I’ve written a book. What now?
You’re proud of what you’ve written, but where to now? Do you approach a ‘traditional’ publisher, or should you handle things yourself?
We’ve been guiding and assisting authors and independent publishers in New Zealand and overseas for 30+ years. Our one-stop service integrates the publishing process from editing, design and artwork to printing and shipping.
We work closely with authors and publishers to prepare their work for publication. Call us for a chat – you’ll find we’re very attentive listeners!
Working with us
We work closely with authors and publishers to prepare their work for publication.
Find out what we can offer for your publishing project.
1. Manuscript assessment
Is your text suitable for publication? Is it fit for purpose? How succinctly and successfully does it address the subject?
• If non-fiction, does it provide valuable new information or perspective on its subject?
• If fiction, how well does it tell the story?
We can give your work an honest and informed appraisal before any editing and design work is commenced.
Copy editing involves correcting and standardising spelling, punctuation and grammar, and ensuring consistency in tone, ‘voice’, and usage. A good editor can also highlight potential problems, such as
• factual errors
• libellous statements
A copy editor may also advise on the use of a foreword, acknowledgements, footnotes, bibliography and index.
Structural editing refers to the ‘shape’, flow, pace and extent of the narrative.
Is the content presented in the best sequence, enabling the story to unfold in a cohesive and engaging way? Is the quality of the writing consistent? Has the author employed language suitable for the subject matter?
If fiction, are the characters and situations believable? Is the dialogue credible and appropriate for the characters speaking those words?
The narrative framework must serve its purpose. A skilled structural editor can bring out the best in what the author has written, cutting extraneous material, suggesting rewrites, and ‘making every word count’.
3. Design & Artwork
Generally, design and artwork stages are not begun until after the author and/or publisher have approved the edited manuscript.
The front cover design should not only communicate the ‘intention’ of the book, it should sell it, just as a shop window invites the consumer into the store. And yes, people judge a book by its cover.
The test of a great cover design is that you involuntarily reach for the book. The best designs have the X factor – you get it in a glance.
Design of the text pages is equally important. It includes
• typography – astute selection and use of typestyles
• layout – how the contents are presented on the page
• format – portrait or landscape; page dimensions
• ensuring that all elements are balanced, enabling the reader to easily access the content.
Proofreading should be done progressively. A manuscript should first be proofed by a suitably skilled person before the author submits it to an editor.
The editor checks, corrects and amends the manuscript while working through it, and will proofread the text again before submitting it to the designer.
After the text has been flowed into the layout, a final proofread will be done before printing. Proofreading is therefore done multiple times, most importantly before production is begun and after the artwork has been completed.
Want to know all about indexing, from A to Z? This is not the place, but we can say that indexing is often advisable for a non-fiction book, so the reader can quickly locate information or themes, and more easily navigate around the content.
A basic index shows a list of names, places and subjects, while a more comprehensive one encompasses concepts and drills down into the subject matter in successive layers or levels.
Indexing is not done until the layout has been finalised.
Tip: while the indexer’s job differs from that of the proofreader, they will often spot an error or inconsistency that even a first-rate proofreader has missed. That’s because they bring a fresh pair of eyes, approach the content in a different way, and will likely spend much more time indexing than the proofreader will spend proofing.
6. Printing & Shipping
Dealing with printers is a vital stage of production. This is where things get exciting for the author and/or independent publisher, who will soon see the final product in their hands.
Specifying paper stocks, negotiating prices, liaising over timing and shipping arrangements, handling customs and wharf changes (where import is involved) are all part of the process.
Streamline Creative has had many years’ experience working with New Zealand and Asian printers, shipping to USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
7. Distribution & Marketing
This is the domain of the traditional publisher – and now, the self-publisher – and while we are happy to advise our clients, we are not directly involved in these aspects.
Why choose us?
Choosing someone who can guide you through the publishing process can be a daunting and time-consuming proposition.
After all, when you have made that decision, you will be entrusting your creativity to someone with whom you may have had no contact until recently.
Will they understand what you are trying to achieve? Will they be sympathetic to your aspirations and dreams? Will they change your work in ways you don’t want?
A question often asked of us by first-time non-fiction authors is: what knowledge or expertise do you have in my field of interest? Our answer is usually to the effect that “your expertise is in your subject; ours is in book production”.
Here’s what Streamline Creative can offer the self-publishing author and independent publisher:
Personal, professional service, ‘value-added’
Top quality work at every stage of production
Wide & deep experience in trade & contract publishing
Fair & reasonable pricing
Attention to detail
Advice & guidance