Behind the Scenes… What Happens to an Accepted Manuscript?

17 October 2017

Once a manuscript has undergone external peer review, been suitably revised by the author and is approved for publication by the series editors (where relevant), it is accepted for publication. We then ask the author to complete an author questionnaire and checklist and start to get the manuscript moving towards production. But what are we doing exactly? In this post, Laura outlines the small but vital stages between editorial and production.

Commissioning Editors with books from their respective series

The first thing a Commissioning Editor does is book a slot on our production schedule. Each month we publish a certain number of books, typically between 4 and 6, so there are a limited number of places available. The Commissioning Editor will most likely have already provisionally pencilled in the manuscript well in advance of it being accepted, using their knowledge about the extent of the revisions required and how busy the author and series editors’ schedules are. But it is only now that a publication date is set and finalised. At this point it is therefore extremely helpful to us if authors keep to deadlines they have promised!

Once the Commissioning Editor has received all the final files and supporting documents, they will check through the manuscript one last time. They ensure that the author has submitted all the documents (table of contents, each chapter, references, appendices etc) and confirm that permission has been cleared for all material from external sources. They will then update the book’s proposal P&L with the latest word count, as we use this to estimate the pagination and price.

The book is then ready for the Commissioning Editor to schedule for discussion at the next in-house editorial meeting, usually held weekly. For those of us not involved in the book until this stage, this might be the first we’ve heard of it since the proposal was accepted, often some years previously! At the meeting we discuss and approve the title; make a final decision about the format (whether it will be published in paperback and hardback simultaneously) and approximate the print run.

With all of the above finalised, the Commissioning Editor is now ready to hand the book over for production and marketing. In order to make the handover process a smooth one and to help impart as much of their knowledge about the work to the rest of us as possible, they complete a handover sheet. The handover sheet splits naturally into three sections: key details about the work, then a production section, followed by marketing information.

The key details section is where we store absolute final information about the book, mainly what we decided on at the editorial meeting. It is where we look if we cannot remember whether we did decide to remove a comma from a title or exactly which subtitle we eventually chose! It is therefore like gold dust as it is vital that we are consistent, once we have made a decision: as soon as data starts to leave our database, it is sometime hard to find where it has gone and overwrite it.

Sarah, our Production Manager, hard at work

Next comes the production section where the Commissioning Editor will tell Sarah, our Production Manager, and Flo, who does the covers, information about the book. Sections include whether there is a preference for British or another variety of English; if the author already has a particular idea for the cover and if we have agreed anything special with the author, perhaps with regard to the layout or format. We also tell Sarah about what she might expect when working with the author. This includes things such as if one is taking the lead (in the case of multiple authors) or whether we know the author is about to go on leave. This is important as production runs to deadlines which are much firmer than those in editorial often are.

Finally comes the marketing parts of the handover. The Commissioning Editor writes the blurbs, suggests subject categories and says who to approach for cover endorsements. They will also advise the marketing department on the book’s highlights; note any geographical contexts featured in the book (which might be helpful for our local sales reps); list which of our other books it links with and state any other key selling points of the work. They will also let us know any bright ideas they have for any special, out-of-the-ordinary marketing!

We find that handing a manuscript over in this way works really well. Ultimately, the Commissioning Editor is the person in the office who knows most about the book and the more of their knowledge they can share with the rest of us, the more likely we are to have a smooth, enjoyable and successful publication.

Laura


Behind the Scenes… Marketing Your Book

8 September 2017

Every month Laura and I sit down together to have a marketing meeting where we discuss books that are currently in production, are about to be published or have just been published. This is a chance for us to outline a bespoke marketing plan for each book and check up on its progress at key points throughout the publication process.

Shortly after a book goes into production, we have an initial meeting about it, in which we take a look at the documents filled out by the author and the commissioning editor (this is when the Author Questionnaire comes into its own!) and devise a personalised marketing plan for it. The commissioning editor will have pointed out the book’s unique features and flagged up anything else that might help us to market the book (does its publication coincide with a relevant day, e.g. World Heritage Day or is there a particular news story that ties in with the book’s content?)

