4. The Stages of Publication
We all know that there are several steps that books go through to transform them from a pile of paper into the glossy paperback you see on the shelves of your local bookstore. There’s blurb, cover art, edits, proofing. This was my second time around, I should know what to expect. But what I did find interesting were the little differences in how publishers approach this process.
First time around, I wrote my own blurb. I wrote and re-wrote, never quite sure whether I was hitting the mark, but generally happy with the final effect. Second time, the blurb magically appeared in my inbox one day written by my editor. I admit I was initially surprised, but when I read it through was doubly pleased as they had done a wonderful job of pulling it together and making the book sound gripping.
With my first book, I was assigned an editor who trawled through my book once and sent me the recommended changes which I accepted or rejected. With my second we had three rounds of edits until the editor was sure that the product was the best that could possibly be achieved before it was sent for proofing. I’ve since learnt that this is not unusual. Many writers with big publishers are assigned two editors, one for structure and one for copy, and their books are subject to multiple edits.
The cover art of my first book was designed by me. A scene from the book, I was included throughout the process from colour scheme to font. With my second, the complete cover was created by the publisher’s own creative designers. Some people may feel affronted by this lack of control, but I have to say that I was absolutely delighted with the final product.
My second publisher was also very keen to send copies out for early endorsements and release it on Netgalley to attract early reviews. The beauty of this was that, when April came along, the book had already stacked up some reviews on Goodreads which attracted more readers to add it to their lists.
It appears that publishers do work differently from each other in how they approach the publication process and I’ve learnt a huge amount from both of my publishers. And what happens when you have done all of this? You celebrate, of course.
Tomorrow, it’s all about release day.
Jane Isaac is author of An Unfamiliar Murder and The Truth Will Out. With a day job, a family and a very demanding black Labrador, she squeezes her writing into every spare moment she gets. You can catch up with her at www.janeisaac.co.uk