Our series “inside novum” offers interesting insights into the publishing business. It takes countless steps before a book can finally be unwrapped and presented in the shelves of the bookstore around the corner, many of which an author would not immediately think of. In part one of our behind-the-scenes series we talked about the exciting journey of a right from handing it in to the publisher until the last drop of ink on the contract has dried. In our second part we are shifting our focus to the production process.
After signing their contract with the publishing house, the author is sent a production plan in which the upcoming proceedings are scheduled: in it, the writer can check in with the publishing process and always knows which step to take, and when. Thus, they always have a perfect overview about the status quo of their personal book project. Additionally, the author will get an assortment of “homeworks” to start with. This homework consists of questionnaires, inquiring about their wishes for cover design, layout and editorial, ensuring that the publisher can professionally create their book to the last page according to their explicit wishes.
Advertising texts and blurbs
The author is asked to hand in an exposé, summing up the content of his book. By means of this text, the editorial office will create the spine printing, consisting of the blurb and a comprehensive advertising text that will be placed in the catalogue of the publishing house and used for marketing purposes. Furthermore, the editors will write a short author’s biography by aid of the standard writer’s questionnaire that will be published in the book as well as for promotional purposes. Subsequently, the author will receive all these texts and be asked to give their approval, all the while of course being able to make changes to his express wishes. Alternatively, there also is always the possibility of the author writing their own advertising texts and blurbs, if so desired.
Many authors already have pretty concrete pictures in their heads when it comes to the look of their cover for their book. Our publishing house has its own questionnaire for cover design in which authors are kindly asked to describe their ideas and wishes. They can already hand in cover designs of their own as well as photographs and pictures that they wish to be gracing their book cover. Based on these wishes, the publishing houses’ graphic designers will create a correspondent wrapper. Some authors, on the other hand, do not have any specific design or image in mind. In this case, our designers will independently choose suitable imagery in accordance to the book’s content and themes and bring their proposed designs forth to the scrutiny of the author. Only when the author is fully satisfied and has given their approval for the final design, the cover will be processed and made ready for print.
If the book will contain imagery of any kind, the author can hand these in either in their original form – as could be the case with original drawings or illustrations – or digitally. Original artwork will either be processed via scanner or photographed, depending on size. Digital images must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi to ensure good quality of print. The digitalised images will be processed and optimised for print by our graphic designers, by adjusting tones, contrast, colours, slight retouching or cropping, for example. They ensure that the images will later be in perfect harmony with the pre-sets of the professional printers and can be safely joined with the text into the final layout after the editing process.
In our next episode of “inside novum”, you will learn about the next steps of the production process.
Keep on writing, keep on typing!