Working with a Publisher

Submitting a book to a publisher, even in the self published realm, can be a daunting journey, unless you understand these simple steps. After you have thoroughly researched various self publishing companies (we may write about that subject in a later blog), and signed the contract, the manuscript should be about 80% finished before you make begin the initial contact with the publishing team.

The first person you will meet will be the Submission Consultant. He/she will guide you on the style, font, format and submission of the manuscript. Remember to save your manuscript frequently, (save by date – so you can go back to a particular time period if needed), you may have as many as 25 revisions along the way. The font is usually Garamond with a 12 font size for the text, 16 for Chapters and 14 for Title.  Don’t worry about blocking the text, page alignment or  particular style at this time.

Final manuscript You will want to check all footnotes, personal editing by correcting as much as you possibly can, reading and re-reading the manuscript so you “say what you mean.” Save as “final Manuscript” then submit the manuscript in the manner described by the submission consultant.

Editing This may be an additional cost according to the mistakes or corrections needed throughout the manuscript. Editing is a crucial step and should not be overlooked or neglected because of cost. Spell check is not enough, you may save some money by choosing a local, professional editor in your vicinity but this does not negate your responsibility to read the manuscript carefully checking for errors along the way. Don’t let a friend look it over – you may be disappointed in the end. This may take a process of three to four weeks depending on the amount of editing and revisions needed.

Interior design At this point your manuscript may be turned over to a Design Consultant. This step will include the blocking of text, page numbering, margins, fonts, and everything interior to the look and style for the book. You should have an opportunity to approve the text and resubmit if necessary. Pay attention to detail, readers will spend the most time inside the book, make sure the design is readable, clear and presented in an attractive manner. The ISBN number, Copyright and Library of Congress registration may be accomplished during this step. This may take three to four weeks depending on the response time of each revision, if needed.

Exterior Design You will have one of the more exciting steps to the final outcome – designing and the layout of the cover. I let the professionals handle this. I now what I like but I am not an artist – however, I may reject the first cover design or two. I want to project the theme, mood and idea of the book by the cover design. The cover page will have a bar code placed on the lower right corner of the back page for sales. The price of your book may be determined at this stage. this can take three to four weeks and depends on whether you approve the designs and layout of the cover and back page.

Printing and Publishing This stage seems to be the longest while you are waiting to seeing the first book and hold it in your hand but actually may take three to six weeks depending on publishing schedules or backlog. Marketing is the task of the author more than the publisher and steps to market your book should already be in place but this is where you begin the mail out preparation, email advertisement and list is prepared, press releases, and more. You may want to hire a publicist or a marketing consultant to handle the immensity of the project.

Wish you well and hope you begin the process of publishing your book today.

Comment Below: Do you have any additions or advise to give to promising authors?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. This blog post should not be considered as counseling or mental advice. Please, seek the help of a professional. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.


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