Every really successful author, those who publish via traditional means and those who self-publish, rely on a team to produce quality books. In pursuit of those same goals for success, I can do no less. That means, even though I am not obligated to any traditional publisher’s contract or deadlines, I do have deadlines.

Calculating deadlines is an exercise in counting backward.

If I want to publish by a certain date, then my marketing team needs at least six weeks prior to the date of release to do their job of building interest in the upcoming book.

If I want to publish by a certain date, then my editor needs time to perform two rounds of editing, with additional time after each round for me to review all her recommended corrections, suggestions, and changes and take action. The action I take includes accepting a change, rejecting a change, or revising the content.

How long the editor needs depends much upon the quality of the manuscript I send to her and the length of that manuscript. Editing takes time. I know this because I edit for other authors.

Not only does my marketing team need clean copies of the manscript and formatted copies of the manuscript, but they also need back cover copy and a synopsis. Those take time to write, too.

Formatting is necessary for correct sizing of the book’s cover. If all you’re doing is creating art for the front cover, then no such coordination is truly necessary, unless the image’s proportions are totally out of whack with the book’s trim size. The number of pages in the book determines the dimensions of the book’s spine which affects the dimensions of a full cover. Also affecting the number of pages beyond the word count are the fonts used, the font sizes, paragraph leading, margin widths, spacing between headings and text, and, if applicable, any images. Image dimensions, placement, size, padding, and captions all affect the flow of text and the book’s page count.

There’s a lot to consider and organize just to publish a single book, especially if you’re publishing in both print and e-book formats.

So, while I’m finishing up my next release this week, Single Stroke won’t be ready for public consumption until the end of December. The manuscript goes to the editor next week. By the first week of November, I’ll be sending the synopsis and draft cover copy to the marketing team. They’ll finesse the cover copy, as copywriting has a different purpose than content writing and is not my forte.

So, when it comes to authors who tread the path of self-publishing, the question arises: How much should I do? The answer is to do what you can to a professional level and hire the services you cannot do at that level or do not want to do at all.

Readers deserve no less.

#hollybargobooks #henhousepublishing #fictionwriting #storytelling #selfpublishing