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From contract to release

To set expectations about timing and effort, here’s what happens after Moose House accepts a writer’s manuscript for publication. For this example we’re presuming a manuscript of 70,000 words, entitled The Book.


In brief, it will take at least four months, and often longer, for The Book to be available for purchase:

  • It takes between two and three months (and sometimes more!) for the author and editor to work through the editorial process (see below) to make sure The Book is in good shape to meet its readers. During this time the Art Department creates the cover design, and the author starts to tease its release on social media and their web site.

  • When the advance review copy (the edits are done, but the author and editor are still proofreading) is ready, we share it with readers who might be able to provide back-cover reviews. Getting the reviews can take up to a month.

  • Once The Book is ready to order, it takes up to a month between telling the printer how many copies we want and actually having copies on hand.


How the editing process goes

  • The author sends the ‘final’ copy of The Book to the editor, along with maps, pictures, drawings, or other material that is going to go into the published version.

  • The editor starts sending proposed edits to the author, chapter by chapter, and the author reviews them and sends back a ‘version 2’ of that chapter, possibly with some additional material in response to questions the editor has raised. If there is additional material, the editor reviews it and may send it back again with further suggestions. The Moose House record for versions of the same chapter resulting from author and editor sending things back and forth is 24.

  • When we have worked through to the very last chapter, the editor assembles all chapters of The Book into a version formatted in the way they will appear in print. The author and editor review a PDF of this version for typos, omissions, and other text issues.

  • When that review is done, and author and editor are satisfied that the text is ‘good enough’ (other typos and issues always appear later on, and we fix them when we find them), the editor sends the master document of The Book to the printer.

  • When the printer signals that they have found no critical issues in the content or cover files for The Book, it is ready to order. The author and the publisher work out how many copies the author wants to order for their own use, to sell at launch and signing events, and so on, and the publisher makes it available to our normal booksellers.

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