The Book Publishing Process

A successful, independent book publishing process has multiple steps, and Key Book Design can help you get through them all with ease.  Let's discuss the steps and how I can help.

  1. You write a great book.
  2. You have the book professionally edited and proofed. 
  3. After we discuss your individual needs and decide on a visual look for the book, I transform your edited manuscript into a beautifully designed and typeset book.
  4. I also create a compelling and sellable cover to complement the book interior.
  5. Finally, I format the book files and upload them for distribution to your chosen sales platforms.
  6. Your marketing plan is implemented and sales begin!

Details on How I Approach the Book Publishing Process

Step 1: After contact is made, we set up a phone call or Zoom meeting online to discuss your needs and vision for your book.  I’ll answer any questions you have to best of my ability and knowledge.  This call takes about 15-30 minutes and is scheduled at your convenience. If your book manuscript is at the final, edited and ready-to-publish stage, we can proceed to the next step.  If not, I can offer you recommendations for an editor. I can edit if you prefer, but it’s not a strong skill for me, and I want your book to be as good as it can be.

Step 2: Once editing of your manuscript is complete, you send me a chapter or two, or your whole edited manuscript.

The interior design of a book usually includes formatting the front page matter (cover pages, copyright information, acknowledgements, table of contents, introduction etc.) the main content of the book, and the back matter (appendices, indexes, bio etc.). You’ll need to decide which pages you want to include in your book.

Step 3: We schedule a Zoom call to go over these possible page inclusions and the physical design of the book. Once you decide which pages you want to include, and provide direction on the fonts and designs you like, we can have an interactive discussion where changes and “looks” may be shown in real time. We decide on completion dates and other specifics.

Step 4: I create three interior design options using one to two chapters of your manuscript. The options will show different typefaces, header, footer, subhead and other design considerations and send them to you. You’ll choose the one you like, suggest any changes you would like and send it back to me.

Step 5: This back-and-forth process can be repeated 3 times without further charges. Your attention to everything in the book is critical at this point.  Once you approve the final design and look, any changes going forward should be minimal. Master pages with pagination and chapter headings in the document will be created at the point.

Step 6: I make the final changes to the interior layout and present it to you for final proofing. Changes or additions to the content should be minimal at this point, as they will affect the entire layout of the book.  If a large change is requested that necessitates repaginating the book, an additional charge may be added to the total cost of the book design.  These change limitations are not meant to be punitive, but rather a motivator for you to really look at that final draft so that your book is as attractive as possible.

Step 7: Finally, I complete the book design and provide you with a final, print-ready interior file in PDF format that can be uploaded to any of the print-on-demand services. I can also upload those files for you.  At this point, the book publishing process is complete.

Other variables to consider: I don’t use templates to complete the book publishing process. I work in Adobe Indesign using a custom layout and styles process on which you and I have agreed. I use Adobe Photoshop and other graphic design programs for cover creation. The fonts I use are those included with Adobe Indesign license. If you would like to use a custom font, the font and license will need to be purchased. If I purchase it, the cost will be included in the final total.

I've got a page listing some of my past projects here.