10 steps for book publishing

A selection of SUP books shown by spine

 by Susan Murray

So you want to publish a book! There are lots of reasons why you might want to bring together everything you know about a particular topic into a handy, portable object known as a book.

Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself before you embark on your endeavour.

  1. Audience

Who is the book aimed at?

How many people do you think will be interested in the book?

Where is your audience located - locally, within Australia, throughout the world?


  1. Project

Who will manage the publishing project?

How much time do you have for the project?

Is there a specific event or release date?


  1. Content

What will be included in the book - text, images, photographs, diagrams, tables, lists, index?

Who will write the content?


  1. Rights and permissions

Do you have permission to include the content and the images in the book?

Does the book qualify for a University ISBN, or do you need to purchase one?

Who do you need to acknowledge on the cover or inside the book?


  1. Editorial

Who will check the work?

Who can check for accuracy, correct grammar, writing clarity?


  1. Design

What will the cover look like?

Who will design the cover?

Will there be a blurb on the back cover describing the book? Who will write this? Who will endorse the book?

What will the internal pages look like?

How big should the margins be?

Where should images be positioned on the page?

What fonts and headings will be used?


  1. Production

How many copies are you planning to print?

What size will the book be?

Will the book be black and white, or include colour?

What kind of paper do you want to use?

What kind of cover do you want?


  1. Ebooks

Do you want an ebook edition?

What devices should the ebook work on?

Is there any enhanced functionality you would like to include, such as embedded video/audio?


  1. Budget

How are you going to pay for your time, other people's time, third party permissions, print costs?

Will the book be for sale or a giveaway?

Do you need to cover your costs or generate a profit?


  1. Release

What is legal deposit and where do you need to send copies?

Who needs to know about the book?

How will you contact potential readers?

Where will you store the archived files after release?

Where will you store the printed books?


As you can see from the length of this list of questions, there can be a lot of time and effort involved in producing a book.  But it can be very rewarding when you get the finished book in your hands.