The Publishing Process: What a Publisher Does

books If you are an author looking for a publisher to publish your manuscript, or are interested in book publishing, this is a general description of what a publisher does.

Finding authors– a publisher’s job is to find talented writers with good manuscripts to turn into published works. Some manuscripts come unsolicited and sometimes a publisher will advertise the need for material through contests or a general call to action, “Manuscripts Needed”.

Editing– once a manuscript is acquired,  it must be edited for content and grammar. This is either done in house or by a third party editor, it all depends on the size of the publishing company.

Consulting– the publisher will consult with the author on the overall publishing process, any major changes made to their manuscript,  and what the expectations should be from both parties.

Design– the publisher will help the author design the book cover and layout of the book to make it more appealing to consumers.

Copyediting– this is the final step in the editing process to make sure all the front matter, grammar, spelling and word flow are correct.

Production– the publisher has a relationship with a book printer(s) that will produce the book according to the publisher’s specification and within the budget specified by the publisher. The publisher will also have the proper quantity printed for distribution.

Distribution– the publisher provides distribution outlets for their titles, through their own online platform and through distributors that cater to libraries, bookstores, and specialty stores.

Promotion and Marketing– the publisher sends out book announcements to trade publications, magazines, and media outlets. The publisher puts together book signings, interviews, and promotional tours for authors.

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3 thoughts on “The Publishing Process: What a Publisher Does”

  1. Lisa, this is a great post of what a publisher does. Many first-time authors simply turn their manuscript and wait for the finished product. I like the way that your post breaks the process down. Do you mind if I re-blog this post on my blog?


  2. What a terrific post, Lisa. A first time author can get overwhelmed with the publishing process–did I say overwhelmed? (Oh yeah, I did.) I especially loved the first thing on your list; “a publisher’s job is to find talented writers with good manuscripts to turn into published works.” A glimmer of hope (and a little excitement) here . . .Thanks!


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