How to Get Published

How to get published

For financing, technical expertise, marketing and distribution reach

Only if you are sure you can fulfill all the roles of a publisher without sacrificing quality. Or if you can’t find a publisher interested in publishing your book.

Very often the answer is to publish both – but it does depend on the production specifications of your book and the market you are trying to reach.

It depends on the terms of your contract, but not usually.

Only if the market you are targeting wants an ebook and not a print book.

Find out whether they are active in the market your book is aimed at – look at their website and their other published titles in bookshops to find this information.

No, DTP is a way of designing and typesetting, not a way of publishing.

Use a written proposal submitted by email (check the publisher’s website for guidelines on submissions).

Only if you want to get published in the UK and US.

No. All you need is an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), which your publisher will get from the State Library.

No, each format needs its own ISBN.

Copyright does not protect ideas

Nine months, on average.


The publisher, but it normally reverts to you when the book goes out of print.

No – send an email with all the necessary information.

He won’t steal it but don’t share ideas write something first, otherwise, no one takes you seriously.

Not unless absolutely necessary. It is much more expensive but of course, some books demand it by their very nature.

For trade (general) books, about 47%; for educational books discount is lower.

A book that has been around for more than a year.

A new book.

10 – 12% of net receipts (the amount the publisher sells to the bookseller for, i.e. retail price less VAT less discount), but it varies depending on the publisher, type of book, and the leverage you have.

No, in many cases the ebook royalty is higher than the print book royalty to compensate for the absence of printing costs.

Once or twice a year, in arrears for sales of the previous period.

A general book selling into the consumer market.

Publishers define books by the main markets that they sell in–trade (children & adult), religious, schools/educational, tertiary education/academic, TVET college, scholarly, professional – not all publishers publish for all markets.

It is a trade name or brand or logo, like Penguin or Juta.

Use a style guide in a consistent way, either a general one like the Oxford Style Manual or one provided by the publisher.

Microsoft Word.

After the book goes out of print.

When quoting a substantial portion of another work.

On the PASA website

The State Library

Mainly the commissioning editor.

The author, unless he cedes the copyright.