Vital Requirements of Book Publishing


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)

Book processes

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.

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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

Solicited 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

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

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.

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Self-Published Authors

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

Editorial Unit

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.

Proofreading/grammar checking

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.

Design/Graphics Unit


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.

Pre-press activities

After everything is done, the manuscripts will be approved for pre-press before final printing.

Production Unit




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

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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.

Editor’s Tools

Sound mind and imagination

Sound education and intellectual curiosity

For reading wide

Dictionaries, computers, encyclopedias, pencils, etc.

Editor’s Worries

Legibility (easy to read)

Consistency (spelling form, heading, etc.)



Clarity of expressions

Factual Accuracy

Legality and Decency – no libelous, defamatory, religious, obscene, racial, sexual, immoral issues or materials, among others


Book Production arrangement

Front Matters


End Matters

Front Matters

Title page

Copyright page



List of contributors if necessary




End Matters

Revision Questions if ay

Model answers if any

Notes and References



Glossary/Word List


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