Clients often come in to us with things a bit backwards, and we help them to get everything in order, before they start going to print. So that you can be prepared, and make the most out of your money, here are some common, “When should I do that?” topics.
Editing should be done immediately after you have completed your final draft of your manuscript. Before it ever falls into the hands of a formatter or designer, it should have the final edits from your editor. If you take your book to an editor after you have had your book design done, you are going to be paying large amounts of money for changes to your files.
If you are having illustrations done for your book, wait until after your editing is done. Something that is in the book now may not still be there, or you may have decided to change it. You want your book to be in its final form, so that you can be sure that your illustrations will be the final illustrations. This will save you a lot of money, time and headaches.
Design & Format
Design & format should be done at the same time; preferably by the same person, if possible. This should come after editing, and illustrations, but before quoting or proofing. While it is ok to get a price quote for printing before this is done, be prepared to guess at your page count, and to resubmit your specs for pricing, because they will likely be quite different once the files are completed.
Launch Parties & Book Signings
Booking a launch party or book signing before you have your books in hand is literally putting the cart before the horse. Suddenly, you will have a deadline that is urgent ahead of you, which can lead you to rushing your book along. That is a recipe for a book that won’t be as good as it could be. Relax. It took you a long while to write your book, and it is going to take you a long while to go through the motions to have a professional, finished book. Any number of things can arise along the way, so it is best to not put yourself in a position where you will have to call people to cancel your launch. Instead, wait until your books are literally done, and in hand. Then you can go ahead and book a launch for a few weeks or months down the road. You can do all of the preparations for it, and be ready to go, but don’t set the date until you know that you have your books in your possession. This allows for Murphy’s Law to take place, without it causing you any more grief than it has to.
If you are unsure that you are doing things in the right order, give your printer or editor a call, and see what they have to say. They will likely have some good input for you.