Publishing a book is a collaborative enterprise between the author and the publisher. The process usually takes between six months to a year or more
before the book is released for sale to the public. It is dependent upon a multitude of variable factors.
1. Manuscripts are submitted by authors or agents to the publisher for consideration for publication.
2. Some are rejected immediately; some are put into a slush pile to be considered at a later time, and some are selected to be discussed at weekly
acquisition meetings. The decision to follow up on specific manuscripts is made by the acquisitions committee.
3. Department staff reviews the recommendations of the acquisitions committee and the manuscript is evaluated for market potential, amount of
work needed for production and other market considerations.
4. A final decision is made to pursue the manuscript for acquisition and a budget is established for production of the work.
5. Author is offered a contract based upon the acquisitions committee’s funding proposal and recommendations.
6. Contract terms are negotiated with the author.
7. Contract is individually drafted incorporating the negotiated terms and details for the specific type of book.
8. Contract is sent to the author for evaluation, signed by the author, and returned.
9. The project manager/acquisitions editor analyzes the manuscript, and in collaboration with staff, formulates a basic guideline for production.
10. Information is obtained from the author: photos, biographical information, foreword, dedications and author’s desires for book appearance, back
cover synopsis, etc.
11. The final manuscript is obtained from the author and is put in queue for editing. Nothing much happens for about six to eight weeks. Manuscript
goes into editing and corrections and suggested re-writes are proposed. Time frame is usually one to four months with two comprehensive edits with
different editors and multiple revisions with the author. A final proof read edit is the last step.
12. In collaboration with the author, the cover concept is developed. Cover concept is provided to illustrator/graphic designer and several concept
covers may be designed if necessary. After concept approval, cover is put in queue for final cover design. Time frame is usually four to six weeks.
13. Media releases are formulated whenever possible announcing various milestones and events.
14. Editing is finished and manuscript is submitted for copyright infringement review. Requests are made for permissions and rights. Time frame is
usually around eight weeks.
15. ISBN, Bowkers Books In Print and various other registrations are obtained.
16. Manuscript may be submitted for copyright registration if necessary. In subsidy formats, the author submits their own copyright as sole owner of
the work. In tradition formats the publisher submits for the copyright.
17. Manuscript formatting for eBook is started. eBook is formatted and converted into the various formats. Time frame is usually around two weeks.
18. Initial limited promotion is formulated. While the book is in production, a promotional plan to supplement marketing may be formulated with
19. Final proof read is made and manuscript is approved by author.
20. eBook cover is completed and approved by author.
21. eBook is released, and offered for sale on the various eBook retailer sites.
22. Media releases are formulated announcing eBook release and sent to various media outlets.
23. eBook review copies may be made and sent to various industry reviewers and others who may be helpful in promoting the work.
24. Book may remain in eBook version for two weeks to three months, allowing time to market and promote the work prior to print release.
25. Interior layout for print edition is formatted with flourishes, drop caps and other embellishments to create a professional interior layout.
26. Cover is completed with rear cover design, synopsis, UPC bar code, ISBN, price etc.
27. Proof print copy is ordered and reviewed for errors.
28. Review copies may be sent to various industry professionals and others who may be helpful in promoting the work.
29. During the entire process, the publisher starts limited and basic marketing of the book with media press releases, video book trailer and
dissemination of the book information to retailers by insertion into the Ingram wholesale book catalog.
30. Media released are formulated announcing print release and sent to various media outlets.
31. Book is finalized and released for print. Digital files are uploaded to the print facility for initial print run.
32. The book information is submitted to the publisher’s wholesale distribution company.
33. Distribution agreements are formulated with the various book retailers and the book information in inserted into the wholesale catalog and into
the industry databases from which retailers obtain their book data.
33. Books arrive at the warehouse from the printer, books are shipped to the distributor and the publication date is set. Authors receive their author
copies when the books are printed.
34. The Advance Information (AI) and/or sell sheet may be created. It consists of the title, cover image, ISBN, author details, synopsis, the book’s
price, discount percentages and/or special offers, dimensions, binding, anticipated release date and selling points.
35. Once the distributor has the book information in the wholesale catalog, the book is available for purchase from bookstores and online retailers
36. Basic limited marketing continues with supplemental media releases for special and noteworthy events, and providing book information to
relevant parties that may have an interest in the book etc.
37. The publisher monitors inventory and sales.
38. Reports of sales are generated and royalties are paid to the author.
The above does not necessarily occur in the order listed and some are conducted concurrent with others. Not all of the processes described
are provided for every book depending on the type of book and a variety of factors.
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