Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Book Publishing Timeline

Or, What happens between the acceptance of your manuscript and the launch of your book from someone who barely knows what he’s talking about.

What does happen to your manuscript after the publisher accepts it? I've always been curious.

What follows is my documented ordering of the events, editing, extra work, writing, pitching, and other stuff an author has to do before one precious copy of the book hits the shelves in a bookstore.

Anyone writing for years and breaking into the published market, reading the blogs of authors, agents, editors, will have heard all the terms and processes, things like copyediting and ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies--books printed ahead of the release date specifically for book reviewers, sometimes handed out by the thousands at conventions like Book Expo America).

But I've never understood the order of the activities clearly. When a writer says his book's "gone into copyediting," where exactly is that in the process? How far along the road to release is it?

What I've done--and I'd love some feedback from those who know a lot more than I do--is mark the road with all the various things I've had to do, attend to, understand, agree to, and receive in order to get to that glorious release day...July 20, 2008. (Obviously some of the stuff in the timeline has not yet happened, so I'm guessing with the dates there).

Click the image below to view the readable version.

Here's what the process looks like from my perspective:



CaroleMcDonnell said...

Good grief! Guy! I'm speechless. I know this happened with me...kinda. But to be so organized. When did you do this chart, anyway? -C

Chris Howard said...

Hi Carole! I did this over lunch yeasterday, with another hour or so tweaking last night before posting.

>But to be so organized...

Ha! I'm the last guy you want organizing anything. I'm much more of a: Let's get tickets and figure out what we're going to do when we get there kind of guy.