We know how exciting it is to be publishing a book whether it is your first book or not. At Pen It Publications we feel it is important to be clear on what we are doing to help you achieve that goal. It’s a long process but more importantly it is a known process. We wanted to officially publish it so every author is aware of how it works and who is responsible at each step of the process. We do believe in working with our authors but we also believe in efficiency and leveraging the considerable experience and skills of our editors, illustrators, cover designers, and formatters. In general, you chose to be traditionally published to leverage that so it’s important for authors to remember that as they go through our process. In the end the publisher is now driving because we want you and your book to be successful.
Steps for Publication With Pen It Publishing
Pre-Step: If you have four or more manuscripts that are yet to be published with Pen It, or they are already contracted with Pen It, please do not submit at this time. Please do not send more than 4 books at one time (new and already published authors).
Before submitting your manuscript, please be sure it is ready for professional review, meaning it has gone through at least one round of editing. While editing, please look at story, grammar, repetition, point of view, character development, plot and plot holes, dialogue, consistency in all areas, descriptions, setting, theme, flow and showing. We also ask that you refer to our word count specifications in each genre (see below). If you are outside these parameters, please provide us with insight as to why.
Step 1: Reviewing (1-3 Months)
The author is responsible for having a book that has already been edited and has gone through multiple drafts. Pen It will review the full synopsis and the first three chapters including word count, a summary including genre, sub-genre and/ trope, the blurb, the audience and make a decision whether or not Pen It requests a full manuscript.
If Pen It enjoys reading the chapters and the synopsis then we’ll request the full manuscript for review.
Step 2: Contracting (1-3 Months)
If we enjoy and feel the novel is a good fit for Pen It, we will offer a contract via DocuSign. After both parties have signed, the author is then required deliver the manuscript along with the original summary. If it’s not a good fit for Pen It, we will reply with a rejection letter.
*Sign up to ebookfairs to receive information on the manuscript steps also engage with readers and other authors. This is a platform that can be used for ARCs and marketing, and also to see where your book is in the process.
Step 3: Editing (3-6 Months)
Authors – Work directly with the editors and make timely changes to their books under the direction of the editor. The editors will do any content and story-level edits, line and proofreading. Please note that no more changes to the content will be made after this point without resetting the schedule and starting over. There are no additional proofreading opportunities by the author.
Note: All front and back matter must be provided and edited during this step as a part of the manuscript.
The editors have the authority to determine when the content of the book is done.
Step 4: Illustrating (1-3 Months OPTIONAL)
The publisher may offer to illustrate a book if it is deemed necessary solely at the discretion of the publisher and generally only for children’s picture books. The author then provides Pen It with an illustration design brief. This is the author’s chance to provide input. The illustrator and creative director will then work with the author to provide a sample as needed, story board as needed, and request feedback. The author is responsible for getting timely responses back to the illustrator.
The illustrator and creative director have the ultimate decision on when the illustrating is done.
The author can request a maximum of one round of illustrating so they are encouraged to be specific with their feedback.
After the publisher accepts the illustrations, no more changes will be made.
Step 5: Share with Beta Readers (3 Months)
Beta Readers are people who read the manuscript before it is sent to the Cover Designer to work on the cover. They will come back with suggestions and edits which the author and editor will take into consideration.
After the manuscript comes back from the beta readers this is the final chance for any minor proofreading edits.
No more changes can be made to the book content without resetting the schedule.
The content is considered ready to be released, including acknowledgements, if any books by author, what’s next, sneak peek, connecting with the author and about the author and dedication + copyright page.
Step 6: Cover Design
The author provides Pen It with a cover design brief. This is the author’s chance to provide input. The designer will then work with the author to design the front and back covers.
The publisher has the ultimate decision on when the cover is done.
The author can request a maximum of two rounds of cover design so they are encouraged to be specific with their feedback.
After the publisher accepts the cover, no more changes will be made.
