I forgot to mention yesterday that only 3 to 5 percent of the manuscripts submitted to publishers make it to book form. There are a lot of books published each year. Imagine how many must be written and submitted.
What is the publishing process? Let's continue with using my current experience. Remember that I signed in October but didn't start production on the cookbook until January. Here is the process I'm going through with my publisher, Tate Publishing.
Prior to the start of production, I had to go through the manuscript and put it into the publisher's required format. That format included: what font sizes were to be used throughout the book, the use of bold and italics, not using any manual line breaks, putting all the parts in a particular order, removing any headers, footers or page numbers and no indent or tab to start a paragraph. This needed to be done by a set date to make sure we were able to get into the January production schedule.
The month of January was spent with the copy editors. They went through the manuscript and checked for any technical/grammatical issues that needed to be addressed. During this month, I needed to get any photos, graphics and/or charts turned into the design department.
In February, we began on the conceptual editing process. Here the conceptual editor goes through the entire manuscript and checks for the flow and order of the book. He makes suggestions for words, sentences or even paragraphs to be deleted or re-written. This part of the process takes two months. The first part is the editor doing their thing and the second month is you re-working the parts the need a little help.
When this part is done we move to the design editor. During April the design editor creates the book's front cover with a lot of your input. In fact, we just finalized my cookbook cover late yesterday afternoon. I'm excited to see the cookbook start to take on it's own identity.
For my cookbook, the month of May will be working with the layout editor. The layout editor will make the inside of the cookbook come to life. We will start next week. I can't wait to see how it improves on the ideas I have in my head for each recipe and chapter. I believe the back cover of the cookbook will be completed in May too.
Once the layout and the back cover are finished, the publisher will print the first book. This book will come to me. I will go through and proof everything again. Once any corrections are made, if needed, I will sign off on the book and it can get scheduled for production. That first print should come to me sometime in late June or early July.
Now during the months of June, July and August, I will be working with the publishers marketing team. We will be working on press releases, book signings and convincing book buyers to buy a lot of copies of my cookbook.
If everything stays on the timeline that has been set, the cookbook should be released sometime in September. On that release date, anyone will be able to purchase the cookbook on-line. They will be able to go to my publisher's website or my website to make this purchase. I believe that other websites, like amazon, will have it available that day too. Because of the time it takes to get books shipped out, it may be up to four weeks before the cookbook will be available in stores.
For me and this process, it will be around 27 months from when I penned the first words to it being on the market. Some may think this was a long process. I'm sure that many authors may be quicker. Julia Child's first cookbook took around eight years. I'm glad I didn't have to have her patience during this wonderful experience.
I hope this twp piece blog proved interesting to some of you. Tomorrow we will get back to talking about cooking. See you then.