Reading is without a question one of the most successful habits anyone can ever develop. If you’re like me, the mere feeling of turning the last page and closing the cover calls for a sense of accomplishment. Sure, reading just for the sake of reading is pointless. Ironically, the true value of reading comes after the application, but… that’s a topic for another day.
The point is at some point in your reading journey, you may wonder who are the people putting the stacks altogether. Well, thanks to your curiosity, we get to know them. Let’s dig in.
It might come as a surprise for you that authors write manuscripts, not books. The author writes a draft and shops for a publisher.
Put it another way, they’re concerned with the ‘content’ leaving all the ‘context’ such as sales, marketing, design and printing to a publisher.
Editor works closely with the author to revise and review the manuscript. They are also responsible for checking facts, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Plus, the editor makes sure the content stays relevant to the topic.
Publisher often referred to as the publish house keeps designers, editors and marketing team at an arm’s reach. Together they are responsible for the ‘context’ such as designing front and blurb (the back cover), formatting the ‘content’ and ultimately getting the book into the hands of the audience.
A publishing house can be home to several publishers by the genres such as business, non-fiction and children.
Designer is generally commissioned by the publishing house. A designer works in conjunction with editor, publisher and marketers to design a cover that best portrays the meat of a book.
It’s not uncommon for a designer to take several approaches (sometimes up to 50) to the context, just to create 3 or 4 mock ups.
Sales & Marketing
Sales, marketing and publicity are at the center of the ‘context’ as they figure out where the book sits in the market, how to get it to the shelves and how to best market them so they’re not sitting there too long.
Sometimes the agreements between author and publisher can be so complex that an author may reach out to an agent to negotiate and drill down the contract terms.
This is where the books are made literally. Once the stacks are printed, they are shipped to publisher’s warehouse, then off to the bookstores they go.