New Author Production Checklist

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In this section:

    Here's a handy action checklist to help new authors through the production process. Each step doesn't happen all at once. You will be sent automated emails to prompt you as and when you need to take action.

    1. Complete your Book Details page and Author Profile

    Complete your Book Details page. Be sure to fill out: Title, Subtitle, Strapline, Edited Description, Endorsements and Categories. Also fill out your Profile. Info there will be used to create your marketing materials and back cover copy.

    2. Prepare your manuscript as a Word Doc

    Prepare your manuscript (MS) as a Word Doc for production. You will have to "strip out" a lot of formatting so it does not mess up our book design software.

    You will save a lot of time if you read the instructions before you finish writing.

    3. Collect Endorsements

    Send your finished manuscript out for endorsements (this can take some time so get it done as early as possible; using a draft is fine.

    4. Upload your finished, formatted manuscript

    Upload the finished, formatted manuscript to your Production page, together with all images.

    5. Add stylesheet notes

    Add stylesheet notes at the top of your Production page. Specify if you want US or UK Spelling. Do this at the same time you upload the MS.

    6. Find an image for your cover

    Find an image(s) on (no premium images) that you feel will work as the basis of your cover. Make a note of the FILE#: number in Notes for the workflow stage in the Cover Workflow Section.

    7. Approve your edited changes

    Approve your edited changes. Please download the edited manuscript and follow instructions for accepting or rejecting each edit. Please read your MS very carefully as you cannot make any more changes to your text after this step! Upload your edited, approved text.

    8. Check your back-cover copy

    Check your back-cover copy. You can find this at the top of your Production page. Everything there should be designed to make the potential reader want to open up the book.

    9. Check your Publication Date

    Your publication date will be set when your Proofs and Cover Workflow sections are approved and confirmed by the Editorial Manager. This means your manuscript and cover are fully edited and proofed and your book is ready to send to the printer. This is normally around 4 months after the beginning of the production process when you first upload your manuscript.

    The following month, we set the publication date for ten clear months later (e.g. for a title finishing production in January, the information will go out in February for a December release). We have a nominal publishing date of the last Tuesday in each month (except December, when it is the second Tuesday) and we aim for the same publication date for ebook and paperback.

    Please note that this time may be slightly extended depending on where we are in the annual buying cycle. .

    In practice your book won't come out on the same day everywhere

    • To meet deadlines for our US distributor's sales catalogues, we put your publication date forward by to the 1st of the following month. For example, if your publication date in the CI database is 29 November, it will be listed in NBN as 1 December.
    • Amazon US publication date is also the first of the following month. The Amazon UK data feed accepts two dates: availability and publication, but Amazon US accepts only one. To align the policy of making books available to trade and readers after they reach distributor warehouses, we have to make the publication date the first of the month on Amazon US.
    • We cannot coordinate printings in the US and UK and other countries to arrive at the warehouse exactly at the same time. There are large variations in how long it your book takes to get from the printer to various particular distributors and shops. For example, books can sometimes take several weeks to get from our distributor NBN on the East Coast through customs at the border and on to Vancouver on the West Coast, if, as is usual, the ordering book store has requested lowest-cost delivery. This does mean that you may see different release dates appear in different accounts. Amazon, for instance, will only show the book as published once they receive the stock. This is something we have no control over.
    • If you see your ebook released on a slightly different day to your official publication date, don’t worry. The ebook goes for conversion a month or so before publication date, and then it is distributed. Different distributors take varying times to load the ebooks into their system. It will likely not be available on sites like Amazon for pre-order until a few weeks before publication.

    Why is my publication date set ten clear months after the files are finished?

    It takes ten months (sometimes more) for information about your book to circulate through the trade worldwide, and this is essential to maximize your prospects of long-term success. We are represented by companies that are generally reckoned to be amongst the best independent sales teams around the world – NBN in the USA, Quantum in the UK, and Durnell in Ireland and Europe – and they cannot start selling the book until they have the finished information.

    Budgets for buying in new titles in the chain retailers are set many months in advance – they will not look at titles coming out before then. Some key catalogues, like the NBN sales catalogue in North America, the bumper Bookseller Spring and Autumn editions in the UK, cover six months of titles; they need the information on ISBN, page extent, price, sales copy and cover three months before that, so ten months only just gives us enough time.


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