Author’s usually have two publishing options, self-publishing or working with a publishing house. No matter which one they choose they will need the help of a publication team.
Here is a breakdown of the major positions and responsibilities of each team member:
*Developmental Editor. This person’s responsibility is to help the author shape their book and improve its basic concept. He/she makes sure it’s focused and structured. The developmental editor also helps authors organize thoughts, ideas and information.
If working on a novel, the developmental editor provides editorial support, advice and guidance. They assist with the plot, characterizations, dialogue, visual description and literary style.
Their main responsibility is to make sure that the writer’s content is clear, concise and has no redundancies. Their goal is to create a theme that attracts the author’s target market.
*Copy Editor. This person edits the author’s final manuscript. This stage is a must for a professional quality product. This editor reviews text line by line, looking for grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. Copy Editors double check for correct spelling of names, places, organizations and that facts, dates and statistics are accurate. They also ensure the final product is something the target market will read.
*Proofreader. This person’s responsibility is to check text after the manuscript has gone to the layout stage. This is the final chance to catch any errors before going to print. It may seem like overkill, but have you ever read a book only to discover printing errors such as the wrong character name in a scene?
*Interior Designer. The Interior Designer makes the book interior appealing. The designer chooses the book style, font, format, and the sequence in which various elements appear in the book. This sequence is a standard format, depending on if the book is fiction or non-fiction.
*Cover Designer. A Cover Designer creates a professional cover for the author’s book, using software such as InDesign. He or she matches the exterior look to the interior text for a cohesive pulled together look. The designer may use stock images, their own concept, or an image provided by the author.
*Copywriter. The Copywriter polishes the back cover copy provided by the author to tempt a potential reader to want to know more. This copy gives the reader a glimpse of what the book is all about.
Publishing houses do not always provide personnel for many of the other required tasks. This means the author has to cover these costs. These specialists include:
*Virtual Assistant. Virtual Assistants serve as the book project coordinator. They act as the go-to person or go-between for the author with team members. The Virtual Assistant coordinates online promotional activities, back end office and follow-up duties. She keeps the process on schedule and ensures team members handle their tasks and requirements, as needed.
*Website Designer. This person’s responsibility is to work with the author to create a website that showcases the writer’s books. The designer provides a format that draws the readers in where they can learn more about the author and his or her platform or brand.
*Publicity/Marketing Specialist. This person creates media coverage for the author, before the book is for sale and continuing after release. Coverage includes book signings and tours, interviews on radio, television and newspapers. This person can also handle some aspects of the author’s social media marketing.
*Illustrator. This person’s responsibility is to create drawings based on the book text. Illustrators usually work on children’s picture books. Joanna Penn of the The Creative Penn suggests identifying who can do it, where to find them and how much to pay? She recommends two resources, the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators and Children’s Illustrators.com.
*Voice Talent. If the author decides to create an audio version of the book, this person brings the book to life. For fiction, they act out the character dialog with the help of sound effects and music. For non-fiction, they present the book as a narrative (usually without music and sound effects).
Once you have identified and hired your perfect team, it is important to remember one more thing. Let him or her do their work.
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