As I support new non-fiction authors, we move through any or all of the THREE STAGES of publishing, as set out and explained below.
YOUR PLANS: Your book should be an integral part of your business plans and personal dreams. They are intertwined. Know why you are doing this before you begin. What big issue do you care enough about to add your voice to?
PROJECT PLAN: When can you begin giving time to your book? This flow diagram indicates the suggested time frames to allocate to each step to help you calculate a reasonable publishing date.
BOOK PLAN: A book plan is more than a chapter outline: it is a small business plan outlining who wants your message and why – and much more, including market research and strategy. Spend time on that. Don’t begin writing without one.
WRITE & REVIEW: The writing phase. Some say it can be done in a weekend. Some take months. Don’t take years. With a plan in place, you can do the first thrash of 30,000 to 40,000 words in 30 – 60 days. Less words are fine. No need to do a great deal more. Take another few weeks to review and prepare for editing. Find and enjoy your writing pleasure place and pace. Create a writing experience.
During this time also grow your connections and contacts. While writing, begin your search for the right professionals at least 4 – 6 weeks before you need them – a non-fiction book editor, book cover designer and page typesetter/designer. Gather quotes and book your preferred people for your job. Some will have a waiting list. (You may use the same designer with book experience to do both cover and pages.) Your book cover can get underway as you write.
POLISH: A one-stop publishing service will co-ordinate your book production, in collaboration with you, from this point. Most editors require up to 4 weeks, or maybe more, to do a thorough, thoughtful job, allowing for first edit, your responses, second edit, your responses, and maybe even a third read-through. Page layout can take 3 to 4 weeks. The designer creates a style you like, arranges the content, then refines it with your input. The book must be proof read again before going to the printer. During this time get your book marketing ducks in a row.
CREATE: Printers require at least 2 – 3 weeks for supplying a pre-press proof, printing and shipping your boxes of books. During this time your designer can convert your book files for online distribution. It can then take 2 to 3 weeks for e-book files to appear on Amazon, and four weeks or more for your print on demand book to appear there.
LAUNCH: Celebrate your achievement publicly and privately, and become more visible online and in person because you are passionate about your cause: your book is one of your most noteworthy contributions to the solutions the world needs – and that you are able to help implement.