How Book Publishing worksThis is how book publishing works
This is how publishing works: the book designer's viewpoint
Publication is the act of getting an author's script into the hand of a book by materializing it in the shape of a book. Each publisher has different records and culture; this survey is derived from my experiences as a book illustrator at Allen&Unwin (2003-2006) and as a free-lance illustrator for a number of publishing companies in Australia over the last ten years.
Manuscripts are either requested (the publishing company asks him to do so) or unasked (the writer enters them, then buys them for a publishing company). The rejection is terrible and the publishing agreements are complex, so many writers hire an agency to bargain a contract with a publishing group. The" Publisher" either relates to the publishing company (e.g. Penguin Random Houses or Text Publishing) or the individual whose book is published.
There can be several publishing houses within a publishing company that keep different lists depending on the particular category. There may be a literature publishing company, an academical publishing company and a non-fiction publishing company in the same publishing group. Different divisions within the publishing company are involved in various facets of the publishing processes.
Distribution, advertising and advertising deal with the context: finding out where the book is on the open bookstore, how to bring it to the bookstore and how to check it. As a rule, the author is hired by the publishing company or editorial journalist who is in charge of the work. A number of publishing houses have their own creatives' managers who hire graphic artists (freelance) or in-house.
A briefing, a briefing, a document describing the layout (size and shape), the timetable, information on the contents and the book itself, as well as a folder text (a copy of what ends on the back cover) and paragraphs representing the script and the story. As a rule, design professionals interact directly with the publisher/editor, but must react to discerning responses from sales/marketing to create a book artwork that conveys both the book contents (with a feeling of what it is about and the way it is written) and the contexts (to make sure it looks like it is in its own category and attractive to the target audience).
Usually I present two or three different ideas that are ridiculed to show what the definitive artwork might look like. There is a back and forth relationship between editors, publishers, distributors and marketers until everyone is satisfied. Fast designing can include seven or eight different designs before a definitive one is selected, followed by a refinement cycle (enlarge the name, try a typeface, market the designer in golden foils, etc.).
It can take several dozen different designs to make a hard case; my album consists of almost 50 different attempts to make one album. It is often surprising how little feedback the writers have in the designing artwork, considering how their book is facing the rest of the while. Firstly, most writers are glad to tell the publishers how to get as many books out; publishing is a commercially viable industry and the publishers know the markets.
Secondly, while the drafting is in progress, the writer is usually in the last shocking phase of processing his script and does not want any distractions. That is, if an writer hated a book jacket, it goes back to the drawboard, but if everyone did a good job, it shouldn't be.
After completion of the draft, the electronic data is sent to a manufacturing company so that photocopies of the book can be reprinted, tied and sent to the publisher's stock from where it can be supplied to the bookstore on request. I have flown through the manufacturing processes - the part between sending data to a computer and receiving the finished book.
I' m going to be addressing this part of the publishing supply chain in the next few months through a range of papers on print-on-demand publishing service, the expansion of freelance publishing in Australia and what these publishing possibilities mean for them.