The book publishing process

Entry Notes

Posted: 05172008
Author: Mariana Anghel
Category: Copyright and publishing

THE PRECISE DETAILS vary according to the size of publishing company involved, but the following twenty stages are fairly typical of most companies.

1. Manuscripts are submitted by authors and agents to the editorial department for consideration for publication.

2. Some are rejected instantly, others are discussed at editorial meetings.

3. In-house or external readers will read and report on the merits of the manuscript.

4. If the reader’s report is positive, the sales department will be consulted regarding the book’s selling potential.

5. Many factors are taken into account when comparing manuscripts shortlisted for publication.

6. An offer to publish may then be made, usually with a view to printing the book a year or two from that date.

7. This gives enough time for the editor to work on the manuscript, suggesting rewrites, re-structuring and correcting errors.

8. Meanwhile a designer will work on a cover image.

9. The publicist will request a photo and biographical information from the author to help create the press release.

10. Other editors will write a blurb for the book’s jacket and will register an ISBN from which a bar code can be generated for the back cover.

11. The sales department will create an Advance Information (AI) sheet consisting of the cover design, the ISBN, the title and author details, the blurb, and the book’s price, dimensions, binding, release date and selling points.

12. This AI sheet will be duplicated for the sales reps to take into bookshops in order to achieve advance orders.

13. The company website will be updated to include details of the forthcoming book, and an entry will be included in its next printed catalogue.

14. All of the book information will be submitted to the publisher’s warehousing company and to the industry databases from which Amazon and high street shops obtain their computer book data.

15. A small number of uncorrected ‘proof’ copies of the book may be quickly typeset and printed some months ahead of the publication date and sent to key reviewers and book trade buyers.

16. The book will be typeset.

17. A final proofread is done.

18. The book is sent to the printing presses.

19. A month or so later it arrives in the warehouse with a few weeks to spare before it is delivered to the shops.

20. In the couple of weeks following the publication date the publicist will attempt to get the author interviewed as widely as possible.

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