Getting published: A comprehensive guide

Writing is a deeply fulfilling and personal journey. For many, the act of writing is when they feel most connected to their true selves. But the path to seeing your book in print can be daunting. This guide will help you navigate the complex world of publishing, with insights on how to get your book published and how to find a reputable publisher.

The challenge of getting published

The truth is, writing is a way to achieve a form of immortality. As the great writer Anthony Burgess once said, life is “between two eternities of idleness,” making our time on earth incredibly brief. For those who have writing in their soul, creating lasting works of literature is the best use of their time.

However, balancing the desire to write with the need to make a living is a common struggle. The real challenge lies in getting your writing noticed by publishers and agents. The current state of the publishing market, particularly in the UK and the United States, makes this even more difficult.

The state of the traditional publishing industry

Cost pressures from giants like Amazon have made it tough for traditional publishers to sustain the business model of paying advances. Many professional writers who once had traditional publishing deals now find it nearly impossible to secure such deals or are offered unsatisfactory royalty rates.

Despite these challenges, writers are still producing excellent work, and readers still crave great books. The issue is not with the quality of writing but with the economic pressures facing the traditional publishing industry.

The role of literary agents in getting your work published

Most publishers won’t even consider reading a manuscript unless it comes through a literary agent. However, agents themselves are struggling to make a living and are often reluctant to take on new writers whose books they fear may not sell. This creates a cycle of disappointment for many aspiring authors.

Alternative publishing paths: Self-publishing and hybrid models

Self-publishing: A lonely road

Self-publishing is an option some writers consider, but it can be a lonely and challenging path. From cover design to typesetting, authors have to handle everything themselves. Even though platforms like Amazon offer self-publishing services, many find this route unsatisfactory as it’s easy for the book to disappear without a trace.

The hybrid model: An excellent middle ground

In 2015, recognising the difficulties in the traditional publishing route, I decided to set up my own publishing imprint, The Conrad Press, named after the great writer Joseph Conrad. Our model requires authors to pay for publication, but we keep the costs as low as possible to make it accessible.

Initially, The Conrad Press grew slowly, but it expanded significantly during the lockdown period when many people turned to writing. Today, we are proud to have published an extensive catalogue of books, showcasing the work of an impressive number of authors, each receiving individual attention from our dedicated team.

Advantages of The Conrad Press

1. Personalised service and high royalties for you

At The Conrad Press, we offer a personal service that is often missing in traditional publishing. We ensure that each book gets the attention it deserves, from cover design to marketing support. Our royalty rate is 70%, significantly higher than traditional publishers, making it an attractive option for many authors.

2. Long-term relationships and continuous print availability

Our relationships with authors are enduring. We do not put books out of print unless the author requests it, ensuring that our books remain available indefinitely. This long-term commitment is rare in the publishing industry and is a key reason why many authors choose to publish multiple books with us.

3. Getting your book published – Full Marketing Support

One crucial aspect of getting published is ensuring your book is known to potential readers. At The Conrad Press, we provide full marketing support to help your book gain visibility. This is essential because the book-buying public often purchases books they have heard of.

Success stories

Of the significant number of books we have published, over a quarter of these authors have chosen to publish multiple books with us. This repeat business reflects the satisfaction of our authors and the effectiveness of our publishing model.

 Conclusion: Finding a reputable, pro-active publisher

If you’re looking for how to get your book published and seek a reputable publisher, consider exploring hybrid models like The Conrad Press. While paying for publication may not be ideal for everyone, it offers a viable alternative in a challenging market. Our generous royalty rates, personalised service, and commitment to keeping books in print make us a strong choice for many authors.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to get published with The Conrad Press, feel free to reach out. We’re here to help you navigate your publishing journey and bring your book to life.

James Essinger, founder and managing director, The Conrad Press Ltd