A Rapid Publishing Checklist for Authors in a Hurry to Release a Book

About this article

  • Six things an author can do to speed up the publishing process
  • A 20-item check list for faster book production
  • Includes cross-reference links to additional help
Rapid Book Release_AuthorImprints

A Rapid Publishing Checklist for Authors in a Hurry to Release a Book

Rushing a book to market is not something we often recommend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Many AuthorImprints clients are eager for one reason or another to launch their book on Amazon as quickly as possible.

Maybe they need a book for an event, or to meet a season or current event-driven timetable. Then there is the book-as-a-business card reason—it’s less about sales and more about promoting yourself, so sooner is better.

If you find yourself in one of those camps, here are six things you can do or be aware of to help speed things up.

Following these is a more detailed checklist of 20 things to plan for. Make some notes about each, then contact us about your project.

1. Decisiveness

The surer you are of what you need, want, and can afford, the faster things will go. Publishing requires lots of little decisions—some you need to make, some made in consultation. Allow more time if you are a consensus builder, or indecisive.

2. Legal

Books that reference trademarks, use extensive excerpts, quote music lyrics, include images, or make certain claims or promises should be reviewed by an attorney with experience in copyright law. We had a project get tied up for 6 months last year due to legal review. Entire sections of the book had to be re-written. (Someone with a successful book, or deep pockets, probably has the most to be concerned about.)

3. Editing

How confident are you about the text? Changes during the book layout process can be costly both in terms of time and money. And this isn’t only about proofing. Show the book to trusted readers, ideally those that have strong opinions about your topic, and are not your friends. After making any adjustments, hire a copyeditor. Then a proofer. The book design and layout process will fly after this.

4. Cover

In our publishing timeline chart, you notice that we put the cover very early in the process. This gives you time to get different opinions and ideally show it to prospective readers. It also takes time to do it right. Don’t rush.

5. Metadata

The title might be set, but what about testing the subtitle for keyword strength. Book descriptions and pricing should also not be left to the last minute, and treated as an afterthought. If you want a Library of Congress Control Number, that’s going to take at least a week plus the time to create the data block*. It’s a step that cannot be completed after the book is released.

6. Shipping

When we tell someone in a hurry that we can move quick—”your book in less than a month”—we get immediate push back about the timing. It gets calmer once the caller understands that it takes time for CreateSpace or IngramSpark to print and mail the book, often half or more of that one-month period.

A 20-item check list for faster book production

Not to be confused with pre-release marketing, here is a list of things you need to have answers to before you can expect to sell your book on Amazon. This list assumes you are releasing a paperback and eBook under your own publishing imprint.

The hyperlinks take you to useful articles about the topic.

  1. Decide on an imprint name. Necessary for buying ISBNs.
  2. Buy an ISBN? Use the free CreateSpace ISBN?*
  3. Do you want an LCCN?*
  4. Size of book (dimensions).
  5. Book cover-front design.
  6. Book cover-back design, and content (bio, picture, description, blurbs).
  7. Book cover-spine design. Show the publisher name?
  8. Title
  9. Subtitle
  10. Series name
  11. Book description: short (<350 characters) and longer for Amazon.
  12. Book categories
  13. Book keywords
  14. Price
  15. Copyright page wording
  16. Do you need a legal review?
  17. Editing
  18. Copyediting
  19. Proofing
  20. Where are you going to sell it? Distribution is the first place we start when helping authors plan their books.

*check out Register Your Book for complete details about ISBNs, barcodes, copyright and Library of Congress Control Numbers.

What is the right timeline for your book?

Contact us to talk about what you can expect for your book. We can review your circumstances, and guide you down the path that makes the most sense for your goals, and budget.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *