Once you have your book formatted such that you think it’s correct, follow the submission guidelines. They will come back with “Submission Error” comments. In my case, it was the embedded fonts that took my slow brain a while to understand. Steve Linebaugh, my webmaster and guru, was the one who figured it out. It was at this point I realized that no matter how independent I wanted to be, it would take a team to get it done. Publishing houses have teams that take on various aspects of putting a book out. Me, I want to write, so Steve does the things I don’t want to learn about. He’s not cheap, but if I figure in the amount of time it would take me to learn and do things correctly, (Not to mention the frustration factor) it’s money well spent.
During the submission process, a number of blanks have to be filled in. Before beginning, there are several things that should be done. I would suggest that you have your short and long description ready so you just have to paste it in. Format the page size to one of their SUBMISSION standards. BE SURE TO CHECK WHAT CHANGING THE PAGE SIZE HAS DONE TO YOUR CAREFULLY FORMATTED BOOK. Have the word and page count ready. Pick book type. Thinner books can be stapled, thicker ones are bonded. Pick paper color. White can be glaring unless there are a lot of illustrations. Cream is more normal. You may have to add blank pages to come out with an even number. You may need an ISBN number. Some printer/distribution houses offer to sell them. To buy your own, go to Bowker (A search online will turn up the site.) to buy those. When I moved my books from Create Space to IngramSpark, I needed eighteen ISBNs. Each media form requires a new number. (Nine books in print and nine ebook.) It was actually cheaper for me to buy 100 numbers than two blocks of ten. So, I’m now a publisher with about eighty ISBNs. If I do audio books, I’m ready.
The publisher will have a book price section with a calculator to tell you your royalty amount. The price is a balance between what you think you can get and what covers your time and costs.
Look at published books to see how the prologue, blurbs, acknowledgements, copyright notifications and statement and ISBN are handled.
You can now add these information pages to your book. During the submission process you will enter your ISBN numbers. There should be a blank space on the back cover of the book for your bar code and ISBN. Steve takes care of this for me. Thanks.
Convert the file to PDF. Word has a conversion function. I use the one under the print menu. Go through the book again as a PDF. Sometimes that conversion changes pages and breaks and page count. I usually have to change the Word file several times before I like the PDF version. During the conversion, there will be a box to embed fonts. One option may be to embed only the fonts in that book. Click that or your file will include all the fonts available and GROW VERY LARGE.
Covers are generally submitted as separate files which may have to be JPG.
Once you submit, the printer will go through it. If there are problems, they will let you know. The proof copy is the signal they have accepted your submission. GO THROUGH THE PROOF. IT’S YOUR LAST CHANCE TO CHANGE THINGS WITHOUT COST. Look at page setting to see that margins and gutter look right. Look to see if there are blank pages that weren’t in the submission. Check to see that line spacing is correct. Minimize pages with only one or two sentences on them (You may have to do some rewriting). Check headers, footers and spacing. Check page numbers to see that they start and end correctly. Page 1 should be on the right side (Left facing page should be a blank) with the start with chapter 1. Title page, prologue and the other informational pages should not be numbered. If you have a bio at the end, it should not be numbered. The Print on Demand companies I’ve work with do not put information on the inside of the cover. Bio will be another section on additional pages. Some printer/distributors require a blank page as the last page facing the inside cover. Add that.
Check to see that the cover is as you want it, pay attention to the spine.
When everything is finalized, get it copyrighted. It’s another site that has to have things done their way. (They don’t like Google Chrome. GO figure. Maybe they do by now.) You will have to set up an account as per their rules. Eco.copyright.gov will get you to the electronic submission site. Once you get through that submission, you’ll pay for the copyright. It’s not really expensive. Last time I did it the cost was $35. Request a confirmation. It looks neat on your wall.
So, there’s things I’ve forgotten and will have to relearn with the next book submission. If I did this constantly it would be a breeze. Once or twice a year after many sleeps, UGH!