You’ve found a publisher for your book. What happens next?
Sadly, a publisher will never take your manuscript and say, ‘Great, that’s perfect, we’ll send it to the printer!’ It has to be worked on by quite a few people first. The good news is that all these people will help to make your book the best it can possibly be.
Firstly, an EDITOR will read the manuscript carefully and suggest any changes they’d like to make to big things like the plot or the characters. They may even ask you to change the ending or get rid of a whole character! These suggestions can be difficult for you as the author, but I’ve found that however hard you’ve worked on a book yourself, it will always benefit from having a fresh pair of eyes looking at it, especially when those eyes belong to an experienced editor.
Once both you and the editor are happy with any changes, the book is sent to the copy-editor.
The COPY-EDITOR is responsible for going through the manuscript line by line, checking for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and over-used words. The copy-editor makes sure that the story you want to tell is clear for the reader. They also check for consistency so, for instance, if a character has blue eyes in chapter 2, they can’t have brown eyes in chapter 10.
While the copy-editor is doing their work, the manuscript will be sent to the DESIGNER. The designer makes decisions about how the finished book will look. Here’s a double-page spread from Barbara Henderson’s book Black Water to show you the sort of decisions the designer has to make.
The DESIGNER will then combine the finished, copy-edited text with their finished design and produce proofs showing what the book will look like when it is printed. After these have been checked again by everyone, including the author, the book is finally ready to go to the printer.
But you might have noticed that there’s something very important missing! Ally Sherrick will tell you all about that tomorrow ….
children and young adults -
Susan Brownrigg, Barbara Henderson, Catherine Randall,
Ally Sherrick and Jeannie Waudby.
and a youtube video with a writing challenge for young people and teachers.