The Three-Thirds of Publishing

Editing, Formatting, and Proofreading are Only 1/3rd of What is Necessary to Publish a Successful Manuscript.

Each time I meet with a new prospective author, I’m a bit uneasy.

I can’t rationally explain why, but I’m sure it has something to do with the idea that they are interviewing us as we are interviewing them. It’s a unique type of meeting with an equal dose of caution and anticipation. It reminds me of going on blind dates. You’re excited but also a bit of dread. Perhaps that explains my nervousness.

Regardless of my nerves, I proceed with my colleagues to inquire, ‘why this book, why now?’. These questions usually generate a thoughtful pause, almost therapeutic, where writers will reflect on past careers and their values. Their answers have embedded (sometimes so deep, you need to ask seven times!) motivating force that supports their patience and determination to finish a manuscript. Egos are often revealed, or at least arise temporarily, adding more illuminating energies. Humility is a highly prized quality in the publishing business, but it must be accompanied by a healthy ego. The feeling of “I can do this!” will be needed throughout the entire process.

And the entire process can be long and tedious. Today, the marketing to support a book well before it is released is vital. Pre-publication marketing, such as social media posts and announcements, is required to build an audience before the release. Achieving a level of pre-orders and commitments to review are other elements for success. This activity is akin to a painter begging for sales on the street corner for many writers.

Finding support is where a publishing company can help guide and encourage authors. Large publishing houses don’t review many worthwhile projects because the manuscript’s prospective reader audience is too small. The smaller houses or hybrid boutique publishers calculate the potential for the book and enlist the writer as a partner in the pre-and post- marketing efforts, along with calculating the author’s financial contribution to the entire process. Editing, formatting, proofreading, and cover design for your book are only 1/3 of the process. The other 2/3rds is the marketing, beginning prior to the book’s release and the continued marketing after its release.

For some ready-to-roll excited authors, this can feel like a bit of a disappointment. However, designing, building, and then running the campaigns for your project can be as rewarding as receiving that first formatted proof and the cover designs. Enjoy the journey and the destination. 

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