A novel is a long literary work, often of great literary value, that is written in the form of an epistolary story. The narrative is typically set over a period of several days or weeks and is told in the form of a letter or a series of letters.
Novels have been around for hundreds of years but only recently have become popular again, spurred on by modern technology which has made it easier to stay in touch with friends and family and receive advice and encouragement from people all over the world.
Since the beginning of this year, sales of print copies of novels have risen by 16% while e-book sales have jumped up by 28%. These are fantastic figures and it seems that readers and writers alike have gotten the message that spending time in a virtual world is much more entertaining than being stuck in a reality filled with chaos.
But how long should you write a novel? That is a question which has been asked for centuries and while there is no definitive answer to this, there are a number of things you can do to increase the odds of your work being published and ultimately being enjoyed by readers all over the world. These tips will help get your novel published so you can continue to entertain and enlighten people all over the world with your stories.
1. Choose the Right Title
While it is not necessary to have a novel with a perfect title, it surely doesn’t hurt. The title of your novel will be the first thing people see when they come across it in a bookstore or on Amazon and it will make a huge difference in how accessible and interesting your work is. A great title will get you a long way to being able to interest and intrigue readers.
Just remember that not all fantastic titles are suitable for novels. If you are writing a historical novel, for instance, the title The Dressmaker of Dresden may not work as it is more likely to be associated with a fashion magazine than with a novel. You should find a balance between the two so that your novel is accessible to as many people as possible while also keeping its unique identity.
2. Custom-Make Your Cover
The cover of your novel is of great importance and can make or break it. A well-designed cover will engage potential readers and make them want to pick up your novel. But, of course, that is not the only thing you need for a successful cover – you also need a great story!
There are a few things you can do to make your cover stand out. One of the simplest but most effective things you can do is to use a custom-made icon or image to represent your book. An icon is an object, a thing, or a person that when combined with an image results in a symbol or symbolizing something. When used in a book cover, an icon serves as a visual shorthand for the content within the book. Think of the monogram ‘MC’ meaning ‘Master of Cinema’ or the ‘S’ in the Olympic logo which stands for ‘Spiritualism’.
What are the things you know about your novel’s story that can be represented by an icon? Things like: a movie adaptation, an opera version, a ballet version, a television show, etc. It is also a good idea to think about what you can do to personalize your cover. For example, you can use an image of one of your characters or you can put a face to the story by having the main character on the cover. Personalized covers for novels have become quite trendy in recent years and it is a great way to make your book stand out. You can use Photoshop or a similar tool to create a unique cover – one which will make your novel memorable and desirable.
3. Find the Right People To Review Your Work
Novels are often difficult to get noticed by traditional publishers and even more so if you are trying to get your work published separately. That is why it often helps to have a list of trusted and experienced literary critics and authors who can offer unbiased and thoughtful reviews which will help potential readers find your book. While it is not always possible to find reviewers who fit this description, it is worth seeking out those who do.
There are a few things you can do to find the right people. First, you can ask friends, relatives, and other writers for advice on which literary reviewers to contact. Second, you can look up famous literary critics and famous authors who have had successful solo careers and see if they will be interested in reviewing your work. And finally, you can create the ultimate review list by scanning the bookshelves of your local library and seeing what critics have previously said about the novels you find interesting or which you have personally enjoyed reading.
4. Determine The Overall Length Of Your Novel
Your novel doesn’t have to be very long to be appreciated by readers but, as with many great works of art, the more you put in it, the more you will get out of it. It is common for novels to be anywhere between 50,000 and 70,000 words but, as you would with any other great work of art, the more you put in it, the more you will get out of it. Short novels have become quite popular in the last few years and it seems that the general public has caught on, too, realizing that less is more when it comes to good storytelling.
Deciding how long your novel is going to be can be difficult. You want to make sure you have enough content to keep readers engaged but not so much that you overwhelm them with too much information. Take your time and develop your characters closely so that when the moment of revelation comes, it bursts upon the reader as a great shock and surprise.
5. Find The Right Place To Publish
This is one of the most important tips because it comes right at the end. But, before we get to that, you need to make sure that you have chosen the right venue for your novel. When it comes to publishing, traditional versus self-publishing are often misunderstood terms. Traditional publishers and bookstores often get a bad wrap and, while it is true that they still exist, for the most part they have become irrelevant. Going to a traditional publisher to get your work published entails a massive overhaul of the entire process. They have a limited number of titles they will publish and they have strict guidelines which need to be followed or your work might end up being thrown away. Self-publishing is the ideal solution for debut novelists or those who want to try their hand at writing something different – something more unique and individual.
So when it comes to publishing your novel, the first thing you need to do is to determine if you want to go the traditional or the self-publishing route. The second thing you need to do is to find the right place to publish. Bear in mind that not all self-publishing companies are created equal. Some are much better than others and it is worth doing your due diligence before committing to one.
Let’s say you decide to go the self-publishing route and find a company that offers good editing services, fast turnaround times, and affordable pricing. Once you have found this perfect company, the next step is to determine how many pages you need to aim for. This is something you should discuss with your company because they will be able to give you an idea of how much room you have to work with. If you are writing an epic novel, aim for around 250 pages of text so that you have enough content to wrap things up in a satisfying manner but not so much that you run out of room.
Your company will also be able to advise you on the best way to market your book and how to get the word out about it. If you follow their advice, you will find that soon you will be inundated with book proposals and, before you know it, you will be asked to write a novel yourself.
6. Write A Good Description
No one reads a boring description – especially when it comes to a work of art. A good description is like a review in just a few words. It is only natural for people to click on the ‘read more’ button when they see a good description but unfortunately, this also means they will have to wade through a lot of lackluster writing to get to the meat of the matter.
If you want your novel to be noticed, if you want people to read it, write a good description. But don’t just use any old words. Be creative and try to find a unique way of describing your book which will make it memorable.