Book Publishing Stages
You may think it’s not necessary because you’ve already checked, but this part of the process should never be overlooked. There’s nothing worse than finding spelling and grammar mistakes or typos after your book has gone through the production process. There may also be issues with artwork that you didn’t notice before because you’ve been so focused on getting the story right.
The importance of each stage of book publishing is something you should always be aware of. Sometimes you won’t need all stages but it’s good practice to know and understand why each stage is significant.
You can also use the links below to jump directly to the section you’re looking for.
- Editing -Copy
- Book Cover Design & Licence
- Book Design, Layout & Formatting
- ISBN & Barcode
- Legal Deposit Requirements
- Editing – Developmental
- Public Lending Rights
Hunting for errors in your manuscript can be daunting but it’s important to make sure your text is perfect. All books go through this stage after editing the copy. Having typos or grammar mistakes will definitely set your book apart from most, and not in a good way. Many people who write books don’t want to stop at just one book, so your readers need to know that there is a high standard of quality in your completed works. So, why bother proofreading if it’s been edited? Because mistakes can happen, in fact, they do happen; which is why this part of the publishing process is important. It’s always good to have a safety net
Editing the copy, or copy editing, is crucial as it will spot errors and improve the text. This will be done after you have completed your final draft and you’re ready for the next stage of getting your book published. We all make mistakes, so it’s better to get in control of it from the start.
Book Cover Design & Licence
The cover is a visual representation of your work that will entice a reader to pick a book up to know more. Whether you go for illustrated or photographic, its important that the link between the cover design and your work is clear and understandable. The layout and formatting is another part of your book cover. Cover text needs to be in keeping with the cover image. Too big and you will lose the significance of the image, too small and it may be lost and not easily read. All cover images will come with a licence. This allows you to use the image for your book and it’s always a good idea to make sure of the licence restrictions (if any) before you decide to use it. If you’re commissioning bespoke work for your cover, ask about the licence.
Book design, layout & formatting
This relates to the book interior and this can change drastically from book to book, and genre to genre. When writing and editing your book it’s worth noting what kind of layout and formatting will be best suited to your work. We all know what the more traditional book looks like, but there are more ways to layout and format your book. Understanding this will help you make a decision that’s right for you. There are many authors who have used this to great success and made their book stand apart from others. A good idea is to think about your genre and audience, then see if the layout can be adjusted to suit your work better.
ISBN & Barcode
The international standard book number (ISBN) is a numerical book identifier for commercial purposes. Many people believe that they only need one, but this isn’t the case as each book variant will need a separate ISBN. A book variant is classed as all versions of your book that isn’t the original. The barcode is separate to the ISBN number but connected to your number so shops and online store systems can scan. When scanned, your book information will show on their system and this allows for easy cataloging as well as making sure your book is on the correct shelf and section of the store. If you ever amend or update your book after it’s been allocated an ISBN, you will need to purchase a new one because this will be classed as a variant.
Legal Deposit Requirements
When you have completed publishing your book you are required by law to send copies to a repository. This is usually a group of particular libraries in the UK. This has been a legal requirement since the 17th century and in 2013 the law was expanded to include digital versions as well as print. The time frame is usually within 30 days from publication.
Part of the writing process is thinking about the reader. In other words, your target audience in relation to what you’re writing. Is your audience just UK based or will they be worldwide? If you’re wanting to publish your book outside of the UK you will need to consider translation. Not the obvious translation of language but culture and meaning. You have to be aware that simple things may have different meanings in other cultures.
Editing – Developmental
This kind of editing is for checking the book as a whole. From story arcs to plot threads and development of characters. The whole theme of your book will be checked for issues of this kind and mapped ready for amendments. Having inconsistencies will definitely confuse a reader and prevent them from continuing. It’s not uncommon for character names and/or features to change throughout the book. We know this may be hard to believe but we have seen our fair share of this problem, it’s more common than you think.
Public Lending Rights
Under the UK PLR system authors receive payment from government funds to remunerate them for the lending of their books in public libraries. This includes not just authors but illustrators, photographers, translators and editors. This leads on from the legal deposit requirements and will pay a small amount to the registered user(s) each time a book is borrowed up to a maximum of £6,600 per year.