Sales & Marketing
Shortly after delivery, you will receive a marketing questionnaire. It is important that it be completed and returned promptly. At several later key milestones, sales & marketing will continue to contact you automatically with updates or to solicit suggestions.
For the print edition, a decision will be made based on our judgment of what format (and price!) will produce the best sales result. An overwhelming majority of our new books are produced in softcover; a small number are originally offered in hardcover and later in softcover. We do not offer books simultaneously in both forms. We will also determine if your manuscript is eligible for an ebook edition. The most common obstacle to ebooks is a permissions snag, so be sure to avoid “print only” restrictions with your permissions.
Your cover will be an essential marketing tool. We will finalize the cover design shortly after the manuscript is delivered. If you suggested ideas when you delivered the manuscript (see Preparing Your Manuscript), we will be happy to consider them.
See the sales & marketing page for further information about this topic.
Our editors work as a team, so it is likely you will work with several or even many of us throughout the process. After delivery, an experienced editor will give your manuscript a relatively brief inspection soon after it arrives, checking for any missing pieces or unforeseen issues with the overall length or the book’s organization, the quality of illustrations, and any other matters that need discussion. You will hear from us then to confirm receipt. Once any problems or loose ends—if any!—have been addressed, the manuscript will proceed through the editing phase. This may last for a few months, during which time you may not hear from us often. Be assured, though, that things are happening behind the scenes.
Near the end of the editing process, you may hear from us with questions that may have arisen. Then the manuscript goes through the design phase, when occasionally yet another question or two arises, and then into production (page by page typesetting). The next big step happens when you receive notification that your page proofs are available for proofreading and indexing. Consult our guidelines for creating an index. After we carry out your proofreading corrections and edit and typeset the index, we give the entire book a close final look before it goes to press.
How heavily a manuscript is edited varies according to the needs of the manuscript. Not every manuscript needs a line-by-line edit, but all will receive editorial attention. Most editing is rather light as we strive to maintain the author’s voice. It involves checking for errors in facts, spelling, grammar and punctuation as well as any problems of organization or presentation.
From the time we receive a complete manuscript (with all items in place), publication takes an average of nine to fifteen months (but sometimes we’re much faster). It is difficult to estimate the schedule much in advance, as there are so many variables (some authorial), but generally, proofs will be available several weeks after your edited manuscript goes through the design phase and is passed to the production department. Internet booksellers such as Amazon will advertise books for pre-order and as a matter of routine, will run a rough, estimated release date. We advise authors not to rely upon those estimates…McFarland is the best source for estimating release dates.