The AQ is another source of valuable information to us at this point, as it contains details of relevant conferences, journals, blogs, newspapers, magazines and organisations that we can contact to spread news of the book’s publication. If you have any specific contacts, like a journalist for example, make sure you include this on your AQ, as it can be a challenge to successfully make contact with newspapers or magazines without one. In the past, the books which have had the most exposure have been the ones whose authors have given us plenty of ideas for publicising the book and have put us in touch with relevant people who will help to spread the word. When it comes to the media, local contacts should not be underestimated. It’s often local papers and magazines that will be most receptive to being contacted and – particularly if your book is of local interest – more likely to want to feature a piece about it. If you’re able to establish contact prior to the publication of your book, it will be easier for us to go back and notify them once the book comes out.

Our two Twitter pages on which we post tweets about books

At the end of the initial meeting, we outline a plan for the book and assign tasks to each of us. I deal with all the social media promotion (including arranging blog posts, publicising the book on Twitter and Facebook, posting any accompanying videos on our YouTube channel etc.), as well as contacting any media and organisations we think might be interested. This could be anything from print newspapers and magazines to blogs and online publications, as well as specific organisations with mailing lists who may be able to share publication news with their members. Meanwhile Laura takes care of areas such as conferences, book prizes and production of marketing materials like flyers.

Shortly before publication, we meet to discuss our progress. This interim meeting is more of a check-up meeting than an action one as we make sure that we have everything prepared ready to launch on publication. The timing of marketing can be key so it is important that we are all set in time for the book’s release. We might do things such as make sure that we have asked the author to write a piece for our blog, written a press release ready to send out on publication or made a list of suitable journals to offer the book to for review.

Finally, once a book is published we meet to discuss what we have done, what was successful and what was less so. We record all our efforts and eventually present an individual marketing report for each book to the rest of the team. This is done six months after publication when we also look at the early sales of the title. We are always interested to see if there is any correlation between ours and the author’s marketing efforts and the early reception a book gets.

If you have any ideas for marketing your book that aren’t here, make sure you get in touch as we’ll always do our best to make them happen!

Flo


Goodbye (for now) to Elinor!

20 January 2017

Today is a sad but exciting day in the Channel View office as we say goodbye (for now) and good luck to Elinor, who is going on maternity leave. Elinor has been working at Channel View for nearly 12 years and has, amongst many other duties, been responsible for managing this blog since its inception in 2011. In this post, we find out about the work she’s done at Channel View over the past 12 years and what she’s going to miss most about working here.

How has your job changed over time, from when you first started to now?

Elinor's early days at Channel View

Elinor’s early days at Channel View

I started in a 6 month maternity cover position in 2005 and my first role was PA to the sales and marketing department. My main jobs were answering the phone, sending out books and general admin. Over the years I have taken on more responsibilities and I became marketing manager and part of the management team in 2008. Since then Laura and Flo have joined the marketing team and between them will be handling all the marketing while I’m on maternity leave.

What’s your favourite part of your job now?

It’s always lovely to get positive feedback from an author when their book is published and they say how pleased they are with their book and how much they have enjoyed working with us. I also enjoy having personal contact with all of our authors throughout the process and working with them to market their book.

What are you happiest to be handing over?

I find the twice yearly catalogues quite time-consuming, especially if it’s a busy time of year, so I won’t miss working on those. I will also be happy not to be dealing with the daily deluge of emails which come flooding in!

Any top tips for a new marketeer?

It’s always great to encourage authors to get really involved with the marketing of their book. Some of our most successful titles are ones where the authors have had great ideas and utilised their own networks and contacts to market the book as well as using social media to get the word out to their colleagues. However, I’m sure that the marketing will be in capable hands with Laura and Flo while I’m away and that they don’t need any tips!

What will you miss most about the office?

I will miss our Friday lunches and all the gossip from the office! But hopefully I will manage to pop in and catch up with everyone while I’m on maternity leave. Some of us have worked together for over 11 years so it will be very odd not to see everyone every day. I will miss the conversations about The Archers, orienteering, Manchester United, the royal family, cake, netball, Disney films and Dawlish which are all important topics in the Channel View office!

We'll miss you!

We’ll miss you! Good luck and make sure you pop in to visit us soon!

