Editorial processes to know how a book is made

Allow me a few brief clarifications before fully explaining how a book is made. Both the entry on the scandal and the editorial calendar mention the editorial services necessary to publish a quality book. Those editorial services shape the publishing process of a publication.

Some of the processes are consecutive and are subject to the previous one. On the contrary, there are others that overlap or can be done in parallel. In such cases, I make due clarifications.

It should be noted that the processes for publishing a novel differ from those used for publishing complex books, such as commissioned books.

Of course, text editing, proofreading, design, and layout are common services. However, publications that include illustrations, maps, photographs, etc., require the intervention of more professionals and, therefore, more editing steps.

Until there is progress in a global publishing methodology, with a single base and different output formats, this is how most publishers and serious publishing companies currently work.

In this entry I explain how to make a simple book whose content is basically text. That is, works such as novels, stories, stories, poems, and some essays and biographies.

How to make a book step by step

Next, I describe the processes that an original must go through to become a book. It does not include the hiring of authors, the work of literary agencies or the valuation of works.

This is because the content of this entry does not deal with the process of selecting a manuscript to be published by a publisher.

In the same way, I do not include the alternatives for the distribution of copies or the promotional actions that can be carried out.

I do include the review by the author, the zero reading and the professional one because I consider the first one essential and the other two contribute quality, directly, to the content of the work.

1. Author review

The author should review what he has written as many times as necessary to feel comfortable with what he reads.

The self-corrections can be two or ten, although I suggest putting a limit, since time can evaporate between so many self-revisions and not progress (I know from experience...).

2. Zero reading

It is a non-professional, or semi-professional reading, since some writers act as zero readers for other authors (beta readers or beta readers).

The goal is to receive an opinion from a reader's point of view. And it can be one or several people who read the work and give their opinion.

3. Professional reading report

From an editor's perspective it is a useful tool to assess the literary quality of a work, its real potential and the author's writing.

For an editorial commercial, the commercial potential that the work may have is analyzed; that is, if it is a salable product.

For an author, the most useful type of report is one that points out the strengths and weaknesses of his work and his writing. This type of report makes a narrative and literary review (for fiction) or structural and functional (for non-fiction).

4. Table Edition

He is the one who edits an original and analyzes it with the eyes of an editor. If the editor works for a publisher, moreover, they will look at it through the eyes of the publisher.

Often this work is combined with proofreading. Or that the editor requests certain changes in the text that will then be executed by the style corrector and later verified by the orthophotography one.

This publisher is also likely to request changes from the author or work closely with the author before moving forward with the process.

5. Style correction

Among the tasks of a style editor are those of applying the grammar of the language; increase the lexical richness; monitor syntax and change incorrectness; manage syntactic resources, etc.

6. Design of covers

It is the composition of the outer part of a publication. Includes cover, back cover, spine and flaps. Also the shirt or dust jacket and the belt, when the book has them.

This task can be done in parallel with the editing of the content, the style correction or the layout of the interior; It depends on the rush and the availability of whoever does it.

7. Gut layout

It is the composition of the interior of the book (gut); It is the page setting of the contents.

Some basic principles are followed that are related to grids, harmony, proportion, the golden section, and legibility among other issues.

In a simple book, interior design is combined with the task of layout, they are integrated processes; in a complex book they would go a different way.

8. Proofreading/first proofreading

At this point in the editing process(*) spelling and punctuation errors are removed; accent marks and the use of quotation marks, bold, italics, upper and lower case letters, among other tasks, are reviewed.

This correction is already done on layout pages —and, ideally, on printed paper— and the layout designer will be in charge of introducing the corrections in the layout of the book.

When text editing and style correction are dispensed with, this correction is made before layout, on the text document.

9. Proofreading/Second Ortho Typing

It is a review that ensures that all corrections (style and ortho typography) have been included. It is an extra correction that represents one more quality control.

The proofreader, in this phase of the editing process, places special emphasis on typographical issues that may arise due to composition. For example, the appearance of a page number on a white page.

10. Creation of the digital book

It is the process by which the content of the work will be transformed into an electronic book. Once all the corrections have been introduced, and with the final text, we proceed to create the ebook.

It can be done by different procedures: from InDesign with some code tweaking or with markup language using Markdown and scripts. Even with a well-edited Word document you get a MOBI file for Amazon.

11. Publication in different formats

It alludes to the formats in which the book is presented: printed and digital. In this case, for the printed book the publication is synonymous with printing copies and for the digital book the fact of being available in online stores.

With the rise of audiobooks, this format would be another addition to online publishing, since audiobooks are an eminently digital product.

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