There’s a lot involved with publishing a book – and if you don’t follow a timeline, you could end up missing a lot of important deadlines. Your readers may be anxiously anticipating your release, and not having it on time to get into their hands could be devastating.
                         
Whether you plan on participating in a book signing or not, handing out the books to clients, or selling them on your website, there is an industry-standard timeline that you should follow.
 

Writing

 
The writing is one of the hardest parts of the entire process because of pouring your heart and soul into the content. Depending upon the topic and the amount of time you dedicate to writing, this could be a process that lasts days, weeks, months, or even years.
 
It’s not an area where you want to rush because you want to deliver the very best product to the market. The indie book community is extremely competitive, regardless of what genre you may be writing in.
 
Take your time, but hurry up, as the saying goes.
 

Editing

 
As we mentioned, the indie book community is competitive, and therefore you need to put the best version of your book forward. Editing is an important part of the process because you need to find all of your mistakes.
 
The editing comes in stages, too.
 
You will want to self-edit the document first, going back through and reading all that you wrote.
 
-Have you chosen the best words and phrases?
-Does the book convey everything you want it to?
-Are there any improvements that you can make?
 
Once you have polished your document to the best version, then it’s a good idea to hire an editor – someone with experience editing in the genre you have written. A fiction editor may not have the knowledge to edit a nonfiction book and vice versa with a nonfiction editor.
 
An editor will be able to do several things for you, and depending on what a specific editor does and doesn’t do, you may have to hire multiple editors.
 
Content editing focuses on making sure your content makes sense and is cohesive. You can also have factual editing performed, where someone will go back through and check all of the facts, such as capitals of cities, names of highways, and even historical accuracy.
 
Line-by-line editing should also be performed – and this is going to tell you more about your grammar and spelling. Microsoft Word and other software has built-in checkers, but you cannot depend on these solely. You want to learn about such things as:
-Spelling
-Regional word choices
-Overused words
-Grammar
-Punctuation
-Inaccurate phrases
     
    The editing can take several weeks or months to complete based upon the size of your manuscript and the availability of the editor(s). This means you have to allow editing into your timeline so you don’t end up sending a less-than-perfect book into production.
     
    If you need help finding a good editor for your book before sending it to print, please contact us!
     

    Interior Layout and Cover Design

     
    If you look inside any professionally published book, you’re going to notice a lot of different things. Headers will contain the book title and the author name. There will be page numbers on the bottom. There will also be a few important pages, such as the copyright information, the Table of Contents, and perhaps a dedication page or an About the Author.
     
    The layout is going to depend on the genre of your book. For example, layout is going to vary considerably between a nonfiction book and a romantic novel. Having a professional layout is critical because you want readers to see that your book is ready for them. Poor layouts can cost you book sales – and at Online Binding, we can prevent this from happening.
    Our professional interior layout experts will take care of the details. We will go over all of your pages and format based upon the genre of book, the length of the book, the type of binding you want, and the size of the book.
     
    The interior layout will only take a few days to complete, as long as you have provided us with all of the information, including a finished manuscript.
     
    Next is the cover design. While people say, “Never judge a book by its cover,” almost every reader admits to doing this. Your book cover needs to be colorful, though look good enough to sell on an e-book reader in black & white if you choose to go this route.
     
    The cover should grab the attention of the reader and give them a hint as to what to expect. The images, the fonts used for the title, and the overall layout are top considerations, and working with a graphic designer can ensure you get a great cover for your book.
     
    At Online Binding, we have a team of graphic designers. You can set up a consultation to be able to share your ideas. From there, a cover artist will get started and create a mockup for you to see. You can make changes as you desire until a final cover file is complete … and from there, you’re one step closer to seeing your book in print!
     
    The time for the interior layout and cover design will take 1-2 weeks. Much of this depends on how expressive you are about what you want your cover design to be, and you have made important decisions about how you want your book to look, inside and out.
     
    If you have a portfolio of cover designs that have been done by Online Binding, it would be a good idea to make note of this and provide a link.
     

    Publishing

     
    Publishing is perhaps the most exciting aspect of the book process. This timeline doesn’t take too long, and is one of the reasons many authors choose to go the indie route. As an indie author, YOU choose when you want to publish as opposed to waiting for a big house publisher to choose the date, which can often be a year or more after submitting your final manuscript.
     
    Online Binding can assist you with two forms of publishing:
    -Paperback/Hardback
    -E-book
       
      Each take a different amount of time to complete and involve different steps. We recommend that you publish in both formats to be able to give your readers more options.
       
      Some readers have stopped buying paperbacks because they don’t have the room on their bookshelves – and therefore if you don’t have an e-book format, readers will never discover your stories. Of course, depending on genre, you may opt for not only an e-book but also a hardback binding, which is great for textbooks as well as children’s books.
       

      Printing/Binding

       
      The printing and binding process only takes about 2 to 4 weeks depending upon the type of binding you choose and the quantity that you opt for. We are a full-service printing press and therefore do all of the printing and binding on premises in Jacksonville, Florida.
       
      We do our best to provide the fastest turnaround possible, and have met some last-minute deadlines for clients who needed their paperbacks yesterday.
       
      Paperbacks do take less time to print than hardbound books, so this is something to take into consideration.
       
      Want to know the exact time it will take to have books in hand? Contact us today!
       

      Marketing

       
      The marketing should start before you have finished your book and be ongoing long after you have launched your book, whether it’s e-book or a paperback.
       
      You have so many incredible marketing options to choose from, including:
      -On-site book signings
      -Inside bookstores
      -Social media
      -Blogs and blog tours
      -Print marketing
         
        At Online Binding, we have taught many of our authors about marketing and provided them with critical tools that have helped them to sell their books to their target audience. If you need book marketing assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!