Proposal to Publication – Part 4 of 5


→ Once the major editing is completed, your manuscript normally goes to copyedit. A copyeditor will take a detailed look at your manuscript, correcting grammar, typos, and punctuation. She/he will also flag anything that seems unclear; checking footnotes for accuracy and format; making sure all necessary elements are in place; and making sure all required permissions have been received.

→ The copyeditor sends you a hardcopy of your manuscript, so that you can see the copyediting that’s been done, as well as answer any final queries. You’ll have about two weeks to read it and send it back to the copyeditor with your response and any final changes.

→ The copyeditor inputs all final changes.

→ Some publishing houses send the manuscript to a proofreader at this stage.

→ Once the copyedit is complete, the manuscript is sent to typeset. A typesetter lays out your entire book exactly how it is going to look on the page once published. Often the typesetter is in frequent consultation with the editor and in-house designers to create an appropriate layout.

→ Once the typeset is complete, the galley is sent simultaneously to the author and proofreader. This is your last opportunity to spot any typos or glaring content errors.

→ Based on notes from you and the proofreader, the final layout is created and the book is about ready to be sent to the printer.

→ It still might be a few months until your pub date, and this baby is finished. Time to be thinking about marketing this book, and writing your next book.

You’re almost there…

I’m taking a blogging break this week, so I’m featuring a series I originally posted in 2008. Hope you find it helpful!

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Beth on July 23, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    >I can’t wait until I reach the galley stage! How exciting. All this proofing and rereading is very necessary, I know, but I imagine authors are sick of their novels before they’re printed. At the very least, they must have them memorized.

  2. Novice Writer Anonymous on July 23, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    >It’s so interesting and encouraging to see just where and when the author’s input is valued. This will provide a good pressure gauge for any author, debut or otherwise. Thanks for re-running this series. I missed it the first time around.Novice Writer Anonymous

  3. Lynnda - Passionate for the Glory of God on July 23, 2009 at 8:07 AM

    >Good morning, Rachelle!After seeing this post I can better understand the lengthy time span between contract signing and actual publication of the book. It appears to me that God must have the lesson on patience prepared especially for writers!As always, thank you for bringing light on to a subject of mystery.Be blessed!Lynnda

  4. Eric on July 23, 2009 at 8:06 AM

    >I was wondering why this series was going to include 5 sections. Now I understand. There is so much going on after you send your MS in, layers and layers of checking and re-checking. Very interesting.