Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What is the Publishing Process After I Say, "I Do?"

I have successfully completed my manuscript and am ready to take a vacation. Yet while walking down the beach I wondered what would happen next to my story. Dungeons, dragons, and headless horsemen came to mind.

Sitting on the unpublished side of the fence, the greener grasses beyond are as foreboding as the Great Wall of China. But when I sat in the Write to Publish class taught by Nancy Lohr, Acquisitions Editor of Journey Fourth, I felt like a curtain opened letting me see what actually happens next. 

Ignorance, in this case, has not been bliss. Not knowing drives me crazy. I feel like I'm trying to scale a fortress and alligators are leaping up to bite my foot off. You, too? 

Today I am going to share the publication process. The secrets from behind those chilling gray walls where chutes and ladders send our story back to us or up to the next level. Knowing how far my manuscript rose to a certain level is something I find encouraging.

So, thanks to Nancy Lohr, here is the inside scoop-the basic route our manuscript takes after we say, "I do."

1. Submit the manuscript to an agent or directly to a publisher.

     A. If sent to an agent, the agent will then send the        
         manuscript to appropriate publishers.

2. A contract is negotiated.

3. The publishing house will set up a schedule and budget to complete the project.

4. Arranging and acquiring needed artwork. This may include extras like maps, and other drawings.

5.  Editing - developmental editing

                    copy editing

6. Communication with author for changes and review of proofs. Many of today's busy authors end up combining exercise with corrections.

7. The actual production of the book!


                       Page layout

                       Proofing (author may be asked to review)



8. Final Approval Given

9. Marketing/Publicity

                     add this book to the house catalog

                     add to house website

                     book signings

                     author interviews

                                  blog visits

                                 social media parties

                                 and so much more

10. Sales Wouldn't it be nice to have the graph to the left represent our sales? I think so, too. Although there would be the usual dips, the overall is increased sales. This really works best when the author jumps in and helps with marketing with both feet. We know our books better than the publisher. We also know the audience better. Recently I saw a commercial that had these words on the bottom of the screen: actor used to portray symptoms. Seriously? Duh, I knew that. That's why I hit the remote to change the station. For me to buy the product, I would first listen to a friend or someone I knew share their positive experience. Wouldn't you?

Sure this can seem overwhelming. But if you're like me, knowing the mountain is in front of me makes the journey easier. I can set goals. I can understand what is happening at each step.

Do you have questions? I'll be here and some of our published Alley cats and pals can hop in and answer them. Maybe Nancy Lohr will have a chance to pop in!

YOUR TURN: Have you traversed the publication mountain? What was it like?
Are you at the base of the mountain, ready to go? 
Have you packed your bags and heading there? Isn't it exciting?


If you found any typos in today's post...Mary Vee, (that's me sheepishly grinning), is waving her hand as the guilty party. 

If you have questions or would like this topic discussed in greater detail, let me know in the comment section. I'll gladly do the research and write a post...just for you :)

Mary has moved to Michigan with her husband, closer to her three college kids. She misses the mountains of Montana, but loves seeing family more often. She writes contemporary and romance Christian fiction, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids.

Visit Mary at her website and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

HAHA....I love that picture of Pepper on her treadmill. That is brilliant! Mary, you are such a good teacher. I love how you spell it all out in easy terms for ME to understand.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks, Sherrinda. I did it for myself as well. I always wondered what happened and was so happy that Nancy from Journey Forth shared her secrets.

Sarah Forgrave said...

This is a great overview, Mary!

I think the thing that intimidates me most about "the other side" is deadlines. Right now, they're self-imposed. Once I'm published, they're the real deal. :)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Loved this, Mary! I knew parts of the "after I say I do" trek, but not all of it. Thank you for sharing this! I loved the pics of you Alley Cats.

I'm with Sarah. Deadlines imposed by others intimidate me! I guess, if/when my time comes, I'll figure it out. In the meantime, I'll practice meeting them and figuring out how to manage them in the middle of "real life." :)

Angie Dicken said...

Fun overview, Mary! I have been hanging out at the base of the mountain for quite a while! HAHA! Want to tear down camp sooner than later!! :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Great info, Mary! Love the pics!!!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, that is a great point to add. I hadn't thought about the required deadlines, yet, I've heart published authors talk about them. GACK that means we have to get organized!! Use calendars. etc.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I like your thinking. Practicing with deadlines. We could all start with this deadline. Everyone needs to have chocolate before going to bed. YES! I can do it!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I will help you tear down your camp any day to help a sweet friend like you scale the mountain. I'm cheering for you, Ang. It's gonna happen.

Pepper Basham said...

What a nice nuts and bolts post, Mare!! Who's the nut on the treadmill, btw?

Thanks for sharing this and as Sherrinda said, you are a great teacher!

Pepper Basham said...

What a nice nuts and bolts post, Mare!! Who's the nut on the treadmill, btw?

Thanks for sharing this and as Sherrinda said, you are a great teacher!

Nancy Lohr said...

"Deadline." That's a four-letter word, isn't it? Editors don't like them any more than authors or artists or (fill in the blank), but they serve me by giving structure to the process that makes a book out of what began as a germ of an idea in your mind. I can only speak for my house here, but we recognize that our job is to plan and execute, but if the Lord in His providence chooses to alter that calendar, we want to respond accordingly. "I didn't really feel like reworking that section tonight" is your problem, but "my husband got a hard medical diagnosis today" is in God's plan and means we need to back up and reschedule.

Nancy Lohr said...

My friend Cec Murphey just posted this Facebook status: Professionals are people on whom editors depend. …you don’t just make deadlines, you beat them. You’re dependable.

I might not be right, but Cec is.

Anonymous said...

LOVED this. I *hate* hate HATE not knowing and all the variables/unknowns and this was SO helpful. Lord willign one day soon-ish I'll be able to refer back to this to curb any anxiety that comes my way when I'm "in talks" for a book contract! #thatsthedream

Mary Vee Writer said...

Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you.
There is a bumpy road ahead...but chocolate at the end:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

We are so honored to have you here chatting with us. Thank you.
Deep down in our hearts, we really know the deadlines serve a purpose, like the alarm clock and medicine. What I really appreciate hearing from you is the compassion the publisher gives when a true emergency arises. Thank you for sharing.

And Cec Murphey, The resident curmudgeon with fabulous advice. Love to read his posts!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for being a great sport and letting me use your pic! Love yah.