Posts tagged ‘manuscript’

What are the different aspects of publishing?

There are various aspects to publishing as a business. To begin with, its a business and have to be managed as such. Therefore you’ll need to understand management practices. Publishing begins with the processing of the manuscript.

Editorial: Editing plays a big role in this business. The Chief editor guides the team of editors and oversees the complete running of the publishing house. They contact authors for writing books on selected topics. The editorial lays down the policy of the publication, manages the staff and co ordinates all the related work. There are two types of editors:

Commissioning Editors:
If you’re a commissioning editor, its your job to find new authors or work with established authors to come up with new books. This means you’ll have to know a lot of writers so that you re able to suggest ideas and themes to them. Once the author accepts the idea, you have to work with him or her and help structure the book properly. This is especially important if you’re working with a brand new author. You’ll also have to know everything there is to know about publishing, including costs of production, because you’ll be the person to initiate new books. Generally however, you will not begin your career in publishing as a commissioning editor, because this is a job that requires tons of experience and understanding that can only come from having worked at least eight to ten years in the profession.

Copy Editors:
As a copy editor, your job will be to work with the text that the author has submitted to the publisher, to make sure that the style is consistent throughout the book and that there are no factual, spelling or grammatical errors. You can begin your career as a trainee copy editor and work your way to becoming a commissioning editor, and could wind up being editor in chief.

Production: Editing is carried out on the computer and the type face and page layout adjusted. The illustrations, appearance of the book, book cover, paper quality, etc, is decided by the editor as well as the production in charge. The design department does the art work for the book. A number of publishing houses work with freelance artists on their rolls, who are commissioned for artwork, such as illustration, cover design, photographs, etc. Production staff manage the technicalities of the printing process, the pricing and marketing of the product. They purchase the paper, coordinate the printing and binding of the books. In the newspaper and magazine segment, the production department deals with purchase of newsprint as well as the printing and dispatch of the newspaper of magazines to the marketing department.

Sales and Marketing
: Publicity, promotion, sales campaigns are a major responsibility. Distribution of books entails under standing the market where the books may sell. Distribution to libraries,schools, organizations is often done directly or through local book suppliers. The on line book sales is the latest technique in marketing and sales.

Literary Agent:
A concept that still doesn’t exist in India, though opportunities do exist now that publishing is taking off in a big way. A literary agent is basically the middle man between the writer and the publisher. In fact, the literary agent is almost the writer’s first commissioning editor, because she/he will read the manuscript the writer has submitted, decide whether it’s worth publishing and if it is, will show the manuscript to various publishers so as to get the best possible deal for the writer. Abroad, publishers will only accept manuscripts submitted through a literary agent. As a literary agent, your educational qualifications do not matter since you’ll be working on your own. But it will help to have a background in publishing because you need to know the business and you also need to know people in the publishing industry because this job works on contacts.

You could also work for a major book store such as Crossword as a merchandiser. A merchandiser’s job is very exciting because she/he gets paid to read. As a merchandiser, you’ll have to decide which books the store should buy from the publishers that can be sold to the public. Not only which books, but how many copies of a particular book. For instance, when the next book is finally available, you will decide how many copies should be in stock so that all the copies don’t get sold out the first day itself. You’ll also be in a position to guide people’s taste in reading, because you’ll be responsible for buying books by authors that the Indian public may not have heard of yet. Most bookstores will train you in the actual aspects of merchandising because this is an area that is new to India and there are no courses available as yet.


March 3, 2009 at 7:40 am Leave a comment