While Elinor is on maternity leave, Laura and Flo will be covering her marketing responsibilities and Sarah will be acting commissioning editor for the Aspects of TourismAspects of Tourism Texts and Tourism Essentials series.


The Life of a Book – Post-production!

27 May 2016
Laura showing off some newly arrived books

Laura showing off some newly arrived books

Arguably the most exciting days in our office are the days when new books arrive. We love receiving such packages from the printer and having the final product in our hands, and we’re sure that our authors feel a sense of joy and achievement on receiving their copies. To some, this is seen as the end of a journey – the editorial and production work has been successfully completed and the job of publishing the work is done. But as a publisher, we’d be pretty useless if we saw this as the time to stop working with a book. In fact, for us in the marketing department, this is our moment to shine!

Elinor and I will have been busy in the run-up to publication setting things up ready for the book’s publication. This means that we will already have let all our distributors, wholesalers and sales reps know that the book is on its way; we will have ensured that the book has a complete listing on our website; and we will have provided the author with marketing materials, such as information sheets and discount flyers for them to give to any interested potential readers.

The ground has then been properly laid for us to start the immediate marketing of a book on publication. We announce that the work has been published to as many people as possible. We inform all industry members, such as wholesalers and sales reps, that the work is now available for their customers and try and reach as many customers as possible directly. This might be done by posting on listservs, such as Linguist List (Multilingual Matters titles) and Trinet (Channel View Publications titles), sending a newsletter to our email subscribers, sharing the news with our Facebook and Twitter followers and informing journal book reviews editors and authors of related blogs, for example.

All our new books are available simultaneously as print and ebooks, so there is also work to be done to get news of the ebook out. Sarah, our production manager, ensures that the book is available to purchase on a variety of platforms, and we ensure that it is also available on our own website. At this stage we also start to send out inspection/desk copies to those who have requested one from our website and we give the option of an ebook rather than a print copy. This means that course leaders get the text immediately and can start considering it for adoption on a course much quicker than the traditional way.

Anna and Tommi promoting our books at AAAL earlier this year

Anna and Tommi promoting our books at the AAAL conference earlier this year

Once the initial marketing has been completed and the buzz may have quietened down, we continue to publicise the work through other avenues. Common ways of doing so are through our catalogue mailings, and additional flyers and materials we produce for our sales reps, series editors and authors to distribute. We also attend many conferences throughout the year and always have lots of our recent and relevant titles with us on display. On occasions when we can’t attend an event in person we frequently send display copies and discount order forms to continue to make potential readers aware of our books.

When a book reaches 6 months old we review its progress at an editorial meeting. We look at the sales figures and discuss how its early sales are looking. This is a useful stage to review a title as it is still young enough to be of interest to booksellers and so we give a title a marketing boost if we feel that we may have missed an opportunity. This is the time when we start to see the very first reviews of a book appear in journals and these continue to appear over the course of the next few years.

On a book’s first birthday we again review its progress and might even start to think about reprinting copies of the work if it has been particularly successful. We monitor our stock levels each month so we try and ensure that we are on top of demand and that a book is always available, but occasionally we’ll receive an unexpected order, perhaps if it is suddenly adopted for a course and we receive a bulk order from a university bookshop preparing for the start of a semester.

Chinese translations of several books from our Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education series

Chinese translations of several books from our Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education series

We continue to monitor sales annually and promote the book when appropriate for as long as there is demand for it – often for many years after publication. Occasionally a book will receive additional attention, such as from a foreign publisher wishing to buy the rights to translate it into a foreign language. This is a really exciting time and such news is always greeted enthusiastically both in our office and by an author who is usually chuffed to hear that their work is to be translated and published for a new audience. We have recently sold our books for publication into languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, Arabic, Korean, Macedonian and Greek. Of course at this point, the book gets a second lease of life and it’s down to the foreign publisher to repeat the life cycle of a book as outlined in this post!

Laura


A-Z of Publishing: W is for…

19 October 2015

W is for WebsiteW is for Website. Our website is probably the first port of call for anyone wanting to get in touch with us. On our website you can find information about all our published and forthcoming books, as well as information on submitting book proposals, guidelines on manuscript preparation for authors, our inspection/desk copy and permissions request forms, contact details for all of us (and a photo so you can put a face to a name!) and much more useful information.

