If there is one thing we have always said about writing your book, it’s more than just words. That’s right, writing a book takes more than just writing and publishing your words in a Word document. This may not surprise some of you, but there are many people who do not know just how much goes into creating a high-quality, professionally published book. In fact, this is the reason we started Your Literary Prose. We saw many authors and entrepreneurs alike unsure of what to do once they had a manuscript.
The Processes of Publishing a Book
When it comes to publishing a book we have divided the tasks into three major focus areas: writing, publishing, and marketing. When you take a look at everything together, there can be upwards of 100 unique tasks needed to complete a book and make it successful. We get it, publishing a successful book can seem daunting, but when you understand the amount of time and energy needed to complete your book you are one step ahead of most first-time authors. I don’t want to scare you into writing your book; in fact, I’m writing this blog to help you prepare for your upcoming project.
Writing a Book
First up, you have to write your book. This may sound simple but let’s take a closer look at what actually goes on in this step. It is true, the actual act of writing takes up most of this step but when we talk about writing your book we are really describing everything which happens before we have a completed manuscript ready for typesetting. So what does this process include?
When it comes to writing your book you will:
- Decide on your topic
- Gather genre-specific information
- Detail your ideal audience/reader
- Outline your book
- Find and document source material
- Document your intellectual property
- Check facts
- Write your book
- Create front and back matter
- Edit your book
- Proofread your book
- Finalize the manuscript
Each book is unique; some of you may not have outside source material to document. Your book may require one, two, or even ten tune-ups. Some of you may not have any facts or statistics; others may have dozens or even hundreds of facts.
This process can take weeks or even months to finalize. Every person writes at a different rate and develops their book at a different rate and much of the time difference relies upon the genre of your book, and the social norms expected from a book in your genre. As much as it is fun to break the mold, there are times when it is crucial to stay in touch with the genre norms so you do not surprise your reader, your publisher, and the bookstores. You should discuss with your editor, your publishing consultant, your publisher, and your beta readers on when to call the text of your book complete.
Publishing a Book
Once you have finished writing your book it is time to publish. While this step technically comes after the writing stage there are steps which you and your team can work on while you are writing. So what goes on during the publishing stage:
- decision to self-publish or traditionally publish
- cover design
- gathering reviews and testimonials
- creating appropriate accounts
- gather ISBN, LCCN, and other legal provisions
- working with printer(s)
- working with bookseller, i.e. Amazon, local bookstores, national chains, etc.
Just like I mentioned above, each book is unique and it is important for you to understand what your book needs, what your book does not need, and what is optional for your book. During the publishing stage you set your book up for sales success and working with the right team of professionals greatly increases the chance of success.
In this arena, the most important areas to focus on include the overall layout and look of the book, covering your legal aspects, and working with book sellers. If you can find book sellers or work with people or agencies who can sell your book, you are going to greatly increase your sales potential. Most of what you need to complete during the publishing stage is helping you sell your book to bookstores and readers.
Marketing a Book
Speaking of selling your book, the third area of focus is marketing. The marketing section is unique as there is not a bad time to market yourself or your book. In fact, we suggest you take the time to create a marketing plan for your book before you begin writing. That’s right, you can market yourself and your book before your begin writing! Imagine having a group of ravenous fans at your launch party, ready and excited to buy your book and share it with their friends, colleagues, and family!
Marketing can, and should, continue weeks, months, and years into the future. However, be aware that the first 6-12 months after publication are where you will find your best sales numbers. That is why it is so crucial to have a solid marketing plan for yourself and your book early in your book’s life. So what does marketing entail:
- social media
- speaking engagements
- press releases
- book readings
- blog tours
- author website
- launch party
- and so much more!
Begin Publishing a Book Today
As you can tell there are many tasks which encompass the actual act of publishing a book. In fact, publishing is really only one part of the process. Understanding the publishing process is only one part of the process and these steps each have their own unique challenges and processes. Take the time to plan out your book’s publishing journey now, to save time, money, and a headache in the future.
We get it, it is difficult to plan out and accomplish these goals by yourself, that’s why we have put together our VIP Day for authors. We work with authors before, during, and after an intense three-hour planning session for their book. Through a targeted questionnaire we learn about you and your book, we then work with you to plan out all the tasks to complete, and create your own personalized publishing plan. Let us know if you’re interested and we can find the appropriate time to kick-off publishing your book!