idea for first-time publishers to have an emotional outlet to feel and process these rejections so that it does not kill the motivation.

Annette Maria, Founder of Sanctuary Publishing, has recommended somatic healing as a great way to deal with these emotional elements. She mentioned that her mentor, Maya Night told her that “the body chooses the response, not the circumstance”.

So however the body wants to act at that moment is perfect. So it’s giving that space for you to be able to process it.” Sanctuary Publishing also helps their authors with these emotional elements and integrate healing work alongside publishing. 

Level of Control 

books, stack, book store
Photo by EliFrancis on Pixabay

Another thing first-timers should expect when publishing a book is complete control of the whole process. However, this is almost never the case with traditional publishing houses that may require them to tweak their stories a bit. First-time writers will most often be required to modify their stories a bit until it is approved by agents and Publishing Houses.

According to Annette, the best idea is for the author to ask themselves if they want to have full ownership and creative control over the book or if they are willing to give full creative control to someone else. 

Another great idea would be to go for the hybrid publishing houses like Sanctuary Publishing as an alternative to traditional publishing. This type of publishing house allows writers to invest in their projects which would give them full control of the project, more than they can get from traditional publishing houses.

Increased Level Of Exposure

While there are some writers that would like to stay away from the spotlight, it is almost impossible to do so when you are publishing a book. And this doesn’t just mean social media exposure; it includes physical appearances like book signings as well. 

It’s a way of showing people the face behind the book and creating an opening. Like Annette mentioned, the most important thing to do here is to ask yourself why you decided to write the book.

A lot of first-time publishers are always of the opinion that the publishing house will handle their PR relations when in reality, they do not. Publishing houses often leave the author the task of commercializing their book. This always proves to be a particularly challenging task for first-time publishers, which is why it is no surprise that very few debut books achieve mainstream success. 

This means that authors are in charge of the commercialization of the books. However, there are a few publishing houses like Sanctuary Publishing that often provide their writers with adequate tools to help with these tasks. They offer their writers training on how to pitch themselves to podcasts and also provide a PR expert to help them out in the commercialization process. 

Sanctuary Publishing also provides services for multi-author book projects here for people who want to publish but feel intimidated by writing their own book. Annette explained further by mentioning the publishing house offers multi-author book projects that require authors to submit a chapter alongside other authors around a powerful theme. This allows them to dip their toes into the writing process and experience what it would be like to be seen for their stories in this new way. 

In Conclusion 

Publishing a book for the first time can be a magical experience, but there are always some aspects of it that come as a surprise to first-time publishers. The best idea is for them to research what to expect from their publishing journey.

They should consider the different types of publishing platforms and their perks. They should also take into consideration the emotional element and the level of exposure that comes with publishing a book.  

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