Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Publishing Process

What happens after your manuscript is finished? You’ve probably been so wrapped up in writing that you haven’t given much thought to the process of how to get your book published. When you decide to go the self-publishing route, you’ll find that you, the author, are responsible for pretty much everything. You (or your company) are the publisher and can make the final decisions for the title, book cover design, layout, and more. This means that you are also responsible for the expenses incurred during publishing. 

If you’ve never experienced the self-publishing process, relax; it’s not as mysterious or difficult as you might think. So what are the steps to self-publishing? There are several, and I’ll try to keep it simple. This in no way includes all of the details, but it does give you a general overview of the process. Here it is in a nutshell:
  1. Author writes content for the manuscript (your book is called a manuscript until it is published and printed).
  2. Editor reviews completed manuscript and suggests edits to the content, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and overall flow of the story.
  3. Author interviews self-publishing companies to determine the best match for her/his book project. Oftentimes, it’s about relationship. Sometimes it boils down to cost, services provided, and quality of service.
  4. Author purchases an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for the book. Or, you could have the self-publishing company do it.
  5. Author submits final edited manuscript to publishing company.
  6. Author and/or publicist creates online presence (website, social media) to begin early promotion of book.
  7. Layout specialist formats book pages, and graphic designer creates book cover or dust jacket.
  8. Publishing company lays out book and provides proof.
  9. Author and proofreader review proof.
  10. Publicist receives bound galley and advance copies and sends to book reviewers, journalists and booksellers along with publicity materials.
  11. Publisher prepares book as e-book and submits to online booksellers.
  12. Publisher prints books, provides to author, and ships to booksellers as directed by author. 
  13. Publicist schedules media interviews and speaking engagements for author.
  14. Author conducts book tour to include book signings, speaking engagements, media interviews, and appearances.  
  15. Author enjoys success of enhanced professional platform, establishment of expertise, increased business, expanded circle of influence, and astronomical book sales.
Okay, this sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it. Wouldn’t it be great if you could take the above “recipe” and just add water and stir? Well, it doesn’t quite work that way, which is why it is so important to assemble a professional, experienced publishing team. If you need help with that, contact me; I’d be happy to help. Just email me at 

If you’re feeling a bit deterred about self-publishing, Wikipedia offers this hope:

Many works now considered classic were originally self-published, including the original writings of William Blake, Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman, William Morris, and James Joyce.
Other well-known self-publishers include: Stephen Crane, E. E. Cummings, Deepak Chopra, Benjamin Franklin, Zane Grey, Pat Ingoldsby, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Paine, Edgar Allan Poe, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, George Bernard Shaw, Upton Sinclair, Gertrude Stein, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman and Mark Twain.

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