Embarking on the journey from a raw manuscript to a polished book displayed on a bookstore shelf is a fascinating and intricate process. Whether you’re an aspiring author or simply curious about the publishing industry, gaining insight into the various stages involved in bringing a book to life is invaluable. In this blog post, we will demystify the publishing process, shedding light on the steps that transform an idea into a published work. We will also draw on The Broken Spine’s approach, which has seen an impressive growth in book sales and an expanding audience over the past four years.
- Writing and Editing: Crafting Captivating Manuscripts
The writing and editing stage is where authors pour their creativity and expertise into creating a compelling manuscript. At The Broken Spine, we seek out authors whose work excites our publishing team. While the primary responsibility for writing lies with the author, we actively collaborate with authors we are particularly interested in working with, providing prompts and guidance to enhance the creative process.
- Literary Agent and Query Letters: Building Relationships and Connections
Although we welcome pitches at The Broken Spine, we prioritise building relationships with authors before discussing potential projects. This approach aligns with our commitment to fostering connections within the independent writing community, where many authors represent themselves without literary agents. We treat all authors with fairness and respect, valuing the relationships we have developed and continuously seeking ways to improve. In terms of query letters, you just have to be polite and professional. It’s not rocket science!
- Manuscript Editing and Revisions: Refining the Creative Magic
Editing and revising a manuscript is a critical phase in the publishing process. At The Broken Spine, we consider this stage to be of utmost importance. Our team, including myself, an active poet, has worked closely with numerous high-quality writers, offering valuable assistance during this period. We prioritise fairness, honesty, and transparency with our authors, fostering collaboration that truly refines and enhances their manuscripts. The feedback from our authors has been overwhelmingly positive, so we know we’re doing something right.
- Design and Typesetting: Creating Eye-Catching Books
Design and typesetting play a pivotal role in the publishing process at The Broken Spine. Our editorial team collaborates closely with authors to capture their vision for the book’s external appearance. From cover artwork to typography and other design elements, we ensure that every book we publish exudes a high-quality look and feel that receives regular compliments.
- Proofreading and Copyediting: Polishing to Perfection
Thorough proofreading and copyediting are essential to ensure a manuscript is print-ready. At The Broken Spine, we employ a dedicated team of professionals, both in-house and external, who work alongside our editor-in-chief and the author. Together, we strive to eliminate errors, guaranteeing a polished final product.
- Marketing and Promotion: Amplifying Book Reach
Effective marketing and promotion are crucial for independent books. At The Broken Spine, we recognize this significance and continuously improve our strategies in this area. We have established enduring relationships with book reviewers, bloggers, and influential figures in the literary world. Our efforts include building networks for blog tours, securing opportunities for author interviews and features, and showcasing authors as individuals with compelling personal stories that resonate with audiences. Not to mention the online and in person launches we have run for our past titles. Furthermore, we prioritise ongoing promotion long after a book’s release, ensuring each title receives equal attention. This legacy promotion is hugely important, as we refuse to let our titles disappear into the abyss. We simply cannot expect an author to sell their book if we do not put in the effort ourselves.
- Distribution and Sales: Widening Book Availability
Continuously improving distribution is a key objective at The Broken Spine. We explore ways to make books affordable and accessible to as many people as possible. While distribution can be a laborious task when handled single-handedly, we have expanded to leverage print-on-demand services and seek professional distributional channels. Our ultimate goal is to increase the availability and reach of our back catalogue and get our titles in more bookshops.
The publishing process encompasses various stages, involving multiple stakeholders and meticulous attention to detail. While The Broken Spine’s approach incorporates our unique practices and values, these insights are sometimes applicable to the broader publishing industry. Understanding the intricacies of the publishing process allows authors to appreciate the complexities involved, while providing readers with a glimpse into the effort behind bringing their favorite books to life.