Pitfalls in Publishing – How to Avoid Them
Following on from last month’s post let’s look at some of my rookie errors and what you could do differently to save yourself some heartache (and time and money) in your book-publishing journey.
One question I did not ask was ‘Is my manuscript final?’
I hear you say ‘What do you mean, is my manuscript final? I have been working with an editor for months…of course it is “final”’
That is what I thought too.
Seeking great collaborators is vital in the independent publishing industry. I have been known to be single minded when I have an idea in my head. Unfortunately, this has often brought me unstuck. Fortunately, my errors were at my expense and not yours. Now you can leverage from my mistakes.
Here is what I found. A well-edited manuscript may not necessarily easily convert to the book you had in your mind.
This came to the surface for me, when the book designer was having some difficulty converting my word document into the book that I had so clearly imagined in my mind.
Why did this occur?
On reflection of what I had done, and what I learnt from the support of others, there could be any number of reasons however the two main areas in the process that seemed to be the most common were as follows:
A: The Word Document
- The chapters were not clearly marked
- Images were low in resolution, skewed or rotated incorrectly
- Basic information like the imprint page (the legal section and disclaimer at the beginning of the book) and acknowledgements had not been captured or edited
B: The Design Brief
- Sufficient research had not been done about the types of books that I liked (and this made my ability to clearly articulate what was in my mind very difficult)
- Basic typeface research had not been done in relation to the style that I wanted to achieve
While a good book designer can, and will, assist with these points, if you have done some work before hand it will reduce the cost and timing to finalise your book production.
What can you do to assist with this process?
In relation to the points raised around the word document, next month I will provide a checklist that may assist in avoiding some costly mistakes.
Fortunately, your design research you can start immediately. Collect images and books that you like. Easy! This could be paperback or digital. Platforms like Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook can assist with storing and sorting those digital images. Whatever works for you, as long as you can easily collate and store.
Until next month, happy writing and collecting.