Getting Published in 15 Steps: From Post-Book Deal to Release Day

Photo credit: -MRGT on Flickr
So wayyyy back in 2013 I wrote a post on 15 steps to writing a novel, then back in 2014 I followed it up with 15 steps to getting published, up to the book deal. Now, with just two weeks and a day to go to Beyond the Red's release, I've got enough background info to finish off the series. :)

Do note that the orders to these steps varies wildly publisher to publisher, and even book to book. For most, all of these steps (or at least most) will happen at some point or another as long as there is a print release, but everyone's timeline is a little different.

That said, here we go. Fifteen steps from post-book deal to release day:

  1. Join a debut group. This is, by no means, a mandatory step, but I very highly recommend it if you're a debut. For me, The Sweet Sixteens and Team Rogue YA has opened up the door for a ton of opportunities (like conferences! and mini book tours!), introduced me to so many wonderful people I now consider friends, helped me feel sane during this crazy publishing process *and* given me access to amazing books early. And honestly, the support alone is so very much worth it. :)

  2. Talk blurbs. As I said before, when this happens varies, but eventually your editor will ask you if you have any ideas as to who you'd like to ask to get some blurbs. This is a terrifying and exciting thing that eventually leads to people you admire hopefully saying nice things about your book. 

  3. Share ideas for covers. This is such a fun part of the process. At some point, your publisher will start thinking cover ideas, and often the first step is asking you, the author, about what you had in mind for the cover/what covers you like that you'd like to emulate. Mood boards are a very fun (and useful!) thing to put together.

  4. Cover mock ups. Self-explanatory—eventually you will see versions of your cover! And it is exciting! And amazing! And YAY! 

  5. Pre-orders open. At some point, your book will magically appear on Amazon, B&N, BAM!, etc. online. And people will be able to pre-order your book, which is a surreal and amazing thing. 

  6. Cover reveal. After you've seen several mock-ups and changes are made and everyone is happy, it's time to reveal the cover to the world! This is the first time people start to associate an image with your book, and it also allows you to start thinking about swag, and daydreaming about holding your book. Woot!

  7. First pass. This is the time when you will finally get your first edit letter. For some, this is a time of wailing and gnashing of teeth. For others, it's scary, but exciting. For some especially lucky, it's both. How much work is involved, and how much time you have will depend on your book and your editor, but rest assured, changes will be made for the better. 

  8. Second, Third, Fourth, Final, etc. Pass. How many passes there are and when they happen, like many of the steps, will vary. But there will be plenty of passes, and you will read your book so many times you can recite passages in your sleep, and there will come a time when you feel as though you'd rather pull your fingernails off rather than read it again. This is normal. Probably. And this too shall pass. (Get it, pass? *clears throat* Anyway...)

  9. ARCs! And then the day will come when you will get to hold your book in your hand because the ARCs have arrived! This is a super exciting/nerve-wracking time because not only do you have a book-shaped thing but many other people will get to read it too, for the first time. Ahhhhh!

  10. More blurbs. If you didn't get blurbs earlier, probably you will start to get them right about now. And even if you did get blurbs earlier, you are likely to get more around now too. So more admirable people saying nice things about your book. Yay!

  11. Early reviews. Now that ARCs are in the world, reviews will start trickling in. This is where you start to decide if you're the type of author that reads your reviews. There isn't a right or wrong answer, really—just make sure you take care of yourself during this kind of terrifying time.

  12. Book jacket comps. At some point, if your book is publishing in hardcover, you will see the comps for your book jacket, and now you'll really get a sense for what your book will look like. It's a very, very cool thing that I totally loved.

  13. Final copies printed! RED ALERT. YOUR BOOK IS REAL. 


  15. RELEASE DAY. Self-explanatory and holy wow it's real. Everything is real! HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY, YOU! 

Twitter-sized bite:
How to get published, from post-book deal to release day, condensed into 15 steps. (Click to tweet)

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