Bad printer connections are commonplace, especially when you're on Windows. At first appearance, the Add Printer Wizard might seem an intelligent facility, but the Internet is flooded with proofs of its inadequacies. Also, this problem varies with the modes used for connecting the printer. Since you've mentioned you're using USB to connect, I must keep my advice confined only to the USB and won't be incorporating possible solutions had you been using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to connect.
When you're facing connectivity issues, the best way to proceed is by starting with the basics. You must ensure that the USB wire is not loosely connected, neither to your PC nor to your printing device. Sometimes, removing and re-inserting the USB can give you tremendous results!
Then you must ensure that your printing device is ready to print and its status light indicates that it is ready to make prints. Once you're done with all this, it is highly probably that Windows 8 will display a message and recognize and install the printer on its own. If that doesn't happen, the case may be that the printing device is already installed.
To know if your PC has already installed your printing device, you may search Devices in the Search Box, then go to Settings and click on Devices. In all probability, your printer should appear on the list. If that is still not the case, you may click 'Add Device' and try again.
Rebooting and Updating Windows
Sometimes an un-updated Windows may give you backaches. You can do away with this by downloading the latest updates of Windows 8 and rebooting your PC. When you're done, try connecting your printer again and try going through Step 1 again and see if it works.
There are some manufacturers that may require you to install the software that came along with the Printer in a CD/DVD. If you haven't installed it yet, try installing the software. If you don't have the CD/DVD, have lost it, or never had a CD/DVD, do visit the website of the manufacturer. Oftentimes, it's the case that they have it with them.
Windows 8 has a device troubleshooter you will find in Settings > Find or Fix Problems > Hardware and Sound > Use a Printer and then you may proceed.
If you still haven't been able to solve the issue, you may visit the forums of your manufacturer to see if the problem you're facing is something many others have faced and resolved.