Blogger: Mary Keeley
Location: Books & Such Midwest Office, IL
Today we’ll visit two of the rooms down the hallway at Your Publishing House, Inc.: the editorial and design departments.
The editor and acquisitions team are meeting with the designer to give him a vision for your book and direction for the cover design. The designer will translate this vision into several initial cover proofs to present at the next meeting with acquisitions. He’ll also prepare sample interior designs. Often authors will be able to give input on their cover design. The acquisitions editor will surely listen to your thoughts about your book’s cover early on and send you a copy of the final approved cover as a courtesy.
If you have serious objections to it, this is a perfect example of when to bring your agent into the conversation. The goal: come up with the closest-to-perfect cover that will convince thousands of customers to choose your book over all those others on the shelf or in the catalog.
The editorial process goes something like this: The editor and copy editor have skillfully prepared your manuscript and will insert certain design codes in the appropriate spots as soon as the interior design is complete and approved by acquisitions and editorial. From here your edited manuscript will move to typesetting. Typesetting is part of the production department; we’ll go there on Friday. It’s sufficient now to know that typesetting has a deadline to produce two sets of first page proofs, called galleys. One set will be sent to you for review and to mark corrections or changes you want to request. Take time now rather than later to be thorough in giving your thoughtfully considered change requests. The editor will route the other set to the acquisitions editor to review when he is finished looking it over.
When you return your set of galleys to editorial, the editor and copy editor will review your requests and possibly consult with you before incorporating your changes with theirs and the acquisitions editor’s on the editor’s set. It is now ready to go back to typesetting for first pages. Hopefully, there won’t be a need to repeat this process beyond second pages. Remember, every step has a deadline.
You will work directly with the editor and acquisitions editor throughout this process. But again, if you aren’t feeling heard when you’ve tried talking to them about a serious concern, bring in your agent. You need to maintain a good working relationship with these people.
Meanwhile, the designer is working hard to make the deadline for producing your book’s killer cover. Marketing is waiting to insert it in the sales catalog and promotional pieces. I’ll take you there tomorrow.
What functions within these departments were you already familiar with, and what was new information? Has there been an Aha moment on our tour down the hallway thus far?