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What Are the Pre-Production Stages in Publishing a Book?

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What Are the Pre-Production Stages in Publishing a Book?

Publishing a book is a scary prospect for many authors, particularly if they are going the indie route. The good news is that it’s a straightforward process that doesn’t need to be intimidating. However, it is something you need to do properly. It takes effort, and time, to publish a book properly, so having a good flow of work will make the difference.

1. Editing

Your first stage of publishing is going to be editing. Four passes is a common number in the industry, and it works well. The first pass is to close any plot holes and address macro problems. The second looks at smaller things like individual scenes and sentence structure. On the third pass, an editor looks at the grammar and small details. Finally, at the fourth, they go through just to make sure there are no typos or small punctuation errors.

2. Interior Design and Typesetting

After editing, you are going to need to begin laying out the book. For some (like graphics-heavy nonfiction books or children’s books) this includes locating an artist or graphic designer to assist you in creating the images you will use inside the work. In addition to that you will need to typeset the book and format it for whatever mediums you are going to use. Typesetting for print and typesetting for eBook require two sets of skills and two different programs, so it is wise to make sure you know what format(s) you are going to go with before you finish this process.

3. Cover Design

Hiring a cover designer or creating one yourself is one of the last stages of the book process. You can start it during editing, but you will not need the cover art until you are finished with the typesetting and layout of your book. This is particularly true of print books because the number of pages in the final product will determine the width of the spine. You also need to know what trim size you will be using in order to determine the size and shape of the cover.

4. Pre-release Marketing

Before your book is published and for sale, you need to begin marketing your work. This includes soliciting reviews from major sources as well as drumming up hype on social media, your blog and website, and telling your friends what exciting things you are up to.

While each of these elements has a great deal of work involved, the flow of publishing and the tasks required to put the book into its final form are straightforward. Make sure you pay attention to detail and do not rush through any part of the process, however, because your book will show a lack of attention that readers will pick up on.

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