Learn the Process of Publishing a Book

The Process of self-publishing a book

Learn the 7 Steps of How to Publish a Book By Yourself | READ MORE

Creative & Powerful Process of Publishing a Book

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker

The process of publishing a book comes up again and again from clients and students. Years ago I worked in a major publishing house, and for the past 5 years I have passionately dedicated 6 days a week to self-publishing!

As a publishing coach and instructor, I am excited to answer this question: What is the process of publishing a book? As always, if you find this information valuable please share what you appreciate on your favorite social media option above.

Keep in mind, I have outlined these steps for the process of publishing with a broad brush stroke for simplification. Therefore, some of these action steps are implemented at the same time. However, this is the general order for the process of publishing a book.

Publishing is not Just Printing!

Phase One: Preparing Book Contents

Step One–The Manuscript: First, find, write, and contract the creative work. Also, you will need the manuscript in the form of a Word Document. If the publisher is traditional, a contract will be given you to sign. If you are self publishing your own book, I suggest you sign An Intent to Publish Agreement with yourself. These contracts and agreements serve to create deadlines, and definition of royalties and goals for the publishing of the book. Gather front and back matter, such as preface, dedication, index, and lots more. For more information about book structure, read Self-Publishing-Parts of a Book

Image with OOPS on the keyboard representing Content Editing Services for Self-Publishing Services

Learn the Nuances of Copy Editing, Content Editing and Proofreading.

Step Two–Editorial Process:  Next, or concurrently, the publisher, self-publisher, or your book coach will direct the first content editing, copy editing, and proofreading of the manuscript. Importantly, it is best to assign these three tasks in that order, since doing them in the wrong order requires extra work. This part of the process is likely to include identifying and obtaining permissions, credits for illustrations and photos, as well as creating front matter such as table of contents, title pages, copyright pages, interior images, along with front and back matter. To find out more about what needs to be included in a book,  read What are the Parts of a Book?

Phase Two: Printing the Book

Step Three–Interior Layout & Design: Next, your polished manuscript will be assigned to a graphic artist. An interior book designer will create the book layout to specs required by the printing company. Notably, his final layout is often called galleys and will enter another round of proofreading later. Lastly, the final corrections needed will be sent to layout artist for corrections to prepare for printing.

Book Cover Design is a basic Book Self-Publishing Services

A Professionally Designed Book Cover Sells Books.

Step Four–The Book Cover: The book cover includes a front cover and a back cover. For the back, include an author headshot, author bio, and synopsis of the book. The front cover includes the title, subtitle, and author name plus an intriguing graphic. The name of a book in a traditional publishing company setting is normally decided in meetings with the marketing and editorial departments. The title and subtitle of a book in self-publishing is usually done by the author, or by the author and publishing coach, or publicity agent. Keep in mind, the title and book cover are one major key to book sales. For more information, see Judging Book Covers: How to Design a Compelling Book Cover.

Phase Three–Publishing & Disributing the Book

Step Five–Registering Book Title: While registering the title, your book will be assigned an ISBN by the publishing company, independent publisher, or print on demand company. Of course, this depends on how the book will be published. Additionally, the ISBN is associated with the title, subtitle, and author of the book. Once completed, this cannot be changed. If you want to change these,  you will need to start the process again, and purchase another ISBN number. Once done, create the copyright page with this information along with the credits for in the front matter of the book.

Step Six–Print the Book: If a traditional publisher handles the pringing, a first run of books are ordered and printed. Prior to that, a print check is offered to check that the cover is printed in the right colors. However, iff priting using a print on demand company, digital files will be submitted after a hard copy proof is approved.

Step Six: Distribution & Marketing: If a traditional publishing house will handle the distribution of your book, you will likely be assigned a publicity manager. In this case, this person will schedule media interviews and book signings to launch your new book. However, if self published, you will need to sett up an online shopping cart, or sign with Amazon Books for online distribution and use their portal for book sales.

Process of printing a book from Lapto to ebook.

Information transfer. Books flying in tablet from laptop isolated on white

Other Reading about the Book Publishing Process

This article has covered the basics of the process of publishing a book. As always, if you find this information valuable, please share on your favorite social media.

For more detailed information, you may also read the following articles:

Becoming a Publisher in 7 Strategic Steps
DIY Publishing: How to Publish a Book Yourself
The Steps to Publish a Book–Part 1
Steps to Publish a Book–Part 2


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About Deborah S. Nelson