Writing a novel is challenging enough, yet actually getting your book onto the shelves can be an exceptionally daunting task. When faced with the question of how to get a novel published, there is actually one important concept to focus on that will save you both time as well as money – research.

The vast majority of publishing in the United States is done through many large publishing companies that will not really accept unsolicited manuscripts, specifically from new authors. There are however, a number of small, legitimate publishing houses that continue to work directly with authors. It is very important to do your research before submitting your manuscript.

An area of focus in regards to how to get a novel published is to make an effort to find out which companies are appropriate to your particular work. There isn’t any benefit to sending your fictional novel to a company that specializes in childrens’ books, non-fiction, or educational books. At a costs of around $30.00, The Writers Market is an excellent resource for any author. It is published annually, available in most bookstores, and contains invaluable information on many different publishers. Make sure that you are targeting those houses that publish works within your genre. It is also very important to present the work to a potential publisher in the manner requested.

More often than not, the publisher will be looking for a high quality query letter. This is the initial contact with the publisher so take your time drafting your letter. It should contain the title of your novel, the genre, a word count, your contact information, and a brief synopsis of your work. It is also very important to note that the publishing industry moves very slowly. Traditional publishing houses can take six to eight months to respond to your submission, if they respond at all. It can be discouraging, especially when you are sending your letter to a publishing company that will not accept simultaneous submissions.

Do not limit yourself to the large publishing houses. A lot of first time authors discover that smaller, independent publishing companies are much more accessible and quicker to respond to submissions. Regardless of the direction you choose, research will save you time and money as you begin the process of how to get a novel published.