Book Proposals

12 Steps to Publication

It takes 12 strikes to achieve a perfect game in bowling. (See last Friday’s video.)

It made me think there are 12 things that need to happen in the publication process. Each must knock down all the pins to achieve publishing success. With that simplistic idea in mind, I came up with the following:

  1. Idea – A book has to start somewhere
  2. Write chapter – if not the whole book
  3. Platform building – become the focus of an audience for your book
  4. Book proposal – find the niche, perfect the pitch
  5. Agent – find the right business partner for your venture
  6. Acquisitions editor – the agent helps with finding the right editor for the right book
  7. Publication board – the editor has to convince the rest of the team to invest in your work
  8. Contract – negotiated by your agent with your input
  9. Editing steps – developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, proofreading
  10. Production steps – work done by the publisher, hopefully with your input (cover design, interior design, typesetting, galleys, ebook conversion, etc.)
  11. Marketing / sales – the efforts by your publisher to get a return on their investment, along with your help and cooperation
  12. Repeat – did you think you were only going to do this once?

Would you add or subtract a step?

Remember you can only have 12 in this game of lists.

Yes, this list is based on a traditional publishing model. But many of the steps are still there if you do this on your own. In fact, everything in steps 9, 10, and 11 would be your responsibility.

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