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How your book will navigate the publishing world (kinda)
Timothy Maguire
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 8:24 PM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272

So I saw this wonderfully useful infographic detailing all the steps taken over the course of the average book's journey to life and it was too much fun not to show you all:


It's worth pointing out that it's a little cynical ('editor quits business, moves to country and starts a goat farm' probably doesn't happen as often as it does here), but it's generally quite fun.

The best line's probably 'Person who pitched idea is talented enough to write book' simply because it's followed by 'no, but they're delusionally think they can'.

Any experts want to tell me how accurate this is?

Angela Martello
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11:52 PM
Joined: 8/21/2011
Posts: 394

Well, we had an editorial board member who moved to Europe, went on a pilgrimage, fell in love, planned to open a hotel with new love along pilgrimage route, couldn't find a good real estate deal, moved to Germany with new love, and now works full time for us as a contract medical editor. . .

I can't speak for all publishing houses, but I have seen more than my share of craziness in scientific, technical, and medical publishing (a truck filled with newly printed and bound issues of a volume in a medical series stolen; being told by the art director that my news stories were either 4 column-inches too long or, worse, 4 column-inches too short; editors vetoing/overwriting each other's edits to the point where the manuscript no longer makes sense; acquisition editors promising their authors stuff that totally blows the production budget on a volume). Some of the things missing from that flow chart are the heated (but fun-filled) discussions on stuff like serial commas, proper use of semicolons, word preferences; marketing and sales promoting something that's nowhere near finished (then wondering why editorial is taking so long to produce something); technical problems. . . I could go on.

All that said, however, I love publishing.

Mimi Speike
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 3:13 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

I work for a compositor, preparing edited manuscripts to be sent out to be typeset in India. I see the back and forth between the author and the editor, scrawls in the margins, and, believe me, they are often highly entertaining.

Quite bit of name-calling goes on, by disgruntled authors. I've seen Moron! more than a few times. And lots of No! No! No! and Stet! Stet! Stet!

A recent comment which I loved, writ large across the bottom of a page in an especially heavily tinkered-with manuscript, was, Who appointed this editor my co-author?

GD Deckard
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:20 AM
LOL Mimi Now, this is a great discussion! Let's hope more members have insights to share with newbies like myself.
Angela Martello
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 8:54 AM
Joined: 8/21/2011
Posts: 394

Oh, Mimi! Love the disgruntled author's note!

LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 11:23 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662

That flow chart is awesome.

Mimi, that last author comment sounds like something that I would say.

Angela, working in publishing sounds quite entertaining. Now I want to work in that field more than ever. I could use the craziness.
Mimi Speike
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 1:53 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

The flow chart fails to mention the many trials of the compositor. Even more fun! For instance:

Scribbled over poor quality copy of first-pass pages. Many display pages with edits on dark backgrounds, next to unreadable, even with the material in front of you. You give up in frustration and let the chips fall as they may. Caption comes back as: Wrap-around dick instead of Wrap-around deck. OK, that happened at a different job. But it happened.

And those cookbooks! As a rule of thumb, a nightmare! Splatters of God-knows-what everywhere. Notations scrawled (I suppose) in the heat of adding more salt to the soup.

Many, many overwritten erasures: should it be 1/4 teaspoon or 1/2? Yuk! Too much. Turn that smudge of a 2 back into a blob of a 4.

And, for some mysterious reason, cookbook authors as a group seem never to have mastered the trick of legible handwriting. When I see a cookbook on my shelf, I prepare myself for the worst. That way, I'm pleasantly surprised when it's not.

The folks in India, English-speakers, sure, (of a sort. As my husband says, if they understood English really well, they'd be making more money than they get out of publishing), they add their oopsies to the game.

I had a manuscript of difficult, quirky poetry with a big note on the cover sheet, from the publisher: DO NOT send this one to India. A second note, by one of our honchos, instructed, Imaging! Delete this note before you send this job to India.

And so it goes.

Timothy Maguire
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 4:33 PM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272

Angela, Mimi, thanks for all those 'delightful' stories. I now have new nightmares for when I start to hit up publishers.

Mimi Speike
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 7:30 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

Angela, you are on the ball, girl!

You are finding all the good new discussions. I bring your profile up, and check out your recent activity. You pointed me here, and you led me to that new post by Bookkus.

Timothy, your chart is great.

Colleen Lindsay
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2012 10:40 PM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 356

Bumping this up!


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