How Are Books Created?

PUBLISHING 101
AUTHOR RESOURCES

It takes a long time and much work to get a print book from the author's creative mind into the readers' hands. E-books go through the same prepress process―the only difference is that e-books are not actually printed, but the manuscript must still be converted into the proper digital formats. While there are many steps in both the self- publishing and traditional-publishing processes, the following is a list of the major stages.

 

Preproduction

1. Author has a book idea and starts writing a rough draft of the manuscript. Author may use a writing coach or developmental editor during this time. The book's target audience should also be determined.

2. Rough-draft manuscript goes through an evaluation to identify any potential problems or issues to be considered during the revision process. 

3. Developmental editing helps author refine the draft manuscript to address the major issues and ensure the book will be marketable to the target audience.

4. Final manuscript is copy edited for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

5. Different International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) for each version of the book are obtained and registered. Bar codes for print books may also be purchased.

6. Author/publisher sets the cover price for the print and digital versions of the book.

7. Manuscript is formatted to the specifications of the printer/publisher.

 

Production

8. The formatted Word manuscript is converted into a graphic-design software program, such as InDesign, for print books. If the book will also be in a digital format, the manuscript will be converted into a coded format that can be read on e-readers and other digital devices. 

9. The book cover and the internal layout are designed by a graphic designer/layout artist. 

10. The printer runs a "proof" of the entire book before printing. Printers' proofs can be hard copy or digital in the form of a pdf.

11. The editor proofreads the printer's proof and identifies any errors for the printer to fix before printing or e-book conversion takes place.

12. Printer runs the requested number of print books or sets up the print-by-demand function, and/or the e-book is uploaded to all of the chosen mediums (Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, etc.).

 

Postproduction

13. The book is distributed for sale and marketed; every author should have a website promoting their books with links for purchasing.

14. Publicity materials for the book are developed.

15. A comprehensive marketing, public relations, and advertising campaign is created and implemented. For example, this may include setting up book readings, book signings, and other events where the book can be sold directly. Note: Some independent authors do this themselves; others hire freelance publicists or agencies to help them.

16. Author/publicist chooses the digital marketing platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn and starts promoting via those social media.

 

Marketing Tip: One easy, effective, and inexpensive way to begin a promotional campaign is to start a blog related to the topic of your book on your website. Try to update your blog with relevant posts and links at least several times a month. Keep at it; marketing takes time, and the efforts continually build upon themselves.

 

Tip: Many companies offer multiple publishing services for authors. Offerings and services can vary greatly in price and quality. Do your research before signing anything.