Even though authors may think that their work is done when they finish writing their book, getting it published takes just as much time. Also, writing can be a lonely activity, and publishing a book requires a lot of interaction with other people. This time includes all the steps in the publishing process, from the time the publisher gets the book to the time it’s ready to sell.
Step 1: finish the book proposal
Most first-time authors finish their books before sending them to the publisher. Nonfiction authors sometimes write a book proposal before writing a manuscript, but if the publisher likes the inquiry, they will ask for the manuscript.
In the publishing industry, a book proposal is a sales document that describes what the author wants the finished book to be like. Even while writing the book proposal, the author should have at least two or three chapters written, as well as details about the plot for each of the remaining chapters and information about how the book will be marketed and how it compares to other books on the market.
Step 2: Getting a book agent
The best way for an author to get their book published is to have a literary agent take care of their book or proposal instead of sending it straight to a publishing agency. It may be hard to go straight to a publisher, but there are some good reasons to work with an agent. Literary agents already know publishers and can put you in touch with an editor with more experience. They can also send multiple submissions at the same time and know how to negotiate contracts.
Most of the time, publishing companies don’t pay much attention to manuscripts that come from people who aren’t literary agents.
A writer or author who wants to get published should start by sending query letters to agencies that represent the type of work they have written. In fiction, the description includes both the genre and a short summary of what the story is about. Depending on the literary agent, the aspiring writer or author may be asked to send a full synopsis along with the query letter.
Most of the time, a query letter for nonfiction will explain the background of your book and why you are the best person to write about the subject. Some agents will also ask for a sample chapter when you send them a query.
Step 3: Make a deal
A book contract is an agreement between an author and a book publisher that spells out what each party has to do and what rights they have. It also says how much money the author has with the book publisher. The literary agent will go over the contract with you and help you work out any problems.
Step 4: Get ready for it
Getting a book deal is a huge accomplishment and a very exciting time, but the author will soon find out that it also comes with a lot of problems. For one thing, many people will look over your manuscript before it is published. Some of them may suggest changes or criticize your writing style, which can be hard to take. Depending on whether the book was self-published or published in the traditional way, the author may or may not have had a say in how the cover was made or given final approval. This can be frustrating.
There’s also the time it takes to get a book published. Depending on how committed the book publisher is to the author’s work and how big the book publisher is, it can take anywhere from six months to two years (depending on whether it’s self-publishing or traditional publishing) for a book to be published. The first few rounds of changes by the author might take a month or two. The number of rounds of edits will depend on how well the author and editor can work together to make changes. After sending in your final, fixed manuscript, it could be a few months before the author gets a copyedit. This is when the work is checked for grammar, spelling, and other mistakes. The book’s cover might not be shown until a few months before it comes out.
Step 5: Learn more about the Editor
The author will work closely with the editor as the manuscript is read. This is a key process that needs people to work together. You might be asked to rewrite parts of your book, get rid of certain chapters, change the plot, fix factual mistakes, make certain parts clearer, or even change the title.
If you don’t agree on where the book should go, it could be hard to work with the editor. It is important to act professionally at all times and look at the manuscript from the publisher’s point of view. This doesn’t mean that the author can’t talk about their work, but they should try to look at editorial suggestions with an open mind.
If the author’s relationship with the editor gets tense, they might ask the literary agent to help them work things out.
Step 6: The editors work together
The author’s editor is an important part of the editorial staff and will be the author’s main point of contact during the process. But the department helps with many other parts of the project, such as the cover art or illustrations and checking the facts.
Step 7: Making it
Officially, the book-making process starts when the full manuscript is sent to the copyeditor (typically assigned to the production department). The book production department is in charge of the book’s final design, layout, printing, and ebook coding.
Step 8: Finish the book
Maybe not right away. The publishing agency may have told the author’s book to come out on a certain date. Sending advance copies to book critics is the first step in getting the word out. Most publishers will send out digital ARCs of your book to get reviews and help with marketing.
In the end, it will be sold in bookshops (physical and digital). The author should keep in mind that while the book may be on sale in bookstores today, it may not be in stock right away. This depends a little on the size of the publisher and how the book is put together. Print-on-demand (POD) is used by a lot of small presses. Most bookstores don’t carry POD books unless the publisher guarantees that the book can be returned. Still, the author can talk to your local bookstores, especially the independent ones, about carrying the book.