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My Publishing Checklist

I'm sure I am missing some things but I get asked about my publishing checklist pretty often so here it is! I hope this helps someone.

  • Write, rewrite, revise, and self edit your manuscript. (Some authors have alpha readers read what they have at different stages of this process to get outside feedback.)

  • Send to beta readers.

  • Make any changes you need to.

  • Some authors send this manuscript to a professional editor(developmental, line/copy, or both) before querying but it's not required.

  • Find the agents you want to query.,, is where I found them. Pay attention to all that they're asking for.

  • Create your query package. (query letter, first 10 pages, and whatever else the particular agent requests. Each one is different.)

  • Send your queries and write something new. Throw yourself back into your work while you wait.

  • If you get an offer from an agent and accept, they will work with you and their editors to perfect your manuscript. Then they will try to sell to a publishing house (going on submission). If a house wants it, they'll make you/your agent an offer.

  • Write, rewrite, revise, and self edit your manuscript.

  • Send to beta readers.

  • Make any changes you need to.

  • Write your dedication page, acknowledgements, author the author, and any note to reader/trigger warnings necessary.

  • Write your back of the cover book blurb/synopsis.

  • Find an editor. They will likely do two passes. Edit once then send it back to you with A LOT of feedback. Once you fix things, they'll do another pass. But all editors are different so you'll need to research and understand what they do. Some authors use developmental editors to make sure the book is developed correctly. Then copy/line editors come in to make sure the text is correct and everything flows.

  • Cover designer will create cover with your vision. They will likely do a mock up for your review, make changes and send you several more before you decide it's right. Or you can do it yourself. I hired someone so I'm not sure about the steps in creating one on your own.

  • Buy your ISBN's.

  • Once cover is done, get your book up onto goodreads.

  • Once editing is done, have it formatted.

  • Once entire novel is ready to publish, consider if you will put up for pre-order.

  • Write your ARC email.

  • Send out ARC copies to people who sign up for them(I ask if anyone is interested in being an arc reader on social media) I use Book Funnel to send them.

  • Decide on your distributor (KDP, Ingram Spark, Digital2Draft, and others.) I do Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark. NOTE: Barnes and Noble Press prints through Ingram Spark so no need to do both. From personal experience, I suggest just doing Ingram.

  • Upload manuscript and cover to the site you choose. KDP will likely publish within days regardless of your intended pub date. Keep that in mind.

  • Book stores mostly order from Ingram Spark so that's why a lot of authors go through them.

  • Market your books like crazy. Social media, word of mouth, try to set up signings at bookstores. Basically do all the things to get the word out.

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