Producing the best possible publication is a partnership, and our team at Purdue University Press is pleased to be working with you. As described in the Book Production Timeline and Checklist, below, your manuscript will be going through a number of processes prior to its publication. The time needed to complete your book will depend upon meeting deadlines and scheduling around other projects, but the process usually takes about six months to one year from final submission to publication.
Below are some documents that will assist you during the publication process. In general, we aim not to be unduly proscriptive and are happy to consider your particular needs as we copyedit and typeset your book.
Once your book is accepted for publication, be sure to read the Book Production Timeline and Checklist to learn about what you will need to do and when. It is particularly important that all legal matters such as art, photo, or cover permissions are taken care of before your final manuscript is submitted and production begins.
Book Production Timeline and Checklist
1. Author signs contract and completes author questionnaire.
The Press’s administrative assistant will send you a contract, which must be signed and mailed back, and a comprehensive author questionnaire, which can be returned electronically. If you are offered a contract on the basis of a proposal alone, there will be an extra review phase here.
2. Author submits final manuscript and accompanying images and permissions.
By your manuscript due date, please turn in the final, polished version of your book, formatted in the appropriate style, whether MLA (liberal arts and humanities), APA (social sciences), or Chicago. If you use Chicago, we prefer either the Notes-(Full) Bibliography System (used for literature, history, and the arts) or the Author-Date System (used for social sciences) with a full bibliography. Manuscripts with notes and no bibliography are not encouraged. For style information online, see MLA Style, APA Style, or Chicago Style. For general formatting and other guidelines, see Purdue University Press Style Guide.
All images, charts, graphs, and other figures must be turned in at the same time as the manuscript. Visual materials must be print quality, that is, at least 300 dpi for photos and 800 dpi for line drawings and charts, and at the desired scale of reproduction (4" x 6" is a good "document size" to aim for). For more information, see Purdue University Press Figure Guidelines.
Art reproductions, photos, and previously published texts often require permission to be reproduced. All of these permissions must be provided to the Press when the final manuscript is turned in. See the Permissions FAQ produced by the Association of American University Presses for further information.
3. Book is launched.
The book is assigned an International Standard Book Number (ISBN); its format, size, and price is determined; its publication date is assigned; and the front cover and marketing copy is prepared. Note that all bibliographical details should be finalized at this point, as it will be costly to make changes once the book information is disseminated widely to trading partners and others. The administrative assistant will be in touch to discuss any ideas you have for the book cover.
4. Front cover and marketing text approved by author.
5. Production editor schedules manuscript for copyediting and production.
6. Production editor makes preliminary assessment of Word files, images, and permissions.
A few weeks before copyediting begins, your editor will check that all images, graphs, etc., are print quality and will let you know if any are unusable. The editor will also make sure all permissions documentation is complete and look through the manuscript to see if there are any problems that need to be addressed.
7. Production editor sends copyedited Word files to author.
The copyedited Word files will be sent as separate chapters, and the author will use the tracking function to record any further corrections to the manuscript. In the case of a multi-author work, the files will be sent to the volume or series editor, to be distributed to contributors and later returned to the production editor.
8. Author makes corrections to copyedited Word file and returns it to copy editor.
9. Production editor typesets manuscript in Adobe InDesign and sends author proofs in PDF form.
At this point only minimal changes to the proofs can be made.
10. Author approves first proofs and returns them to production editor.
11. Production editor enters final changes to proofs.
Generally, only one proof is sent out for final corrections; however, if the layout is complicated or many changes have been made, a second proof may be sent out for proofreading.
12. Entire cover (front and back) is finalized and sent to author.
The production and marketing manager will contact the author some time during the production process about the front and back cover, including the copy on the back cover.
13. Author approves final cover.
Printing, Marketing, and Sales Process
14. Final book files sent to printer.
15. Book enters warehouse.
16. Book publication date.
17. Author and PUP work on marketing the book.
18. Annual sales and royalty report sent to author.