Keep Your Book on Track

To help you get ready for the finishing line of publishing, here’s our handy guide to sailing through the key publishing and production steps.During the publishing process, there are decisions to be made and a lot of book production work to be done. Some self-publishing authors find themselves struggling to get to the finish line. Inexplicable delays creep in. Writers can prevaricate and procrastinate in creative ways...such as using the publishing process as a time to do more edits to the text, or making numerous last-minute changes to tiny details of the cover design.

At SilverWood, we sometimes see this happening for our authors, and we do understand - often the unconscious desire to delay happens because a writer might not feel 100% emotionally ready to launch their book. After all, putting your book out there into the world is a daunting prospect! It can feel almost as tough as handing over your baby to be looked after by someone else for the first time.

Things are easier if you have a supportive team like SilverWood Books behind you, and an experienced publishing assistant who can be your cheerleader, keeping up your motivation and confidence.

To anticipate this, and to help you be ready to overcome these hurdles yourself, here’s our handy guide to sailing through the key publishing and production steps:

Copy editing and proofreading

To refine your manuscript and ensure it flows well, we always recommend that writers invest in a professional copy-edit followed by a separate proofread. Finding mistakes later in the process can really slow things down and can add to your costs, so skipping these steps can be a false economy - both in terms of your budget and time. A book published by a mainstream or trade publisher will always go through rigorous pre-press stages to polish the text and make sure it’s as good as it can be before the next phase: typesetting.

How to be ready

Send your final manuscript to be edited and/or proofread. The text should be as close to publication-ready as you, the writer, can get it with all the self-editing and development phases completed. That way the copy-editor can do their work on your final draft to avoid delays or significant re-writing at a later stage. After proofreading, try to avoid making changes as this runs the risk of introducing new errors. That might necessitate a second proofread, which is costly and time-consuming!

Typesetting the page layouts

To create a professional book layout, our publishing assistants spend time on the interior typesetting to develop a style and finish for the pages. During this process, we focus on details such as font, size, spacing, margins, chapter headings, sub-headings and - for non-fiction - tables, charts and bullet lists. Some authors have strong preferences while others are happy to trust professional judgement and publishing conventions. It’s best to discuss any preferences upfront to save time and avoid delays caused by making changes later in the process. It’s all about keeping your book on track!

The colour of the font is another important factor if you’ve opted for a full-colour interior - particularly effective with children’s picture books. To complement the illustrations, SilverWood author Pauline Tait went for purple text in her children’s book The Fairy in the Kettle's Christmas Wish.

How to be ready

Look at published books on your own bookshelf. What makes their interior pages eminently readable? Are there differences between genres, and what obviously works for your genre? Do you have any special preferences? If so, chat to your publishing assistant before typesetting work begins to avoid significant changes to the layout at a time-critical later stage.

The cover design

The cover is an important part of your marketing, because you want it to immediately press the right psychological buttons for your potential readers. To avoid delays and the expense and extra time needed for a complete redesign, we work closely with our authors to get the cover right. You may wish to send us a photograph, image or Pinterest board to spark ideas for the main design features. We’ll also ask you questions about book covers you like, the key themes of your book, and whether you have a preferred colour scheme. Authors usually supply their own back cover text (called a book blurb in the UK). You may also wish to provide an endorsement for the front or back cover, depending on the available space.

All these ideas are incorporated into a detailed written brief for our cover design team, who will get to work creatively interpreting your book in a way that speaks to potential readers.

We’ll provide a first cover proof with the opportunity for you to give feedback and make small changes. By the time we send your final cover proof over, it is intended as a quick check and approval phase - avoiding any major changes and the inevitable delays that go with them.

How to be ready

Research cover design styles for your genre. Also, write your back cover description ahead of time and, if relevant to you, solicit endorsements so the cover designer can take these into account when considering space. This article gives valuable hints and tips on writing a captivating book blurb.

Ebooks

After you’ve signed off on the interior and cover, your book is ready to be reformatted and converted to an ebook edition. At SilverWood, we use the final typeset interior files and cover design from your paperback or hardback edition so that all published editions are consistent. We then test on a range of e-reading devices such as Kindle, iPad and Kobo to ensure the content of your book looks as expected, within the limitations of current ebook technology.

How to be ready

Ensure that you’re happy with the content and look of your book when you sign off on your print edition interior and cover. Deciding to make changes after a print edition has been passed for publication can lead to extensive delays for both the ebook and the print book.

Distribution

If you’ve opted for POD (Print-On-Demand) then getting your paperback or hardback book into the distribution chain is straightforward, and quicker than if you’ve invested in a larger print run. To ensure your book goes out in digital format, we’ll also ensure your ebook edition is available for sale online through Amazon and most other major ebook distribution platforms.

How to be ready

Understanding how the POD distribution process works can save time later. Our article The Printing and Distribution of Books contains useful information.

So what’s the most common delay?

Wanting to make tiny last minute changes is a common delaying tactic: a symptom of not being quite ready to go live with your publication. We’re here to talk through those last-minute nerves, and, as our publishing assistants say, "Aiming for the perfect sometimes becomes the enemy of the good - because time is ticking while these publishing tweaks take place."

How to be ready

If you’re feeling uncertain about the readiness of your manuscript, why not start with our Manuscript Feedback service to kick off the publishing process? You can purchase this service below.

Want to know more?


If you would like to know more about publishing your book, please drop us a line here.

You might also like:


Why Publishing Your First Book is Scarily Like Having Your First Baby
Our 7-Step Quick-Start Guide
Frequently Asked Questions

Short Manuscript Feedback Report

Short Manuscript Feedback Report

An editorial critique of your manuscript up to 30,000 words

 

£277.00 plus £55.40 VAT

“If you’re thinking of self-publishing, I hope you don't go at it alone. With a team like SilverWood behind you, you have the support you need to publish the best work you believe in.”

J A Higgins