While it’s true that writing a book is a solitary process, publishing and promoting one are not. In fact it takes a team, sometimes just few people, sometimes a crowd. Listed below are seven of the most essential professional partners every author needs.
1. Administrative Assistant
An administrative or virtual assistant will become your right hand. At every stage of the process, there will be correspondence, permissions, research, bookkeeping, organization, filing, inventory, publicity, and myriad other necessary details to attend to. You have two choices: do it all yourself, or hire someone to help you.
An attorney serves several functions, from analyzing contracts to advising you on copyright law. A lawyer will keep you from signing anything that is not in your best interest, help prevent potential litigation, and do the footwork to register your work.
Editors fall into specialized categories because they work at different stages of the project. A developmental editor helps you think through your premise and organization. A content editor looks at the big picture, including writing style, structure, and flow of ideas, language, and accuracy. A copy editor checks for grammar, punctuation, and consistency and is the last person to read your manuscript before it goes to print.
4. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers turn your ideas into visuals. Often, the same artist can handle both cover design and page layout. Sometimes, however, you will need two separate people. Readers spend only seconds looking at a book … first, the cover; then, inside. The interior is very important, so important, in fact, that many experts advise using a graphic designer who specializes in books.
5. Printer or Publisher
Your book must be printed in some form, and you have many choices. If a conventional or independent publisher is publishing your book, this won’t be your responsibility. If you are self-publishing, obviously, it will. The kind of printing you select will range in both sophistication and price. At one end is taking the file to a quick-copy store and telling them how many copies you want. At the other end of the spectrum is a high-quality, four-color printer.
6. Publicist or PR Person
Not every author has a publicist but if you want national exposure, it’s a good investment. The important point is that you must market your book, usually well before it finds its way into print. A publicist saves you a lot of legwork by arranging for travel, radio and TV appearances, book signings, interviews, and articles in various publications.
Reviewers are usually affiliated with some form of media. They assess the quality of the writing, how well and logically you cover the topic, and how readable the book is. A positive review is like gold that can be mined in many ways, one of which is to quote the reviewer on the cover.
Even though writing is essentially a solitary process, producing a book is a team effort. Every member of the team contributes a different area specialization. You do the writing; they do the rest.