support > getting yourself published
(Or, finding the right publishing house)
I. Go on, show the world!
After the Herculean effort expended on book writing or novel writing, comes the next crucial part. Presenting your masterpiece to the world that has been waiting for it!
The conduit between you and the rest of the world is the publisher. It is thanks to this agency that your book sees the light of the day. I am sure you have read the many instances of the ordeals that great writers and authors went through at the hands of these hard-nosed businesspersons — the countless rejection slips that they had to endure, forcing them to rework their manuscripts over and over again. Lady Luck would finally smile on them when their first book is accepted — albeit for a pittance — and published, and is put on the shelves. It is only later, when the world comes at the book writer's doorstep — asking for more — and multiple editions (with translations in umpteen languages) happen, that the balance tilts in their favor.
The publisher may be a newspaper, a magazine, a journal, a newsletter, any book-publishing house. Every such agency has their set norms and style of functioning. Some of them cater to very niche markets, such as children's fiction/ non-fiction, short stories, adult soft-porn, romance, horror, political documentaries, and so on — the list is endless. The agency that you should approach is automatically determined by the content of your work and its target readership.
II. The role of agents
The fact that more than fifty thousand books flood the US market alone every year, implies that book writing is no longer considered a high-brow profession; everybody seems to be doing it! It is in such a claustrophobic, jostling, struggling foot-in-the-door scenario that a literary agent comes to your rescue.
Just as publishers are your conduit with your readers, literary agents are a conduit between you and the oh-so-busy publishing houses. These agents require a proposal from you that contains a cover letter, a brief synopsis and a few sample chapters. This proposal is submitted by the agents to the editors of the publishing houses. The agent's savvy, resourcefulness, weekend-poker-partner-buddy friendship with the editors play a definite role in how successful they are in getting the latter's eyes and ears.
This means that it would be a good idea to have a dialogue with as many literary agents as possible, and finally settle down with one. One very good platform where you can meet them in person are the Writing Conferences — these events are organized periodically, and act as a good meeting ground for wannabe book authors, publishers, literary agents, alike.
III. How Chrysanth NETime Author helps
The self-publishing software Chrysanth NETime Author allows you to prepare and fine-tune your proposal that has to be handed over to the literary agent. Even while the process of book writing is in progress, you can copy and snip passages and portions from your work into a separate folder. All such snippets can be then threaded together in such a format, as to give any reader a peep into what the whole book contains, and spark their imagination enough to reach out for the full work.
Nowadays, there are "virtual" publishing houses that offer a range of services — from editing/ manuscript reviewing & graphics/ illustration/ book cover design to publishing and marketing/ promotion. Once your work is finally ready, it is now very much easy to simply upload it to such sites, after you have finalized on the costs involved.
Of course, doing a lot of research before settling down for the best option that suits your particular style and need is always prudent!