How to Publish Writing 

Here you'll find out how to publish writing of all kinds, whether traditionally or by self-publishing. You'll learn how to build a publication record by getting published in magazines. And you'll get step-by-step help with the book publishing process.

Your publishing options will be different depending on what kind of writing you're doing.

How to publish a nonfiction book

If you're interested in selling a nonfiction book to a traditional publisher, you may be able to do it on the basis of a book proposal and a partial manuscript. This is a big difference with publishing fiction, where new authors normally need to have a completed manuscript.

How do you write a book proposal? There's actually no mystery to this. Most publishers will tell you exactly what they want you to send them!

Here's what you do:

1) Look for other books similar in style/format/subject matter to the one that you're planning to write. And see who published them.

2) Search online for the websites of those publishers.

3) Look for an "author guidelines" or "submission guidelines" page. Then follow the instructions exactly.

Important: Be sure to check whether the publisher accepts unagented submissions. If not, then don't waste your time on that publisher unless you have an agent.

Another option is to self publish your book. And if you market your book effectively, you may end up earning more by self publishing than by publishing traditionally.

You can learn more about self publishing here.

How to publish a novel

If you want to sell a novel to one of the big publishing houses, you will normally need an agent. Most major publishers won't consider unagented novels.

Some small publishers, university presses, etc., will accept submissions without an agent. It will help your chances if you have built up a reputation first; for example, by publishing short fiction in magazines.

Another increasingly popular option is self-publishing. There are a number of ways to self publish easily and inexpensively.

You can learn more about how to publish a novel here.

How to publish short stories, essays, and poems

In the world of traditional publishing, most authors don't start by publishing book-length collections of stories, poetry, or essays. Instead, they build a reputation by publishing individual pieces in magazines and journals.

Click here to read more.

cat on bookshelf to illustrate a guide to how to publish writing

Photo credit: Dave Francis @ Unsplash

How to Publish Writing - Table of Contents

How to Publish a Novel - Part 1. Your publishing options. When you will need an agent. How to get an agent. How to find a potential publisher.

How to Publish a Novel - Part 2. How to prepare a submission to send to an agent or publisher. Getting paid for your writing.

How to Publish Short Stories and Poetry - Part 1. How to build a publication record by publishing in literary magazines. Steps for submitting your writing to magazines.

How to Publish Short Stories and Poetry - Part 2. How much you can earn by publishing short stories or poetry (spoiler alert: probably not much). Publishing a short story or poetry collection.

How to Self-Publish. Pros and cons of self-publishing your book, and a step-by-step guide to the self-publishing process.

Robin Martin on Finding a Literary Agent. Tips from a former agent.

Jaimee Garbacik on Finding a Literary Agent. Advice from a publishing insider.

Check for new courses on how to publish writing.