Phase 4: Post-Production

Writers each call the steps of creation something different but like a story, the process has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. The four phase system I’ve adopted is from Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sterling & Stone, an amazing book for writers that I whole-heartedly recommend.

What happens in post-production?

None of my work at present is in this stage, but, for the sake of explaining the process, here is what would happen in a scenario where I was looking at indie publishing (and apologies if I’ve made any glaring omissions):

In my bill pay job, I have worked in and around libraries for over fifteen years and I’ve handled thousands of books during that time. One of the skills I’ve gleaned from that experience is the ability to distinguish between a well-designed book and a poorly designed one, and it’s not as hard a skill to acquire as you might think.

When a reader sits down with a book, they expect a certain kind of experience and a polished look that (in the past) has been predominantly from traditional publishers. If you read frequently, you can tell when “something is off” with what your reading; perhaps it’s a poor typeface, or the words aren’t formatted correctly, or there are glaring spelling and grammar mistakes that jar you from the reading experience.

You can also tell (I hope) when a book cover looks like it belongs on a shelf at B&N or if it looks like something a three-year-old did on Microsoft Paint. I’m exaggerating for comic effect but believe me, the reader can usually tell, which means that the author had better give good consideration to making a strong first impression.

You want to make a good impression, so unless you’re confident in your artistic skills, you hire out. Okay, so now your cover designer will need (amongst other things) your name, the title of your work, any product description info you want (it’s called back cover copy). You’ll also need to think about pricing and where you want the book to be sold and what format you want — hardcover, softcover, print on demand, e-book only, audiobook, etc.

These are all steps you take in post-production as you’re ramping your novel up for publication. Although I won’t go into it here, this is also the stage where you would consider how you want to market your book so your audience knows that it exists. Oh, and do you have a blog you could share it on? Funny, me too. Go forth and create. ♦

Still want more? You can learn more about me here.