The fascinating world of the production manager

As production manager it’s my job to ensure that the production process goes smoothly for authors and that the book comes out looking lovely, error-free and on schedule! We aim to publish four books per month and outsourcing is key to enabling this to happen.

When a final manuscript is handed over by the commissioning editor I’ll go through it and depending on content I’ll decide on size and which supplier is best to send it to. The combined copyediting/typesetting suppliers we use have been working with us for a number of years and they’re very familiar with our style and way of working. They liaise with authors initially so it’s important to us that working with them is a positive experience for our authors.

Once the book is typeset, proofs are sent out to authors and the cover designing process can begin. It’s fun to collaborate with authors in finding images and making our books look as attractive as possible!

When I’ve received proof corrections from the author I go through the proofs carefully before sending it back to the typesetter. We usually go through a few more rounds of corrections to ensure the book is in the best shape possible before it’s finalised. Printing normally takes at least 3 weeks for hardback and paperback as we publish both formats at the same time. Overall, we like to have 6 months from submission of final manuscript to publication but realistically this is more like 4 months, depending on how full our publishing schedule is for the year.

Proof-checking in action!

As well as sending the final pdf to the printers we send them out to our ebook vendors.  As Tommi said in his sales post, we’ve been selling pdf ebooks to library platforms for the past 12 years. Going forward, new titles will also be available on the Kindle Store, the iBookstore and our website. Keeping up with the different formats and latest technologies is very important and we’re committed to making our titles available as ebooks as soon as possible after they’re finalised. The opportunities that ebooks present are very exciting and we’ll keep up-to-date with the latest developments and possibilities for our books and authors.

We look forward to working with our current authors and all our new authors to continue to produce print and ebooks of the highest quality and making it as an enjoyable process as possible!

Sarah Williams

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