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The Publishing Process: 9 Steps at Elyssar Press

Stack of six books with green, blue, red, and yellow bindings.
At Elyssar Press, we publish a book in nine steps. The process begins with the writer submitting their work via our online submission portal.

Each publishing press has their own process for publishing a book. At Elyssar Press, we take our time with each stage. We know how much time you put into your stories.

By the time of the book launch, we want everyone to love the book that is being shared with the world.

The Publishing Process at Elyssar Press

Ready to learn more? Here is how we publish a book in nine steps. The process begins when the writer submits their work via our online submission portal. It ends with the celebratory book launch.

Step 1 – Submit Your Work.

When you submit your excerpt to Elyssar Press, you can expect to hear back from us within six months. If you have a longer work of prose, please select three–four chapters. If you have a collection of poetry, please submit 10-15 poems. 

Per standard operating procedure, we ask that in your submission, you include a short blurb about your work as well as your bio. 

Step 2 – We Contact You for More.  

Within six months after you submitted your excerpt, you will hear back from the team at Elyssar Press. We will either ask for your full manuscript or inform you that your work is not right for our press.

As writers and poets, we have had our own work submitted and rejected countless times–perhaps hundreds of times, collectively speaking. We understand that it is a major bummer to receive a rejection letter, no matter how nicely it is worded. Our hope is that you keep writing and submitting your work.

If you received a “more, please!” from us, great! Please know that it takes three months for us to read the entirety of your manuscript. 

Step 3 – Final “Yay or Nay” Shared with You.

After three months reading and re-reading your manuscript, we will communicate our final decision with you. If we decide your work is a perfect fit for Elyssar Press, we will provide you with that announcement and offer a contract for you to review and sign. If we decide your work is not the right fit for our press, we will also let you know. 

Step 4 – You (as Author) Sign the Contract–Or Not!

If they received a yes from the staff at Elyssar Press, then you have a chance to read and review the contract provided. At this stage, you either sign the contract with us or you don’t. We understand that at this stage, there is still a chance you will withdraw the manuscript.

Once the contract is signed, we have the right to go forward with publishing your work. 

Publishing Process and Timeline. Center line with various arrows pointing up and down with the timing/stage of publishing. 24 months out: you submit an excerpt of your manuscript. 18 months out: we contact you for your full manuscript or we decline additional reading. 15 months out: we offer you a contract and provide an editorial assessment. 11-14 months out: manuscript being edited. 6-11 months out: manuscript moves to layout and design. Social media and launch planning begins. 3 months out: marketing for book launch and celebratory book launch!
The publishing process and timeline for Elyssar Press begins 24 months out, when you submit an excerpt of your manuscript. Refer to this infographic for details.

Step 5 – Manuscript Receives Editorial Assessment. 

At Elyssar Press, we work closely with editors who first read your work from a “big picture” perspective to assess what kind of editing is necessary. The editorial assessment usually takes one month.

Your assigned editor will contact you and together, you have the option to sign a proposal and contract with them–this arrangement and agreement is not covered by Elyssar Press, meaning, we do not pay for your editing services. 

You also have the option to work with an editor who is not recommended by Elyssar Press. Make sure you specify with your editor how many rounds of editing they will be offering and what the rates cover.

One perk of working with an editor who our team is familiar with is that they work closely with our team and have positive testimonials accompanying their practice. 

Step 6 – Manuscript Undergoes Editing. 

It can take two–four months to edit your manuscript depending on the arrangement you make. There are several possibilities regarding the types of editing your work may need.

At Elyssar Press, our three main types of editing services fall into:

  • developmental editing 
  • copy editing
  • proofreading 

Developmental editing does not occur with every manuscript. It consists of working one-on-one to review large changes around plot, conflict, character development, themes, and form. Poetry collections can receive developmental editing too, with suggested changes around breaking the collection into parts or changing the order of the poems. 

Copy editing refers to the process of reviewing your work for grammar, usage, and flow. Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process and catches typos, typeface issues, that one spelling mistake everyone missed, etc. 

During this time, you should ask fellow writers, friends, and colleagues to provide reviews of your book. We recommend giving people a deadline of one month to return a short review and/or quote to you. Some authors want to include these reviews on the back or inside cover of their book, which is why we need all reviews prior to beginning step seven. You can also ask reviewers to submit their thoughts to GoodReads, literary magazines, small newspapers, and more.

Step 7 – Edited Manuscript Sent to Layout and Design Team.

Once your manuscript has gone through multiple rounds of editing and review, we can now press print, right? If only it were that easy! At step seven, our layout and design team begins the final arrangement of your manuscript. This stage is the last chance to provide any photos, bios, art, back-cover content, etc., to the Elyssar Press team. 

If you are including reviews on the manuscript itself, such as on the back cover, then you need to provide them to us by this stage. That means months prior to the layout stage (refer to step six), you should ask fellow writers, friends, and colleagues to review your book.

A visual proof will be sent to you and you can discuss any edits with the Elyssar Press team. Final layout edits will be shared with you during these two–three months. 

Step 8 – Social Media Campaigns Begin. Purchasable Manuscript Added to Websites.

We will push your book across our social media channels and help you with questions around marketing your book. Between our monthly e-newsletter, website, blogs, and social media, we want the word to spread about your upcoming manuscript. If you have any connections to coffee shops or bookstores for in-person book launch locations, let us know. Virtual readings are a popular option as well, with various platforms available.

At this stage, we are still four-six months away from the celebratory book launch, which our marketing team plans with you. In the meantime, your book will be available for pre-order purchase on many websites, including our online bookstore. You also receive one complimentary copy.

Step 9 – Book Launch and Cheers!

Author reads at well-attended book launch. Three rows of attendees are seated towards the front, listening to the author.
Author reads at well-attended book launch.
CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Almost two years since the day you clicked “submit” on our submission portal, we arrive at the launch for your book. We want our authors to love the final manuscript as much as we do. That’s one reason why we do not rush this process. It also allows time to make sure the book launch is a special event.

Some manuscripts are ready for this final step much sooner than two years. Each manuscript is different in its needs and some stages are shorter.

This means that your manuscript could be ready to debut with a book launch as early as 18 months after you submitted your work. In general, however, you can count on this process being a two-year endeavor.  

Published Books at Elyssar Press 

We hope this behind-the-scenes peek at our publishing process answers questions you may have. You can see that it is a long process! We take your submissions seriously. Our goal is to publish and share books that celebrate and explore what it means to be alive. 

We believe in the importance of individuality, the richness of every culture and the understanding attained in the knowledge about each other by ways of beauty in the written language and design. 

Every October through December, our submission portal opens to the world. We encourage you to submit an excerpt of your work during those months!

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