How to Get a Science Fiction Book Published Easily

How to get a science fiction book published easily with PublishDrive

Wondering about how to get a science fiction book published? Lucky for you: this is a splendid market to step foot in. According to Book Ad Report, science fiction and fantasy books are one of the top five genres that make the most money – around $590.2 million in 2020. And since the outbreak of the pandemic, the interest in sci-fi books has grown even more.

This guide goes over how to publish a sci-fi book, the fastest and easiest way possible. ↓

Self-Publishing Science Fiction Is the Fastest and Easiest Way

Traditional publishing is slow and unpredictable, where you can wait for years to hear back from editorial teams whether from small press or literary agents. Plus, it’s not guaranteed that your book will ever get picked up. On the other hand, self-publishing can get your book on the shelves within months.

Self-publishing also allows you to do everything under your terms, such as owning the rights or collecting the majority of royalties earned. With the self-publishing platform PublishDrive, indies keep 100% royalties.

The indie route brought success for tons of science fiction authors like Michael J. Sullivan and Lindsay Buroker. Joseph Malik’s self-published novel Dragon’s Trail became a #1 international bestseller back in 2017. He shared:

“I was told repeatedly by major publishers and agents that this would never work, and that there was no market . . . After all those rejections, after being told for years that there was no market for my work, I stepped up to the plate and hit the very first pitch into the lights. This should tell you everything you need to know about traditional publishing.”

Malik's Dragon's Trail book cover

PublishDrive helps Joseph and tens of thousands of indies self-publish in major book retailers like Amazon and global book markets like China. If they can do it, so can you.

Here’s what it takes to self-publish your book:

  • Write your book
  • Edit your book
  • Design book cover
  • Format files for print, ebook, or audiobook
  • Publish and distribute to stores

If you’re already at the publishing and distribution step, use PublishDrive to sell in Amazon, Google, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and thousands of other bookstores around the globe. It’s free to start.

Publish For Free

Write Your Book

If this is your first time writing science fiction, there are plenty of writing resources available online. Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson has a bunch of free video courses on YouTube. Check out his lecture on writing sci-fi.

It’s also important to have a good understanding of your chosen genre. Author Level Up defines science fiction as a genre where science and technology conflict with society. In under 20 minutes, he goes over common sci-fi sub-genres and tropes to know such as cyberpunk, steam punk, space opera, apocalyptic sci-fi, and more:

When writing your draft, use free writing software like Google Docs, Reedsy Write, or OpenOffice. When you get tired of typing, try dictation apps like Apple’s Dictation app or Google Voice Typing.

Edit Your Book

After completing the first draft, it’s crucial to edit and rewrite your manuscript over and over again – we want it to be, if not perfect, close to perfect. Invest in a professional editor (costs start at around $10 per 1,000 words) and/or find beta readers and critique partners.

If you’re on a tight budget, check out the free platform Scribophile where writers exchange reviews by uploading short stories or full drafts. Go on online writing communities like Reddit’s group for sci-fi writers to ask for feedback.

Design Book Cover

Your book will need a spectacular book cover design. It should: 1) relate to your story, 2) resemble other covers in the sci-fi genre, 3) fulfill industry and submission guidelines, and 4) STAND OUT.

Try looking at bestselling books under science fiction or your specific sub-genre. What do these designs have in common? How do they stand out from the others? Here are some of my favorite sci-fi covers by indies selling through PublishDrive:

Sci fi book covers by PublishDrive authors

You can design your own book cover with Canva or Adobe Spark. But if possible, I strongly recommend investing in a professional designer. In a highly competitive environment, you want the best version of your cover. To find designers, check out Reedsy, Fiverr, or Joanna Penn’s list.

Format Files for Print, Ebook, or Audiobook

By this point, you have your book cover and manuscript ready to go. The last step before publishing requires putting all your files together. You can find professionals to format your book on places like Fiverr. You can also get your manuscript corrected by PublishDrive’s industry pros.

If you decide to do it yourself, here’s what to know:

For print, prep one PDF file with the front cover, back cover, spine, and bleed area. The second file should hold your main manuscript. See here for requirements on print publishing.

For ebook, prep your manuscript so that it’s ready for ebook conversion. This requires going into your Word or Google document and aligning various styling formats. See here for requirements on ebook formatting. After you’re done formatting, use this free ebook converter.

For audiobook, prep MP3 audio files of your book narrated out loud. The second file should hold your book cover. See here for requirements on audiobook creation.

Publish and Distribute to Stores

Congrats! Now you’re all set to publish and distribute in stores. But which stores? There are many places to go and the options can feel overwhelming. So here a few of the best self-publishing companies to consider:

Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)

What to know:

It’s free to upload your book for publishing 

Get 70% royalties for books between $2.99 and $9.99; 35% if below $2.99

Distribute ebook, audiobook, and print-on-demand

Critical note: Self-publishing on Amazon (the mecca of books) is a must. But for the first 90 days, they require you to sell only to them and no one else. That means you miss out on 60% of the digital book market. I suggest getting out of the exclusivity limit by using an aggregator company like PublishDrive. This way, you publish on Amazon and major players like Apple, Google, Barnes & Noble, and literally thousands of other channels.

It’s free to get started on PublishDrive. All it takes is a simple upload of your files to sell books internationally.

Publish Now

Apple Books

What to know:

It’s free to upload your book for publishing 

Get up to 70% royalties for most books

Distribute ebook and audiobook

As the second-largest online book channel after Amazon, don’t miss out on Apple Book’s pool of 1.4 billion users in over 50 countries.

Google Play Books

What to know:

It’s free to upload your book for publishing 

Get up to 70% royalties for most books

Distribute ebook and audiobook

Google Books is notorious for being quite difficult, where it has taken authors up to a couple of years to get their books up. Going through PublishDrive speeds up that publishing process. Here’s a thorough look at how to publish on Google:


What to know:

It costs $49 per title to publish

45% of revenue goes to print-on-demand services

Distribute print-on-demand

If you want to sell print, IngramSpark is the way. Its gigantic distribution network is made up of over 39,000 stores including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Baker & Taylor. There is a publishing fee of $49 per title, but you can skip that and pay $10 instead with PublishDrive.


What to know:

It’s free to upload your book and get started

Keep 100% of your royalties

Distribute ebook, audiobook, and print-on-demand

Get exclusive promotions and marketing tools

Receive auto-financial reports and track real-time sales performance

Sell in over 400 stores and 240K libraries

PublishDrive offers the lowest fee for book distribution of its kind. It’s free to upload your files and try out PublishDrive free for 14 days.

Now You Know How to Get a Science Fiction Book Published

After you publish, celebrate yourself. Then, run your business with the most effective promotions. Be sure to visit these helpful resources for marketing your best:

Skip the Query Letters and Earn Royalties in No Time

Indies on PublishDrive boosted book sales by 85% in 2020. They did this by selling in every store and market possible (with just a few mouse clicks). Join the club by managing thousands of channels and all your publishing needs under one dashboard.

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