This post is part of our ‘A-Z of Publishing’ series which we will be posting every Monday throughout the rest of 2015. You can search the blog for the rest of the series or subscribe to the blog to receive an email as soon as the next post is published by using the links on the right of the page.


A-Z of Publishing: T is for…

28 September 2015

T is for TwitterT is for Twitter. We are active on social media and have Twitter and Facebook accounts for both imprints. If you use social media, please like or follow us to keep up-to-date with our latest news. The links to our listings are: MM Facebook page, CVP Facebook page, MM Twitter page and CVP Twitter page.

This post is part of our ‘A-Z of Publishing’ series which we will be posting every Monday throughout the rest of 2015. You can search the blog for the rest of the series or subscribe to the blog to receive an email as soon as the next post is published by using the links on the right of the page.


Our day out in Oxford

15 January 2013

Blackwell'sLast week, Tommi, Ellie and I travelled up to Blackwell’s headquarters in Oxford.  We started the day with a visit to the library services offices and a tour of their warehouse and then we spent the afternoon visiting Blackwell’s flagship shop in Oxford city centre.

Those of you who regularly read our blog may have read my post about Tommi and my trip to YBP last spring (you can read it here if you missed it!).  Like YBP (who supply our North American customers), one of Blackwell’s main jobs is to supply university libraries around the world with the books they want as seamlessly as possible.  First we met with Anne Davies and Sarah Saunders. Anne is our main contact at Blackwell’s and she makes sure that everything is running smoothly between us and them (which thankfully it is!), while Sarah is the buyer for all our titles. Sarah receives title information from us and decides which and how many of our books she thinks libraries will order from Blackwell’s.

Once the books have been ordered and published, they then arrive in their warehouse where Blackwell’s team of 4 profilers are busy at work.  They use exactly the same system as YBP (which I described in the post mentioned earlier) and between the 4 of them they catalogue 20,000 titles a year – that works out at approximately 20 minutes per book.  This demonstrates just how important it is that the blurbs, the contents page and introduction etc set out clearly what the book is about and who might be interested in it, as not long is spent cataloguing each book.  The categorisation of the book by the profilers then determines which libraries automatically purchase the book, and which receive a slip informing them that they might be interested in buying it.

Tommi and Ellie outside Blackwell's bookshop

Tommi and Ellie outside Blackwell’s bookshop

After the introduction to the work of the profilers we then moved into the main warehouse, from which books are shipped all around the world.  One of Blackwell’s main aims is to ensure that the processing of orders is done as quickly as possible and they have several processes which help them to achieve this.  Firstly, the system is fully automated and so books are scanned and checked at many steps along the way.  This minimises errors and means that they know exactly where every book is at any given time.  Last year they processed over 1 million books, and only 13 went missing, which is quite an achievement!  Secondly, they have a good relationship with the bookshop in Oxford, and a van whizzes between the shop and warehouse 4 times a day.  As the bookshop is so well-stocked the likelihood is that either the warehouse or bookshop will have a copy of the books that a library wants, so they can get hold of the book quicker than the warehouse alone would manage.

One of the really interesting areas of the warehouse was the section in which books are packed and processed according to each individual library’s specification.  So, for example, a library might ask for the books to be covered, stamped with their logo, stickered on the spine, or any number of usual or unusual requests be carried out.  The team of workers have a folder in which each university library has given its specifications and they must ensure that all books are adapted to the precise requirements demanded by the university, as once the books are stamped they are, of course, only suitable for that one library.

Bilingualism and Language Education books - how many Multilingual Matters books can you spot?

Bilingualism and Language Teaching books – how many Multilingual Matters books can you spot?

Once we’d finished our tour and enjoyed lunch at Blackwell’s canteen we headed into Oxford city centre to the bookshop.  Blackwell’s boasts one of the largest collections of books available for purchase in the UK and so the bookshop is quite impressive, and is one of a very few shops where you can walk in and find many of our titles on the shelves.  Here’s a photo of the bilingualism and language teaching section, I wonder how many of our books you can spot (there are quite a few!).

