The best way to understand how publishing a book works is to view it as a personal journey-a a course in miracles process of book editing, layout design, art direction, book printing, and selling & marketing to customers. Your goal is to work with great book editors and book publishing companies to produce the best possible result: a quality book that is a real resource to its readers. This task is labor-intensive and can be daunting, so I recommend you take a step back, breathe, and tackle first things first.
As someone publishing a book, your first step is to learn as you can about the reality of the publishing business. Researching the publishing industry online is a good start, but will only get you so far. Call up as many book publishing companies as you can for a conversation. Talking to many people will give you a better idea of what to expect, and what differentiates stellar publishing editors from the mediocre ones. Find the book publishing team that best fits your distinct needs. A book project manager should have plenty of experience and a good team of editors, photographers and layout designers.
Once you’ve found the right book publishing company, you’ll want to plan your business strategy. Realistically assessing your own personal strengths and weaknesses will be vital. A book project requires much time and planning, and working with someone experienced who can realistically help you identity goals and limitations will be crucial to a smart business plan. What is the timeline for this project? What is a reasonable budget? How many copies should you print immediately? The packaging manager of a good book publishing company will have experience in all of this, and can help you draft a smart plan for your project.
Now, to the book itself: Perfect your writing! Multiple book editors and copyeditors should go through your text to make sure it is concise, focused and grammatically correct. Do not just rely on yourself or a friend for the editing during this crucial part; the text will always be the foundation of your book. Before working on the next task of your book publishing project, it is absolutely crucial to complete each step in the process entirely. In other words, do not try to layout the design for your book unless the text is thoroughly copyedited and complete. The time you and money you spend on publishing services to alter UN-edited text will all be wasted effort.
Along the journey, work with your book project manager to enlist the right book photographers, illustrators and book designers to make your book’s presentation clean and topnotch. In the design phase, book designers will format photographs and assign images to pages along with certain text. Photo captions, credits and your group of fonts will be chosen at this time. At this point you should request several proofs and drafts from the designers. As an individual working with a book publishing company, I would advise that you be flexible enough to take professional suggestions, but also have enough control to manage what you do and don’t like. Tell the book designer or book project manager as soon as possible if you want to change something.
Once you are satisfied with the many proofs and test prints in the design phase, have confidence in yourself and your team’s book editing as you send your book to be printed. Book printing and the number of copies you print in this first run will depend on the business plan you and your book project manager formulated. Seeing your name in print is an exhilarating moment. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back and to appreciate your hard labors. But don’t sit and bask in the credit for too long-you’re currently sitting on 2,000 copies or so of your newly printed book!
After book printing comes time for selling and distributing your book. Successful distribution is not as simple as getting your book onto the shelves of Barnes and Noble or other book stores and watching it sell. The best success comes with marketing your book to an already existing network of followers you may have. Utilize the resources have readily available, and keep your eye out for new business opportunities.
Most of all, stay positive and patient. The road to becoming published may be bumpy at times, but with perseverance and a great book publishing team, you will produce tremendous results!