The “What to Do and When” Steps to Publication Series—Introduction and Single-Author Self-Publishing

For me, a lot of days are filled with questions and answers about what publishing involves, who does what and why, when to do it and why, what the options are, who has the expertise, what time and money it will take, why should we do this step now and not later, can we jump this step, where we are in the process and what’s next… etc.

So, here are the steps:

  1. define the project
  2. create it
  3. refine it
  4. refine it more
  5. publish it

Yep, it looks simple but like most things, it’s more complex in reality. Below is one long version (and with more to come, which I’ll add over time) for projects. As you can see, the steps might vary somewhat and there might be some circling back to an earlier step or some points to pause and ponder, but there is a logic that is efficient.

See the growing series about process. Each kind of a publication follow the simple process but has its own issues.

Process: Single Author Self-Publishing

  1. Define the project
    • develop the expertise
    • draft a proposal (that answers what the subject is, who the target readers are, why, and how, including specifications such as whether it will be printed traditionally, sold as an e-book, in some combination of printed and e-book and web site, black and white, colour, with or without illustrations, with or without an index, etc., etc.)
    • draft an outline
    • pitch the publication
    • revise the outline
    • develop the budget
    • draft a chapter, etc.
  2. Create it
    • research further
    • draft the manuscript part by part
    • solicit response in cycles from peer reviewers and editor (and with reference to those questions what, who, why, and how again)
  3. Refine it
    • send to editor as whole and get feedback
    • draft to address gaps and revisions decided upon
    • send to editor for structural and stylistic edit
    • respond to structural and stylistic edit
    • finalize draft with editor (and with reference to those questions what, who, why, and how again)
  4. Refine it more
    • send to copy editor
    • review copy edit and respond
    • finalize copy edited manuscript to go to designer
    • review design and respond
    • finalize designed/laid-out publication to go to proofreader
    • send to indexer
    • review index
    • final changes to be made for final forms (printed paperback and e-book version)
  5. Publish
    • go to print
    • go live with e-version



© Laura Edlund 2010