Process of Publishing a Book
For every title published, regardless of its source, a distinct publishing process is followed. More or less in this sequence these steps need to be taken:
- Draft a publishing/marketing plan for the title.
- Create, write, edit the book.
- Prepare the manuscript for production.
- Initiate sales to build orders for the book in advance of publication.
- Initiate promotion and publicity and make it a continuing process.
- Print and bind the first run of the book.
- Distribute to sales outlets.
- Fulfill orders.
- Bill and account for sales.
- Collect accounts payable.
No part of this process is easy but the relatively easier operations are those that remain under the control of the publisher, i.e. those operations that he can perform or order performed with the reasonable expectation that they will be carried out according to his orders.
The relatively difficult parts of the publishing process are those operations that depend upon the response and cooperation of independent parties: the public, the press, the book trade.
Securing the attention, interest, and positive response of elements that are not under the direct control of the publisher is what publishing (to make public; to divulge; to proclaim; to bring before the public, as for sale) is all about.
For the purposes of this document, we are going to concern ourselves with marketing issues: sales, promotion, publicity, distribution, all of those elements of publishing that tend to deal with the independent and often recalcitrant marketplace.
For a more general view of publishing and much more useful detail there are many, many books in your public library. Three that we have found particularly helpful are:
A Writer’s Guide To Book Publishing
- by Richard Balkin
- Paper: $12.95
- ISBN 0 452 279021 9
- A Plume Book, Penguin Books USA
- Third Edition 1994
For the writer seeking to work with a publisher in a conventional author/ commercial publisher relationship. You will learn everything you need to know about approaching a publisher, preparing a manuscript, negotiating a contract, design and production, editors and agents, copyrights, subsidiary, rights, and marketing.
The Complete Guide To Self-Publishing
- by Tom & Marilyn Ross
- Paper: $18.99
- ISBN 0 89879 646 6
- Writer’s Digest Books
- Third Edition 1994
For individuals seeking to publish their own or other authors’ work and for entrepreneurs seeking to establish a small press as a home/business enterprise.
The Self-Publishing Manual
- How to Write, Print, & Sell Your Own Book
- by Dan Poynter
- Paper $19.95
- ISBN 1-56860 047 X
- Para Publishing
- Tenth Revised Edition 1997
The original and most current guide to book writing, production, promoting and distribution. Poynter simplifies the process.