The basic print publishing process for a print-on-demand publishing cycle for a book that will be sold online through the print-on-demand vendor’s website (and/or other online booksellers like Amazon) breaks down as follows:

1. Complete your manuscript

2. Develop your cover concept (and do a trial run of a cover)

3. Format your manuscript for printing (the final product is called a “galley”)

4. Complete your cover artwork (and proof it with trial runs of a cover)

5. Put your galley and artwork together

6. Create marketing collateral, press releases, etc.

7. Publish!

8. Receive hard copies of your book and send out review copies to press

9. Send out press releases and place advertising and line up interviews

10.Continue the marketing cycle to keep your book in the press

11. Track your sales and order more books for more publicity

I recommend printing out this list and using it as a project plan for your print publishing. And fill in the blanks in the process, where you know there are more steps involved in your own personal experience. Or follow the sample project plan immediately following this section. Having a checklist to follow can simplify what can be a complicated and sometimes confusing process.

Now, one thing you may notice, is that I have listed marketing after the actual publication of your book. I strongly recommend waiting till you have a finished, published book in hand, before you start sending out press releases and generating interest. I’ve had international press people contact me within 24 hours of sending out my press materials, but I had no hard copies in hand to send to them, so that pretty much derailed the opportunity I’d created for myself.

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