We met with the buyers of the linguistics and tourism departments and discussed how they choose which of our titles to stock and how best to send them information about our forthcoming titles.  It was lovely to see the wide array of titles on their shelves and it was really quite difficult to tear ourselves away!

As you’ll gather from the length of this post, we really enjoyed our day and found many aspects of the way in which Blackwell’s work fascinating.

Laura


A Year at Channel View Publications

23 August 2011

Today marks my first anniversary of joining the Channel View team. It’s not a big milestone yet (Anna and Sarah are inching their way towards an impressive decade with the company), but I thought it might be interesting to share with you a bit of what I’ve done this past year.

Having already spent 2 months on work experience here the summer before, there were no real surprises when I returned to the office, and it was good to hear about what everyone and the company had been up to in the past year. Part of what I do involves dealing with inspection copy requests, book orders, stock checks and queries in general, all of which I’d done before, so it was straight back into the swing of things for me. It was, however, a real test for me to dredge information on how to do things back up from the bottom of my brain: when I left after my work experience I never thought I’d see another of our books again, let alone be working with them!

Much of my time is spent doing marketing tasks for Elinor, such as informing wholesalers of our new titles; producing fliers and adverts and sending materials to conferences, and helping Sarah a bit with production, my favourite job being working with our designers to produce book covers. I also put books into production, so January was an exciting month as the first books that I’d worked on were published.

One of the things my friends are most envious about when I tell them about my job is certainly the travel to conferences. I feel very lucky to have already been to memorable conferences in Leeds (IALIC), New Orleans (TESOL) and Chicago (AAAL) and to have EUROSLA in Stockholm and the Frankfurt Book Fair coming up. As the vast majority of our work is done over email I love having these opportunities to meet our authors and customers and put a face to a name, as well as visiting new places.

Plant flourishing on my desk

Apart from my usual jobs, there’s often something out of the ordinary to do, be it meeting a wholesaler’s incredible warehouse robot; making our twitter-o-meter wall chart to track our ever increasing follower numbers or just tending to the office plants, one job I’m perhaps not so good at! My first year at Channel View has certainly been far from dull!

Laura


A snapshot of life in the Channel View marketing department

19 August 2011

The marketing manager hard at work

As marketing manager it is my job to promote our titles to booksellers, libraries and individual academics with a helping hand from Laura, our publishing assistant. We work hard to ensure major booksellers and wholesalers worldwide are kept up-to-date with our latest publications.

Each book receives individual attention from our marketing department and is strongly promoted at relevant conferences. We view promotion of our books as a partnership between the author and ourselves and we regularly receive compliments from appreciative authors on our friendly and accessible approach. We are proactive in placing review copies with relevant journals and coordinating targeted direct mail campaigns to academics, faculty, professionals, bookshops and librarians.

The marketing process begins when a book is accepted for production around 6 months before publication. At this point we create an advanced information sheet (AI) for the book. This is then mailed out to booksellers as well as our reps and agents. We also encourage authors to use their own personal contacts and social networks for promoting their books as this is a really effective way of reaching the market.

Now that social media has become an integral part of our lives (well for some of us, anyway!) the way we market our books has changed. Whereas a decade or so ago we sent out all our bibliographic information by mail, we now tweet our latest book news.

However, although email and online marketing is increasingly important we still produce and send out hard copy catalogues as we still find this a valuable marketing tool. These are sent out to major customers and key academics and are also displayed at conferences and bookfairs.

We can be found at most major conferences in the field. Our travel schedule is a vital part of our marketing strategy, ensuring that our publications reach their target audience. Our active presence at most key events also allows us to keep informed of the latest developments in the field and to target our commissioning, product development and marketing towards the topics and issues that matter most. Conferences are one of the few places that our customers can browse a wide range of our books.

Once a book is published we send out copies to the authors as well as key individuals who are likely to influence sales of the book.  We publicise the book on relevant email lists or listservs as well as on Twitter, our own email newsletters and on our blog.

We enjoy working with our authors to market their books but always welcome any ideas and suggestions so if you’d like to comment on anything we do just get in touch.

Elinor Robertson
Elinor@channelviewpublications.com


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