Step 7: Formatting
The publisher decides what the best formatting for the book should be. This includes the size of the book and the formats in which the book will be released. The author is allowed to review the formatted book and make suggestions that the publisher may incorporate.
The formatting brief is the author’s chance to provide feedback. Any changes the author requests may be considered by the formatter. Once formatting is done any requested changes will reset the schedule.
Step 8: ARC READERS
We encourage our authors to use ebookfairs to request ARC readers. More specifically, the author should request on social media, their email list, and through word of mouth to get readers into eBookFairs to review their books. We would suggest that authors get at lest 10 ARC readers and reviews. The publisher may or may not move forward if the author hasn’t accumulated enough ARC’s. The reason for this is making sure you have readers that you can reach out to when the book publishes is an important part of the early success of a book. If no effort is made to use the ARC program the publisher may reset the schedule until this step is complete.
This could result in some formatting touch-up work being required and is something that the author and formatter will need to work through with final approval on any changes coming from the formatter and publisher.
Step 9: Publishing
The publisher sets the release schedule and will notify the author with advance notice when their book will be released. The publisher is in control of where the book gets released and all aspects of the release. The publisher alone will decide if any changes will be made at this point. Any requested changes may reset the schedule and drop the book to the bottom of the queue.
The author is provided with the number of books that their contract specifies. The author may order books at their discount rate any time after the release, but they are strongly encouraged to wait until the free copies arrive. Any changes requested at this time will be an additional charge to the author and may or may not be made at the discretion of the publisher. This is not the appropriate time to be requesting any changes.
Step 10: Marketing
The author assists the publisher with marketing their book before it’s released. The author is responsible for running an ARC (which should already be done) and planning their marketing which will supplement the marketing that the publisher is doing.
The success of any book depends on BOTH the author and the publisher having a marketing plan.
Even after book is released, marketing will continue via publisher and author and other platforms. The author and publisher both are required to market their books. We strongly encourage the use of eBookFairs.com book fairs, author coordinated book signings, and other services that publisher may recommend from time to time.
Finally, authors are expected to use eBookFairs.com as one part of marketing their books. The author should either join or create at least one fair every week to two weeks for the first three months after the book release and then one a month or so ongoing (the need to market your book never goes away). This is a great platform that facilitates us working together to promote our books.
THE BOOKS MOVE FROM STEP TO STEP AND DO NOT MOVE BACKWARDS. THIS MEANS THE AUTHOR AND PEN IT STAFF SHOULD NOT MOVE A BOOK FORWARD A STEP UNTIL THEY ARE SATISFIED THAT THE PRIOR STEP IS COMPLETE.
THE STATUS OF YOUR BOOK AND THE RELEASE CALENDAR WILL BE AVAILABLE ON EBOOKFAIRS.COM, OUR MARKETING PLATFORM. AUTHORS SHOULD UTILIZE THOSE BEFORE CONTACTING SUPPORT ABOUT THEIR BOOK(s).
THE PUBLISHER MAY ALSO NEED MORE TIME TO FOR VARIOUS REASONS AND BECAUSE OF THAT THE DATES AND THESE SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME AND WITHOUT ANY WARNING.
INQUIRIES THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS SHOULD GO TO SUPPORT@PENITPUBLICATIONS.COM OR BETTER YET TO THE EDITOR, ILLUSTRATOR, COVER DESIGNER, OR FORMATTER WORKING ON YOUR BOOK.
AT NO TIME IS IT OKAY TO USE A PERSONAL PHONE NUMBER OF A PEN IT PUBLICATIONS STAFF MEMBER WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. ANY ATTEMPT TO DO SO MAY RESET THE SCHEDULE FOR YOUR BOOK(S).
WORD COUNTS BY CATEGORY
|General Fiction Novel||70,000-100,000|
|Epic Novel||Over 100,000|
|Middle Grade Novel||20,000-55,000|
|Young Adult Novel||50,000-80,000|
|Poems||40-100 pages or 30-100 poems|