Publishing Cheat Sheet

Managing the publishing process for the first time can be intimidating. A cheat sheet would be great! Below is a quick checklist of items you’ll need along the way. It’s the same list I use to stay on point.

Business Plan

A business plan creates a realistic budget and project direction. A business plan requires little money to create, but also time. Research multiple printers, illustrators, editors, and distributors to determine a competitive team for your business model.

Professional Editing

A professional editor is essential! Each has his/her own pricing structure and should commit from first edit to press proofing. Editors assist with: page count, layout recommendations, proofing, plagiarism issues, and of course editing. Professional editing services are well worth the investment!

Copyrighting

One of the most common questions is how to obtain a copyright. Contact the copyright offices or fill out the form online. The average cost is around $45, well worth the investment. Barcode, ISBN setup, ISBN Metadata, and Library of Congress submissions are separate from the copyright process. ISBN standards require multiple ISBN numbers for printed and digital versions.

Copyrighting can be done in the final stage of publishing to include additions in text and illustrations. The publisher or author can submit based on their agreement. The publisher is also responsible for the ISBN and Barcode costs.

Printing

Printers need several items to quote a project: page count, binding style, paper stock, dimensions, deadlines, packaging requirements, and shipping destination. Printing options range from Print On Demand, “Green”, United States, overseas, award-winning, and eBooks. Production is times vary from on-demand to three months, depending on the printer selected.

E-book conversion into e-readers, such as the Amazon Kindle or the Apple iPad is separate from printing expenses. These are sold online through places like iTunes or the iBookstore. A good business plan should include this income stream when projecting sales or negotiating illustration contracts.

Printers

Illustration

Illustrators require the printer and graphic designer guidelines as well as the final edited story. Artists are liberal with time, however a professional illustrator creates according to timelines and budgets. Require communication throughout the illustration approval process using digital proofing. Digital proofing allows remote viewing for the author, editor, printer, graphic designer, and artist.

Three basic illustration contracts are: Purchase Contract, Copyright Contract, or Royalty Contract. A Royalty Contract usually offers unlimited use of the art. Each contract is based on the number of illustrations, artistic style, scanning, manipulation, and digital clean up.

Graphic Design

A Graphic Designer requires clean artwork along, the printer guidelines, additional book content, and the editor’s final edit. Graphic Designers provide scanning services, logos, professional layouts, and press ready production files. These services can be preformed by some professional illustrators. A fee and talent are required for this service as well. Samples should be provided.

As new resources are added and updated, this cheat sheet will be updated. Bookmark this page for future reference, I have.

Advertisements

1—2—3 Publish: Professionalism Book Test

Invest in five sample copies to test consumer appeal.  This Professionalism Book Test is fairly inexpensive by using a POD (Print On Demand) company.

Test 1:  Place your book with books of similar content at the public library. Lay three books including yours on a table or face out on a book shelf. Sit far enough away to observe and not look like a stalker. Take notes. Do library patrons overlook, preview, read, or check out your book? Feel honored if your book reach the circulation desk.

Test 2:  Visit your local book retailer. Ask for the top three books in your genre. Find a comfortable corner and critique your book. Don’t mark in the bookseller’s books, only your own. Is your writing professional (typos, misspellings, etc.)? Does your layout follow industry standards (margins, text flow, etc.)?  Do your illustrations/photos match or exceed the professionals? Place your book on a bookshelf next to the competitors. Which book is most easily read from twelve feet away? If your book is week in any area, make adjustments now!

Test 3:  Give three beta readers your POD book and the competitor’s book. Ask readers to rate and compare the two books. Access the comments and make adjustments before publishing.