Writing and editing are related skills, and the more writers and editors know about each other’s work, the better they can work together. Because of this, I will sometimes recommend books for writers to copyeditors (e.g., the April–May 2011 issue of Copyediting).
A newer book in this category is Katherine Pickett’s Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro. Pickett is the owner of POP Editorial Services and has not only coached her own clients through the process but also has spoken to groups on it, and her book has grown out of that work.
Perfect Bound is aimed primarily at writers who are navigating book publishing, both traditional and DIY. Chapter 1 covers the different book-publishing routes and includes a set of questions to help readers choose the best route for them.
The balance of the book outlines the publishing process for traditional and self-publishing (the other options either are a variation of those categories or aren’t applicable to the process). Each chapter is a step in the process, outlining:
- What happens during that step
- What type of professionals the writer will work with
- How to find and hire pros (when applicable)
- What’s expected of them
- What’s expected of the writer
- Tips for working better with the pros
- Short interviews with some pros
If you’re unfamiliar with either publishing process, this book can give you a nice overview, along with some helpful resources, such as which print-on-demand publishers to trust and which to stay away from. It also can help you understand what happens after copyediting, which will allow you to prepare files better for the next person in the process.
Freelance editors can use this book to coach their authors in the process or decide which additional services they might provide. You may even suggest to prosepctive clients that they read the book before they start working with you so they’re better prepared.
Perfect Bound isn’t a perfect fit for copyeditors, but it contains enough useful information that if you work in book editing, it’s worth having on your shelf.