What happens after a contract?


All authors want to know, What happens to my book after I sign a contract? This is what we do here at Bitingduck.

1. First off are the macro-edits. A primary editor will choose to work with your book, and will read through it for plot flow, ‘hook,’ discrepancies and other details. You will get a list of suggestions, but no one will touch your manuscript at this point.

Depending upon the book, this may go for several rounds. This is especially the case for mysteries or anything that needs a tight plot.

At least one other editor will then read through the manuscript.

3. While this is going on, we’ll be thinking about distribution. Print distributors require an eight-month lead time, so if we’re planning to print, we’ll start listing the title as soon as the contract is signed. The book’s ISBN is registered and the process begins.

4. As soon as the book is in good shape, but not yet fully polished, we’ll send out advance review copies. For e-books, this is the stage that needs to be done the soonest. Most reviewers require 3-4 months pre-publication. These copies are still mostly in print, although some places do electronic copies, especially book bloggers. The choice of where to send these copies is personalized for every book, and we solicit author feedback here.

Author publicity is important at this stage! Having a big Web-print (QUACK) will help you sell your books. We will help authors come up with a plan of what, where, and when to post. Print media and radio can also be contacted.

5. Once macro-edits are done, we start copyediting. Copyeditors are different people from macro-editors, and have a much more refined eye. Yes, they’re looking for typos and grammatical errors, but they’re also looking for things most of us can’t see at all: bad kerning, bad line breaks, etc.

The corrected manuscript is sent back to the author with changes marked. The author is free to disagree with any of the copyeditor’s changes, and often does.

6. Reviews start to trickle in, and pre-print publicity begins.

7. We make e-books. Converting the galley to an e-book may take 5 minutes or a couple of weeks, depending upon the book’s content. I just did one with 720 images that took a lot of time! We make different formats, .mobi, .epub, etc., and test them on all the appropriate devices.

8. Big media blitz as the book is about to go out! Press releases are sent nationally and locally, as well as to a personalized list made in consultation with the author (e.g. your alumni association, writers’ group, friend list, etc).

9. We send the e-book files to the distributors. Some distributors will have the book available for purchase within a day; others take longer.

10. If printed, the books are printed. Packages are sent to bookstores for author events and to distributors.


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