The Publishing Industry


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Part of a workshop on How To Write Non Fiction, author Gavin D. J. Harper gives prospective writers insight into the publishing industry.

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The Publishing Industry

  1. 1. Gavin D. J. Harper
  2. 2. <ul><li>Each book is a new product </li></ul><ul><li>New products are inherently risky </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one knows how many copies will be sold </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No one knows if the readers will like it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New product development costs money </li></ul><ul><li>FOR A PUBLISHER EACH </li></ul><ul><li>NEW BOOK IS A GAMBLE </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Manufacturers of other products can often rely on steady sales, consumers will repeat purchase items out of necessity so there is less need to innovate and catch the consumers attention. </li></ul><ul><li>CONSIDER: You might by the same brand of loo roll every month for sixty years… but you wouldn’t buy a copy of the same book every month… </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Manuscripts / Book Proposals are submitted to the editorial department for consideration </li></ul><ul><li>Some make it through to being discussed at editorial meetings, others are discarded immediately after a brief appraisal by a commissioning editor. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Experts’ may be called in to comment on the content / completeness of a manuscript / proposal – to identify any possible gaps. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>If positive reviews are received, the editor will speak to sales / marketing to discuss the potential sales of the book. </li></ul><ul><li>If all feedback appears positive, an offer to publish will be made to the author. </li></ul><ul><li>Contracts will be dispatched in duplicate or triplicate to the author, with a future date for submission. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>A future submission date will take into account time taken to finish the project – the onus may also be on the author to supply illustrations / camera ready artwork. </li></ul><ul><li>The editor will look at the proposal in this time, and may suggest some edits, or style notes to increase the books appeal, or position the book within a specific market / series. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Whilst the author is busy writing the book, a number of other things will be happening at the publishing house, which the author may be required to submit information / check / discuss. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The publicist will want an ‘about the author’ picture, and a biography. This will enter the public domain. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The designer will prepare ideas for a cover image. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>9. - Meanwhile back at the ranch… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the proposal, a snappy blurb will be written for the back cover copy. Suggestions may also be sought as to eminent people that should be contacted for ‘review text’ for the book. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An ISBN code will be generated for the book, which allows a bar-code to be prepared for the back of the book. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The company website will be updated with the books details and pricing information. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>- Meanwhile back at the ranch… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales will generate a ‘sell sheet’ which will contain an array of advance information including: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Book Price </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cover Design </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ISBN </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Title </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Author Details </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Binding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Release Date </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Selling Points </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Table of Contents </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>- Meanwhile back at the ranch… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The publisher will release a printed catalogue to book sellers, your book will be included in the publishers next catalogue. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The books details will be updated on an industry database. This ‘feed’ is used by internet book sellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Nobl, ABEBooks e.t.c. as well as by high street shops to obtain data about what books are available, electronically. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>The author submits the finished text and images where appropriate. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The publisher will specify in what format the information is to be delivered to them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes paper-based with camera ready artwork. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually Microsoft Word Document / Rich Text File </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Images as high resolution electronic files. *.tiff preferred or other ‘lossless’ image format. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>11. A number of ‘proofs’ may be made at the earliest opportunity for reviewers to comment on – this comment may be used as part of the ‘Back Cover Copy’. </li></ul><ul><li>12. The book will go to a copy-editor who will read the text and suggest suggestions for flow, grammar, minor style points and general coherence. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>13. The copy-edited text is returned to the author with a series of queries. The author must meticulously check any alterations and confirm their appropriateness. </li></ul><ul><li>14. The copy-edited text is returned to the copy-editing house, who usually will also perform the job of type-setting and laying out the work. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>15. Some image queries may also be generated as a result of the process. These may include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is a higher resolution available? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there any attribution or courtesy line for the image. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File may have become corrupted in the transfer, please re-supply. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>16. Once all image queries have been answered, and the final text has been received, the book is sent to layout, where a desktop publishing package is used to prepare print-ready pages. </li></ul><ul><li>17. A copy of the print-ready pages are sent to the author, to check for layout – ensuring that images are correctly positioned, the right size e.t.c. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>18. When checked and returned, the book is sent to be printed. </li></ul><ul><li>19. The book arrives in the warehouse ready to be delivered to shops and internet retailers. </li></ul><ul><li>20. The author will be sent a number of complimentary copies specified in the contract. Additional copies may be available at a discounted rate. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>21. The publicist will work to get the author interviewed about the book in as many outlets as possible, review copies will be sent to magazines and other outlets that may be interested in featuring the book in editorial. </li></ul><ul><li>22. Your book has been released, now sit back, enjoy the exposure, and enjoy the royalties as they come in. </li></ul>