How to Publish a Book in South Africa

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South Africa has a small, but robust amount of publishing houses and presses. It is entirely possible for you to publish a book in South Africa, as there are 120 publishing houses to choose from. As with any publishing process, you will likely have to rely on huge persistence and patience while you try to get your book published in South Africa.

How to Find a South African Publisher

To find the best publisher for you, visit the Publishers Association of South Africa (PASA). PASA has a directory of all the publishers in South Africa. Most of these publishers are small, independent presses, though 12 of them are major commercial publishers.

As you view the PASA directory, look up publishers that publish books similar to yours. For instance, if you're publishing a history book on South Africa, you may want to consider Jonathan Ball Publishers, which publishes books of this genre.

Once you've found the right publisher, send in your manuscript according to the publisher's submission guidelines. Wait a month, and if you haven't heard back from the publisher, e-mail or call the company. If you are not on a tight budget, you can also hire a literary agent who has more contacts in publishing houses and can possibly open more doors for you.

Once your book has been accepted by a publisher, you will have to sign a publishing contract. You will have to wait an average of nine months until it hits bookshelves. In the meantime, you will work with editors on revising portions of the book, a task which requires patience and a willingness to compromise.

While your book awaits publishing, you also have to consider its copyright and other special provisions. Unlike other countries, in South Africa you do not have to register copyright for your books, since you legally own your copyright the moment you start writing your book.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hire a literary agent only if you want to publish your book in the U.S. and the U.K.. Before you revise your book, ask for the publisher's style manual. If they don't have one, most South African publishers use the Oxford Style Manual. Follow the editorial guidelines in this manual to speed up the editing process.

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