Publishing a book takes many steps and many people. For new writers, it can feel like navigating a maze. So, I break down most steps in this blog post. I hope this helps you along your journey.
Here is where it all begins. The story is molding together. It’s not all there yet and will change a lot along the way, but it’s magic in the making.
Here is where everything starts to look more solid, like it’s all coming together. It’s a great accomplishment if you reach this stage! Don’t forget to celebrate your wins.
Here is where you and critique partners all work through your story over and over. Concepts are more defined, and characters are developed more. This is where a good bulk of the work is done because it can take a while to get the story to the best place you can.
Developmental Editing/Manuscript Evaluation
Here is where money can start to come into play. Not everyone does this step. I’ve known published books who skipped it. Some just rely on beta readers. But this is still a step that can help your story grow.
Developmental editing and manuscript evaluations focus on the big picture items. Grammar is of no concern here. It’s all about making sure that characters are flushed out, plot holes are covered up, pacing is consistent, etc.
Querying (if traditional publishing)
Here is where the querying trenches come into play. Querying is a difficult process. Just remember that an agent turning your story down has nothing to do with how wonderful you and your story are.
Here is where editors take your story to the next level. Copyediting can be expensive, but it’s such an important stage to not pass up. Your work may come back with more edits than you’ve ever seen, but it’s all to help your story grow.
Here is where design comes into play.
Cover design is super important. As much as people say to not judge a book by its cover, many people do. If a book looks unprofessional, it’s not going to do as well. Hiring cover designers is key.
Typesetting—also known as book formatting—is important too. Word, Google Docs, or wherever you write is usually not set to a book layout. You want your book already preset before it goes to print to make sure nothing gets mixed up.
Here is where marketing takes off. By this point, it is important to already have a marketing plan going to build an audience. However, ARCs are where the first reviews for your book are written, and every bit of promotion counts. For books to reach more people, ARCs are a great way to go about it.
Here is where editors make any last edits. Proofreaders are the last line of defense to make sure your book has no glaring errors before it’s out there in the world.
Publishing a book is no small feat. Take all the time you need and more to celebrate.