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25 July 2006

How many book-industry people does it take to screw in a lightglobe?

I have said it before, and I'll say it again: it takes more than one person to write a book. And lucky for me, many of those people have blogs. So here, for your my reading entertainment, is my report on How a Book is Made, illustrated by Other People's Blogs.

1. We start with the authors. Some of my favourite bloggy authors are Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot, Penni Russon, Margo Lanagan, and my mum Carole Wilkinson. To name just a few. These people take the first step, and write the book.

2. (this step is optional) The author sends his/her book to an agent. For how not to do this, refer to Miss Snark (for snarkiness) and PubRants (for useful tips). I'm also sticking the Evil Editor in this category, because he talks about book queries.

3. The author (or agent) finds a publisher. (my publisher blogs here)

4. The publisher assigns an editor. There are many, many editors who blog. The Editrix is a children's book editor. Brooklyn Arden is Scholastic children's book editor Cheryl Klein's blog (yes, that's American Scholastic, which means Harry Potter). The Buried Editor is also in children's publishing, but small-press.

5. While the book gets edited, it also gets designed. There's a great interview (with pictures) with Paul Buckley, the guy who makes beautiful things at Penguin UK (I know, it's not a blog. But it's interesting). For American books, check out the blog about NYT book reviewed covers. But the thing that's really floating my boat right now is interior book design (and no, I don't mean books about where to put your couch and what kind of wallpaper is fashionable). And the ultimate interior book design blog is India Ink.

6. Then it all gets put together, and copyedited and proofread and stuff. And publicised and marketed. I could have put Anna Louise from Tor in the editing category, but she's written some epic and invaluable stuff about P&Ls, which everyone should go and read.

7. Then the book is sent away and printed. I have no blog for this one. (quick! look at this clip of Chariots of Fur from Monsterpiece Theatre!)

8. Oh, you think it's over? Now you have to go and be reviewed in important literary journals, and then actually sold in bookshops.

9. Then people read the books. And talk about them. Lots and lots of people.

10. Then people write comics about the books. Which is just cool.

There is, of course, another option, which is self-publishing, or POD (print on demand). POD-dy Mouth is a masochistic dedicated blogger who reads lots and lots of POD to find the diamonds in the rough.

Did I miss anything? (I'm sure I did)


Georg said...

Fantastic! Thanks for this, a few more blogs to check out. Er, actually, looking at my bulging NewsReader perhaps I shouldn't be thanking you at all...

India said...

"The ultimate"? Woo! Glad you like it.

My favorite editors' blog is Making Light. Also, there's a new blog by an art director that's getting a lot of notice. (Disclosure: Both these sites are by people I theoretically work with but haven't met.) And I recently was made aware of a group blog by a bunch of reviewers.

But as you said, there are a ton of bookish people who have blogs. A talkative bunch, us, eh?

lili said...

ohh, i forgot Making Light...

(goes off to look at art director's blog...)

Justine Larbalestier said...

Are there any publicists or marketers or sales force blogs? Lauren Cerand is a freelance publicist and her blog touches on that sometimes.


Cool post, missy.

India said...

There's Carl Lennertz's Publishing Insider . . .

Emma said...

I'm impressed! But also concerned about the impact my now updated blog reading list will have on my work...

Penni said...

Oh my.
It's amazing any books are being written/designed/edited/read/etceterad at all with all the blogging going on.
Good post.