Updated: Jun 1, 2021
While authors may believe that their work is complete when they are done writing on their book, the process of having it published is just as time-consuming. Additionally, while writing may be a lonely endeavor and book publishing requires interaction with people. This time includes all the many roles within the publishing process, from when the book is obtained by the publisher to when it is ready for sale.
Stage 1: Completing the Book Proposal
Most first-time authors complete a book before submitting it to the publisher and authors of nonfiction sometimes prepare a book proposal before writing a manuscript, however, publishers will request a manuscript if they like the inquiry. A book proposal is a sales document used in the publishing industry that details the vision of the author for the finished book. Even while drafting the book proposal, the author should have at least two to three chapters completed, as well as plot specifics for all subsequent chapters and information on the marketing strategy and book’s competition.
Stage 2: Having A Literary Agent
The best way to have the author’s book published is to have their book or proposal handled by a literary agent rather than sending it directly to a publishing agency. The straight route to a publisher may be difficult, but there are benefits to working with an agent. Literary agents already have ties with publishers and can connect you with a more experienced editor. Furthermore, they are capable of sending concurrent submissions and have contract negotiating knowledge.
Often when publishing agencies received manuscripts that are not from literary agents they rarely pay attention to them.
To begin with, an aspiring writer or author should send out query letters to agencies that represent the kind of work they have written. In fiction, the genre and its brief synopsis are included in the description. Depending on the literary agent, the aspiring writer or author may be asked to submit a complete synopsis along with the query letter.
A query letter for nonfiction will typically explain your book’s background and why you are the finest candidate to write about the issue. When submitting a query, some agents will request a sample chapter as well.
Step 3: Contract
A book contract is an agreement between the author and book publisher that contains each party’s obligation and rights. It also specifies the author’s financial connection with the book publisher. The literary agent will explain the contract and aid you in solving any concerns.
Step 4: Bracing Yourself
While securing a book deal is an incredible accomplishment and an exciting moment, the author will quickly learn that it comes with numerous obstacles. For one thing, numerous hands will touch your manuscript before it is published, and many of them may advise modifications or make criticisms about your style, which can be difficult to bear. The author may or may not have had input over the design of the cover or its final approval (depending on if it’s self-publishing or traditional publishing), which can be infuriating.
Moreover, there is the time consumed in the publishing process. Based on the book publisher’s dedication to the author’s material and the book publisher’s size, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to be published (depending on if it's self-publishing or traditional publishing). The author’s initial rounds of revisions may take a month or two. The number of rounds of edits will rely on the author’s ability to reach an agreement with the editor over revisions. After submitting your final corrected manuscript, it may take several months before the author will receive a copyedit, which involves evaluating the work for grammar, typographical errors, and other errors. A cover of the book may not be shown until a few months before publication.
Step 5: Become familiar with the Editor
While the manuscript is being read, the author will work closely with the editor. This is a key process that requires collaboration. You may be asked to rewrite sections of your book, eliminate specific chapters, alter the plot, rectify factual inaccuracies, clarify particular passages or change the book’s title.
The editor-author relationship might be challenging if you do not agree on the book’s direction. It is critical to maintain a professional demeanor at all times and to view the manuscript from the viewpoint of the publisher. This is not to say that the author cannot advocate their work, nonetheless, the author must attempt to consider editorial recommendations objectively.
If the author's relationship with the editor gets tense, they may seek mediation through the literary agent.
Step 6: Editorial Staff Collaboration
The author’s editor is a critical member of the editorial staff and will serve as the author’s primary point of contact during the process. However, the department contributes to numerous other aspects of the project, including cover art or illustrations, and fact-checking.
Step 7: Production
Officially, the process of book production begins when the complete manuscript is sent to the copyeditor (typically assigned to the production department). The book production department is in charge of the book’s finished design, book layout, printing, and ebook coding.
Step 8: Book’s Completion
Perhaps not immediately. The author’s book may have been scheduled for release on a specific date by the publishing agency. Publicity begins with the mailing of advance copies to book critics. The majority of book publishers will provide digital ARCs (advanced review copies) of your book to solicit reviews and aid in marketing efforts.
Ultimately, it will be distributed to bookshops (physical and digital). The author must bear in mind that the book may be available for purchase via bookshops today, it may not be immediately stocked. This is somewhat determined by the publisher’s size and the manner in which the book is created. Numerous small presses use print-on-demand(POD), and bookshops typically do not stock POD unless the book publisher guarantees the ability to return the book. Having said that, the author can negotiate with your local bookshops, particularly independent ones, to get the author’s book stocked.
Even today, as your book nears publication, your work is far from done. Prepare for your public relations journey.