Surveys have found that as much as 80 percent of the US adult population would like to publish a book.

But dreaming of publishing your novel and actually doing it are very different.

If you’re thinking about publishing your first novel, keep reading to learn 5 tips to help you do just that.

1. Be Realistic About Your Goals

Before you learn how to get a novel published, it’s important to be honest with yourself about your goals.

If you’re dreaming of landing on the New York Times’ Best Seller List, publishing your first novel is an obvious first step. But keep in mind that your goal is a lofty one, and one that’s a bit unlikely for new and published authors alike.

One study by Book In a Box, a publishing company, estimated that new authors would need to sell 10,000 copies of their book to wind up on the list.

If you’re publishing your novel because you’re proud of your work and want to share it with others, you won’t wind up disappointed, no matter how many copies you wind up selling!

2. Invest in Quality Editing

Whether you’ve got a degree in English or decades of writing experience, editing your own work is never a good idea.

You can, and should, do a round or two of edits once you’re finished writing.

But after that, it’s best to pass off your manuscript to someone else. If you’re self-publishing, a good friend with some light experience might be enough. If you’re hoping to sell lots of copies of your novel, investing in professional editing is better.

Odds are, you’re too close to your project. This may mean that you’ll overlook mistakes big and small in your work, simply because you’ve looked at them too many times.

Someone detached from your work will be able to spot these mistakes and make sure that you’re finished novel is polished and something you’ll be proud to promote.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Trim Your Work

During those rounds of edits, your editor might recommend that you make some cuts.

When you’re writing a novel, and especially a fiction novel, you’re creating an entire world, packed with characters, destinations, and storylines.

It’s easy to get lost in writing this world and wind up including details or even entire chapters that really aren’t important to the action of the book. While these sections might be important to you, they may not hold the same importance to your readers.

During the editing process, don’t be afraid to trim your work. While it can feeling like you’re tossing out hard work, it’ll go a long way towards keeping readers engaged and interested.

4. Nail Your Cover Art

Once your novel is edited and ready to go, it’s time to design your book.

While your font choice and page size are important, your cover design is even more so. It’s what will catch reader’s eyes on a shelf or while scrolling through a website like Amazon.

Check out book cover design inspirations to help you design the perfect cover for your novel.

5. Build an Audience Before it Goes to Print

Before your novel ever hits the shelf, you should be building an audience.

Whether you join social media groups or launch one of your own, marketing your book early and continuing your efforts once it’s listed for sale will help you maximize your profits and readers.

Publishing Your First Novel

Publishing your first novel can be intimidating, but it’s also very rewarding.

Have your sights set on publishing a travel memoir? Check out the rest of our website for some inspiration for your next adventure!