It's All About... the Process

It's All About... the Process

Posted on January 29 by duncan
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While it’s true that the central figure behind any book is the author, there are many hands that contribute to the publication of the book. Each title requires a human touch at every stage of its publication, concepts are presented, editors edit, designers design, marketers market to the myriad of markets, manuscripts get rescripted, data is scrubbed and sent every which way to wholesalers, libraries, online and offline. And that’s just one title. Dundurn on average publishes two titles a week, and the lifespan of a title before the actual publication can be years. While it’s not a winding road, there are certainly many roads running concurrently through the process.

Ah, the process. The whole thing falls apart without the process. The life cycle of a book follows an inherent logic and while every book is different, there are always commonalities. From those commonalities arises the process, and it’s that process that keeps everything on the rails. The process is being continuously overhauled and reimagined, the workflow is like a book that is continuously edited without ever reaching publication, and the process is applied to every new title concept. Books that are appearing at a store near you have been following a process that is generations of processes out of date, and books that are only just now being written will have workflows applied to them that we can’t even imagine today. Without the process, we wouldn’t be able to respond and react to the real world whenever it intervenes. A book can be printed without a plan and a series of steps to hold the milestones up, but 100 books a year requires a process to take care of the 90% of things that can be predicted. That’s what makes a book printer into a book publisher.

The process leading up to a book’s publication date is a long road, and while a essence of a book comes from a single solitary person, there are many hands involved in getting that ship to sail. The process is what frees us up to think creatively and to apply the human touch necessary to actually publishing the book. There’s not a lot of magic behind it. At the end of the process, once the whole process is complete and the book is in your hands, dear reader, that’s when the actual magic happens.