Publishing Checklist



Publishing as I often say “has a bunch of colorful and moving parts”.  From the initial inspiration of a topic to the research to the writing to the marketing to the publishing, to the launching, and finally to the selling and distribution, like any industry it is complex and ever-changing.  

Even those of us who live and work in it every day must continually seek to learn about the new opportunities. They are showing up all the time and that is what we love about what we do.  

So don’t get frustrated or discouraged if you don’t have all the answers. Publishing is an exciting journey. The lessons you will learn and the skills you will gain by participating in that journey will be long-lasting.


Here is a quick publishing checklist to get you started and thinking.

1. Determine which type of publishing you want to do? Traditional, regional, entrepreneurial or self-publish.

2. Make a list and decide which publisher you would like to work with.

3. If you choose an entrepreneurial publisher, be willing to invest some money then set up meetings to see if it is the right fit.

4. Finish your manuscript, work with a professional editor, and proof it multiple times.

5. If going with a traditional or regional publisher ––submit a proposal or manuscript.

6. If self-publishing purchase your ISBN and Barcode for paperback, ebook, and hardback, journal, workbook, coloring book (these last three will all fall under the print category and you will need a separate ISBN) as you have 3 options digital, paperback and hardback when assigning your title and filling in the description or information about that title.

7. Finalize the design of the cover to fit the number of actual book pages (front, back, and spine) with ISBN and Barcode. The spine usually trips people up. Only a front cover is required for eBooks and must be in jpg format.

8. Format correctly for Kindle, Nook, iBook (mobi, epub, kpf, pdf) there are different software or file formats so be sure you have the right one for the right platform.

9. If self-publishing and printing locally with an offset printer determine the finished size, weight of paper, type of paper, the color of paper, cover bleed or no-bleed, number of pages, number of photos, inside ink – color or black and white, quantity, and binding. 

10. Back out the required delivery time from any special event, speaking engagement, book signing, or other activity (and add an extra 2 weeks minimum if you are using online platforms as all approvals and printing is taking much longer than pre-Covid19 days) to be sure you have enough time to print and deliver your books so you can sell them at the appointed time or event.  The days of order and receiving in a week or 10 days is harder and harder to find.  You might be able to work with a local printer but any online printer is going to need more time unless you want to PAY EXTRA for expedited shipping and even then you sometimes cannot guarantee delivery.

So all of these 10 things as well as the previous checklist are to help you make a plan. I will expand on how to create your own Planning Blueprint next week.  

Book publishing is so much easier and less stressful if you take a couple of hours or even a day to plan your writing, publishing, and marketing strategies.  Then you can move to the smaller step-by-step actions that will keep you moving forward day to day and week to week until you achieve success.

And remember these are all working documents, be sure to build in time for family or holidays or other extra days in case of problems, so if things need to change you can just change them and print out another copy or review on your computer, laptop or phone.  As new opportunities come up add them to your blueprint or publishing plan and keep it handy.  

Periodically, reward yourself as you accomplish certain tasks.  This will help you keep going through the frustrating issues that are sure to arise at various times in the process of this journey I call our Author Adventure.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to  I look forward to continuing this awesome experience with you.