Most people have read a novel at some point or another and they might have even written their own short stories. Few people know the ins and outs of publishing a novel.

The process can be much more grueling and time-consuming that you could ever imagine. This is undoubtedly the truth if you know very little about the process.

The first step is ensuring that your book is absolutely perfect.

Then, you’ll need to decide whether you want to publish on your own or finding a big publisher to do the work for you.

Below, you’ll learn about publishing your novel when you know nothing about publishing.

How to Publish a Novel

1. Finish The Novel

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your novel is actually finished. It is always best to have the novel completely finished and edited, before attempting to pitch it to the publishers.

If you’re going to publish yourself, you still need to make sure that everything is perfect. After all, if your novel is full of spelling errors, there is a good chance that it is going to turn people off. Hiring a professional editor might be a good idea.

Related: How to Write and Publish Your First Book in Less Than 30 Days

2. Check It Yourself Again

Once everything has been edited to the best of your ability, you should read your book again.

How many words in a novel? That won’t matter as much as the quality.

Read the novel and make sure that it is comprehensive, intriguing and free of errors. Ask others to read it as well. You may be able to make a few tweaks here and there to make things absolutely perfect.

Read also: How to Turn Your Blog into a Book

3. Research Agents

If you’re going to get your novel published by one of the world’s big publishers, you’re going to need an agent. Begin researching agents right away.

There are many resources that you can use. Writers Market is one good option. You should also try the Jeff Herman Guide to Literary Agents. Be sure to choose agents that mesh well with your niche.

If you’re writing non-fiction, you need to choose an agent that has tons of experience in this category. Once you’ve selected an agent, you’ll want to send them a letter. In all likelihood, you’ll also need to send the first chapter of your book.

If the agent shows interest, they’ll request a full or partial manuscript of your work. Once you’ve found an agent, they’ll do everything for you.

4. Self-Publishing

If you’re interested in self-publishing, you will need to do everything on your own. You’ll need to design a professional cover and you’ll need to come up with a clever title.

You should also get an ISBN number. You can usually purchase a single number for around $125 dollars.

After that, you’re going to need to find places to publish your novel. You can physically print out your book or you can try publishing it as an e-book.

Remember to take your time and be sure that everything is perfect. Don’t rush your novel or the publishing process.