Planning Your Nonfiction Book: Publishing Tasks

Mar 22, 2022 | Book Publishing

Pat yourself on the back when you finally finish your manuscript. You’ve come a long way and done a lot of work. You accomplished something that very few people do. You wrote a book.

But you’re not an author yet. That won’t happen until your book is published. So, after you finish your manuscript, get ready for some more work. If you were using a legacy publisher, they will take on most of these tasks. If you plan on publishing your own work, you must decide which of these things you will do and which you will pay to have someone else do.

If you self-publish, consider an author services firm, such as 1106 Design. They can help you find qualified professionals to do many tasks.

Professional Edit

Many self-publishing authors ignore this step. That’s a big mistake. Professional editing is one thing that separates “this must be self-published” books from the rest.

You want a professional editor. That means a person who does this as a business. Preferably, you want someone who has experience editing the books like yours. You do not want your cousin who was an English major or your friend who’s “good with words.” You want a professional editor.

Finalize the manuscript

A professional editor will make some changes and suggest others that will improve your book. After he or she is done editing, you will decide which changes to accept and which to forgo.

Cover Design

If you’re self-publishing, you will need to engage a cover designer unless you are a competent professional artist. Good news, though, author services companies can help you narrow your search quickly.

Decide on versions

There are four basic versions for most business books. They are hardback, softback, ebook, and audiobook.

Interior Design

Interior design refers to the way your pages and headings look.


Proofreading should be done after the book has been edited and the interior design is complete. Many self-publishing authors skip this step. I think it’s a mistake. In my experience, professional proofreaders catch an awful lot of mistakes in even the best-edited books.


How will you produce your book? Will you be able to buy cartons of books at a special price? If your book supports speaking, training, or consulting, selling bunches of books at a time is a great way to add revenue.


Will you handle uploading yourself, or will you hire someone to do it?

Audio Recording

Audiobooks are one of the fastest-growing parts of the book business. If you’re thinking about reading your own book, do a couple of test runs to see how you sound. If you decide to hire a “voice actor” you’re likely to encounter a broad range of prices and competence.

Audio Production

If you decide to do an audiobook, make sure your producer can produce a quality audiobook and not just a recording.


You’re not an author until your book is published.

You will be tempted to skip some tasks to save money. Big mistake.

Finalize your manuscript after a professional edit.

An author services company can help you make wise choices.

If you want a quality book you must do or hire quality work.

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