Event report

Conference 2011 - What happens after acceptance

Report published 22 September 2011

Amanda Grange: What happens after acceptance – main points in the production of your book, and what you can do to help

On receipt of contract, you need to consider the following points:

  • Having a clause on cover approval (see below). Publishers won’t give you control, but they’re usually happy to give you approval.
  • Having it written into the contract that your book can’t be altered without your consent/approval.
  • Option clause, decide whether you want it.
  • Look out for competing title clause, decide if you want it better defined.
  • Clause giving you a specified number of author copies.
  • Put the expected arrival of the various parts of your advance in your calendar, so you know when to expect what.
  • Set up a website.
  • Remember Society of Authors will vet your contract (for a small fee) even if you’re not a member.

3-6 months after signing:

  • You’ll receive the cover for approval, which can be a contentious issue.
  • Many publishers ask for details information to give to cover designers, who then do something completely different, e.g. dark hair instead of blond. This is normal!

6 months after signing:

  • Copy edits will arrive, either as a Word document or hardcopy.
  • Mark what you agree/disagree with, but remember that copy editors are often freelancers who don’t know your book as well as your editor, ie. the reason you may have used a local dialect. Small changes are acceptable, but not a total rewrite.
  • Once the edits are done, you’ll be given a publication date.

9 months after signing:

  • Final proofs will arrive, and at this stage it’ll be difficult to make alterations.
  • Think about promo, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Contact your local press, maybe with a human interest angle, and aim for the article to be published a week after your book is available, in case there are delays in delivery.
  • Update your blog, try to get on the RNA blog, but remember the RNA blog runs approx. 6 months ahead.

Note: Don’t publicise your book more than 4 weeks ahead, because people will forget about you. Also, remember the fine line between getting people interested and annoying them – don’t ram it down their throats!

Publication day:

  • If you can arrange to give talks to local groups and appear at signings in e.g. bookshops, it’ll help your sales.
  • If you write an article for a magazine on an unrelated subject, try to get a small note in the corner about your book.
  • Sign up for PLR and ALCS (ALCS will pay about £80 p.a. for photocopy rights).
  • Keep an eye on your sales through the Nielsen BookScan.
  • Have a party!

Written by Henriette Gyland


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