Several people have been contacting me wanting to know why it is going to take so long before my children’s book; “Donald and the New Baby” is released. To better explain the procedure, I have bullet pointed each step of the process and the amount of time that they should take. In the end, it’s like having a baby. Although you may be anxious for it to arrive, it’s still going to take nine months! I will just have to consider this book, my baby!
After submitting my manuscript per the Production Guidelines, my book will be scheduled for production. Upon receipt of my properly formatted manuscript, they will provide me with a production start month. Production will typically begin two to three months from the time the manuscript has been received. I have already done this!
My manuscript will spend a month undergoing scrutiny to catch and fix typos, misspellings, grammatical issues, formatting issues, and other errors.
Also a one month process. The conceptual editor will give the manuscript a thorough review, looking for story flow, clarity, internal consistency, continued spelling errors, and continued incorrect grammar usage. My editor will also be a fresh pair of eyes to my manuscript and may have additional recommendations based on his/her professional experience. However, editors will not make dramatic changes to a manuscript. Any recommendations that they do make will be suggestions only and will ultimately be my responsibility to integrate or not.
The manuscript will undergo a second review by the editor, during which he/she will review and incorporate the changes and revisions I may have made. This will be a month-long process as well. Conceptual editing generally lasts for three months total. For books needing illustrations, (such as mine) it usually only lasts for 2 months with the 3rd month instead being slated for the illustrations phase.
The members of the layout department are not editors. They will not read the manuscript, nor are they able to make changes it. So, it is crucial to make sure that the manuscript is in final form before it goes to the layout department.
After this editing stage is complete, only blatant mistakes and errors will be fixed.
About two months after my conceptual editor contacts me, I will receive a phone call from one of the graphic designers. With my input, the designer will create a book cover that is both marketable and professional. The cover design stage lasts for one month and may overlap one month of editing.
Since my book is a children’s book, an illustrator will be in touch with me following the completion of the editing process. I can discuss ideas directly with the illustrator as he or she begins the illustration process. The illustration process lasts for one month. Seems that one month is the general rule of thumb for each step along the way.
It is at this stage that my manuscript starts to look like a book! I’ll receive a PDF proof via e-mail, which will show me exactly how my book will look when it’s printed including font sizes, page size, and other formatting issues. The layout design process is one month.
After any necessary visual changes are implemented into the layout, they will mail me a perfect bound book proof including the front cover and back cover for my review.
Their first conversation with me will be in regards to initializing my first book printing and developing a list of contacts for book signings. At this time, my book will begin the registration process with the distributor and a release date will be set. The release date is usually 90 days from when they send the book to print for the first time. It takes this amount of time to get the book through all the right hoops and in all the right places so it’s available to all major bookstores and online websites by the release date.
So that is the entire process in a nut shell. Kind of cool heh? So I must just remain patient and before I know it, I will be a published author. Hey I’ve waited 36 years; I can wait another nine months!
Until next time.