How can I publish my manuscript? Or, What is the process of publishing the book? These questions have not been outdated in my five years stay in the publishing/writing industry. I have published my first book as Self and second as Traditional. Honestly, the journey from self to traditional has been quite rough and struggling. Those who say it was like a cakewalk, believe me, it is a big lie. I feel blessed to have toiled my way out. In the process, I learned the basics of book publishing. I would, in this post, like to share the flow of activities involved in publishing a book in brief.
Assuming that the first draft of the manuscript is on paper, no matter how big an Author is, it has to be intensely self-edited for one or multiple times. Once the author is satisfied with his own editing, the edited draft is sent to the professional editor. At this stage, the story takes shape and further finished and honed. The editing process involves structural editing, line editing, copy editing.
Step one is to mend a story, plot, sub-plot, etc. Structural editing takes care of all these. Here, the focus is on plot only, grammatical and language aspects are not paid much attention. Editor proposes a change in the flow of the story, which the author has to either agree or disagree after discussion. Brainstorming is logical, and is in the best interest of the book.
Then comes a line-editing process in which line by line editing is done. Here grammar, the craft of framing a sentence, usage of vocabulary, punctuation and other language issues are resolved. Then comes copy editing, which is similar to the line editing. The entire line editing step is revisited holistically. The issues that were not attended during line editing can be weeded off.
Beta-reader is a professional avid reader, who provides overall feedback on the book. The author may or may not incorporate the suggestions. Now the manuscript is ready to float to the publisher. Beta reading is a flexible step and can be done at any of the above stages depending on the ease of author and reader.
The author then prepares a query letter and writes a synopsis and floats it to various publishers or literary agency. Remember, do not send the entire manuscript to publishers. Visit the websites, study what genres they publish in and also go through the submission guideline. Normally, the publisher asks for 2 or 3 sample chapter, synopsis and author bio. Assuming publishers read the work and ask to send the entire manuscript and one of them takes a step forward, and goes on to accept the manuscript and signs a contract.
With publisher’s association, the entire editing process will be repeated. Yes, it is a slow process, and you have to have patience. Editing is a major part. Once through with the editing, the next step is book interior and cover design. The cover design is sometimes outsourced. Authors’ are consulted in a process of cover design. Some authors give their theme and colour combination to ensure the cover of their flavour. Author has to coordinate with commissioning editor.
Now everything is ready. After printing, a copy or two will be printed for proofreading. And once the author gives a final nod, the first print will be run, which can be between 100 or less to thousands. The digital copy of the book will also be produced and put up on the book-selling websites.
The entire process may take around 1.5 to 2.5 years for a first time writer. Apart from the mentioned points above, author also has to think about Book Title, book marketing and strategy to build a brand as an author.
Thank you for reading the process, kindly like and share if you think this is helpful. In the next post, we will talk about Modules of Publishing. I am sure you would like to know about self-publishing and traditional publishing and the recent trend in the market. Until then take care.