Word to the new author: there are thousands of publishing companies in the USA. You’ve probably heard of the largest 3 or 4; they’re the busiest and often the most difficult to get read by. If they’re the only ones you’re soliciting, you’re missing the best publishing experience: the small or mid-sized publisher.
If you want to get your book published, look for books similar to yours at bookstores and public libraries, note the publisher names on the title page, and visit their websites. Talk to the bookstore staff and librarians to see if they know any local publishers. Also visit any regional book fairs and chat up the publishers there. Google your state or big city name and the words “publishing company” and see if anything turns up.
A good publisher will treat you like family. You should have a dedicated contact whom you know by name. They’ll keep in touch and they’ll also expect you to pull your weight: you will need to set up signings, do radio shows, answer questions, sit and talk to the public about your book.
Self-publishing is a respectable business nowadays too, especially with print-on-demand. POD takes out a lot of the initial costs of publishing. But going it alone does mean you’ll do about 10 times as much promotion work, if you want that lovely book of yours to sell.
First and foremost: write that book. You can’t show up to a publisher empty-handed. Have your manuscript ready for review.
Big ❤ to all prospective authors! You’re the lifeblood of the book industry. 🙂