This week I thought I would share with you some insight on surviving the publishing process. Instead of giving you an editor's viewpoint, I asked author and professional musician Sherry Ellis to share her point of view of the publication process.
Surviving the Publishing Process with author Sherry Ellis
Novice writers might be surprised to learn that the publishing process isn’t a quick and easy thing. It can take a year or longer to go from manuscript to printed book. Here’s the step-by-step process and a few tips to help you survive.
Step one: Writing the book.
This may seem pretty obvious, but it is the step that must be completed before anything else can happen. After the book has been written, it should undergo a thorough editing. This should be done by a professional. All grammatical and spelling errors should be corrected, as well as any problematic plot issues. Manuscripts with errors are just not accepted. So spend the extra money to have your work edited.
Step two: Finding an agent or publisher.
These days, most works need an agent to see publication. There are several resources writers can use to find agents (www.agentquery.com, or a book called Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market). Make a list of agents or publishers who might be interested in your work. Research their submission requirements. You may need to write a query letter or a book proposal outlining your book’s summary, your credentials, and a marketing plan. There are plenty of books on the market which can help you do that.
Step three: Accepting a contract.
If you’re lucky, your work will be accepted. You will then receive a contract from the publisher. Go through the contract carefully. Make sure you understand which rights you are keeping and which you are giving to the publisher. The legal jargon can be a little confusing. If you need help, don’t be afraid to contact a lawyer. Most of the time, your agent will be able to help you with the tricky aspects of accepting a contract.
Step four: Passing the editorial process.
So you thought what you submitted was the way it was going to be? Think again. The publishing house has its own editorial process. You may be asked to revise your work several more times before it’s ready for publishing. Swallow your pride and work with the editor. Adhere to whatever deadlines are set. Always be professional and follow your editor’s suggestions.
Step five: Reviewing the galley proof.
After the book has gone through a design phase, you will receive an early printed version of the book, called a galley proof. Read through the proof and make any corrections before returning it to the publisher. This is the last stage of the editorial process.
Step six: Marketing your book.
It’s time to get out and tell the world about your book. You might be asked to make promotional appearances. Do as much as you can to promote your book.
Step seven: Last but not least, your book is printed and shipped.
Pat yourself on the back – you wrote a book and you survived the publishing process!
About Author Sherry Ellis:
Sherry Ellis is a freelance writer who writes articles for parenting magazines and children’s publications. Her first book, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN, was published in 2005. Her second, That Mama is a Grouch, was published in May of 2010. It was honored as a finalist in the Parenting/Family category of the 2010 USA Book News Awards.
Sherry is also a professional musician who plays and teaches violin, viola, and piano. Ms. Ellis lives in Loveland, Ohio with her husband and two children.
You can learn more about Sherry Ellis and her current World of Ink Virtual Tour at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/SherryEllis.aspx