Book publishing started about 868 AD when Wang Chick – a Chinese – was said to have published “The Diamond Sutra” in memory of his parents (Adesanoye, 1999).
Modern publishing started with Johann Gutenberg’s press in Germany with his 1st book – The Bible.
Some Definitions of Book Production
It is the interface between the idea(s) of the author(s) (mss) and the book in the hands of the target readers (users) or on the bookseller’s shelf. It is about manufacturing, publishing, and distributing books to the end-users.
It is a chain of activities that take place between an idea in the mind of an author and a book on the shelf at home, in the library, or aba bookseller’s store or shop. (Bigley, 1966)
It is the whole intellectual and business procedure of selecting and arranging knowledge and information to make a book, and of promoting its ultimate use. (Grannis, 1967)
It means in the broadest sense, making something publicly known. It is also a process that begins with a manuscript – getting it ad shaping it towards publication.
It forges a synergy between a raw manuscript from an author and a book in the hands of a reader. Author’s ideas – Editor – Designer and Artist – Printer – Bookseller – Reader (End-user)
The most important resource for any industry is its human resource, and the most essential attributes of the workforce are its competencies. (Bhasin, 2012)
Acceptance and acquisition of manuscripts
In our previous post, the first stage is to hunt for the manuscripts from the seasoned authors that will be in charge of writing the manuscripts whether solicited or unsolicited manuscripts.
Editing the manuscript and briefs where necessary
After the manuscripts are acquired, the editors will be in charge of editing. The editing is a process of improving the manuscripts and preparing them for publication.
Designing the final appearance of the book
After the editing of the book, the next step is to pass the manuscripts into production where they will be designed in a book form. The book will have the shape of the book.
Printing/manufacturing into Book Form
After the design and formatting are done perfectly, the book will go to the press for printing. In the press, printing, manufacturing, and packaging of the products will be perfectly done.
Distribution to the Booksellers
The next step in book publishing is marketing and distribution. The books will reach the end-users at once. The end users may be individuals, schools, bookstores or bookshops, libraries, and other learning institutions.
Ultimate Purchase by the Readers
The books will become the products that readers will demand throughout the nation or world. The books are being sold online throughout the world and in the outlets, we have mentioned earlier.
Sources of Manuscripts
The solicited manuscripts are manuscripts whereby the publishing companies or publishers seek for the writers and authors to write for them.
It is the publishers or company that will provide curriculum and other resources to use for authors. The authors will form the team.
Unsolicited manuscripts are manuscripts whereby the author or the writer comes in with the manuscripts to publish. It may be any form of many manuscripts
Educational and Research Development
Educational and research development is an organization that researches the topics to be treated in schools. The publishing houses also establish this department in their Company.
Literary agents are agents that see to the writing literary works, such as novels, short stories, plays, poems
Co-publications are ways of publishing books together. It is when the author and the publisher agree to publish the book together on the agreed term.
Self-publishing is publishing whereby the author publishes his book at his own cost. The author is responsible for all the costs under the term.
Major Players in Publishing
The editorial unit is a department or unit where the manuscripts are turned into books. The unit or department consists of editors, writers, proofreaders, typesetters, etc.
Developing and assessing manuscripts
The editorial team will assess the manuscripts whether they are publishable or not. Many factors will be considered in this area to determine the rm publishable.
Editing is the process of preparing manuscripts to become books. The editorial team will work on the manuscripts until they get to the final stage (for printing)
Writing/reviewing of manuscripts if necessary
Reviewing of the manuscripts is necessary if the book needs reviews. The set of editors will come together to add, include or remove.
In the editorial, proofreading and grammar checking will be done after editing. To proofread is to spot little errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, syntaxes, etc. To grammar check is to correct the grammar of the manuscripts well edited.
The graphic designer will do the layout of the manuscripts that recreate pages for the book.
The book will be designed in graphics.
If the book needs illustrations, the editor and the designer will work together with the illustrators to make sure that the book is well illustrated.
After everything is done, the manuscripts will be approved for pre-press before final printing.
Promotion and marketing and sales
Warehousing and distribution
Finance and administration
Types of assessment
Solicited Manuscripts Assessment
Compatibility with the prescribed curriculum or syllabus
Adequacy of curriculum coverage
Organization of contents
Style and suitability of language
Market prospects, competitive edge, and price
Avoidance of illegal, immoral, religious issues
Unsolicited Manuscripts Assessment
Originality of ideas/facts
Organization/Presentation of ideas
Breaking new ground or a commonplace story
Language use and style
Target audience (Nursery, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, General Readers, etc)
Proper and correct use of words, phrases, clauses, and sentences
The cohesion of content(s) and text
Avoidance of illegal words and expressions, immoral and abusive words, religions sentiment, bigotry, blackmailing, sexual and racial prejudice
Editor as a Professional
He is the soul of the publishing enterprise and maintains the balance between social responsibility and the profit motive of the enterprise.
He sees a manuscript at conception and follows it up to production with his professional experience and training.
Sound mind and imagination
Sound education and intellectual curiosity
For reading wide
Dictionaries, computers, encyclopedias, pencils, etc.
Legibility (easy to read)
Consistency (spelling form, heading, etc.)
Clarity of expressions
Legality and Decency – no libelous, defamatory, religious, obscene, racial, sexual, immoral issues or materials, among others
Book Production arrangement
List of contributors if necessary
Revision Questions if ay
Model answers if any
Notes and References