What happens to my book once I submit my final manuscript to the press?
After the acquiring editor confirms that your work meets the requirements in our Manuscript Preparation and Submission Guidelines, the book is transmitted to the editorial/production department where it is slotted in our schedule and given a projected release date. You will be contacted by someone at the press who will provide you with access to your Author Portal. There, you will be able to access important information about your book, including: your title and name as they will appear in the book and in all our promotional materials; your copyediting and production schedule; the book’s anticipated publication date; marketing information; the approved cover once that step has been accomplished; and a variety of other things (e.g., your contract with the press, a flyer to promote the book, and, later on, reviews of your book) that will prove useful to you as you go through the publication process.
What are my responsibilities in the editing and production process?
At the manuscript stage, you will receive copyedited manuscript files in Word format and will need to approve the tracked changes you see and finalize the text. While you should view this stage as your last opportunity to make changes to the manuscript, your edits should be limited to those in response to the copyeditor’s marks and queries. You should not be rewriting text.
At the page proof stage, when pages are designed and given pagination, you will need to (1) carefully review the PDF/proof you will be provided with (we recommend a brand new read and review) and (2) make (or have made) the index, if your book requires one. At this point in the process, changes are costly and difficult, and so you should not be making new edits. Even the smallest changes can create reflow, which we want to avoid, so only typographic errors and egregious mistakes should be fixed. Note that the responsibility of correcting the page proofs rests with you as the author (we check pagination, spacing, and design elements and look for egregious errors that have resulted from typesetting). You will also be involved in reviewing the second proof, though note at this stage you are not doing a full read/review again but rather checking that your previous edits have been correctly implemented.
What is my involvement with copyediting?
The press uses highly qualified copyeditors who typically work on manuscripts undisturbed for 4–6 weeks, going over it several times line by line and marking it up with the track changes feature in Word. When they have questions, they will insert queries directly in the document, usually with the comments feature, to which you will need to respond. If your book contains illustrations and tables, these will also be checked to make sure they correspond correctly with the callouts. Editing decisions will conform to the standards in our OSU Press House Style Guide, The Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Handbook, and Merriam-Webster Online.
The marked up manuscript, called redlines, then goes to you for review, as a Word document, along with instructions on how to proceed. It is important to keep in mind that at this stage, the book is not yet designed and thus the layout is represented by various tagging, coding, and formatting, which may look a bit odd. You will typically have 4 weeks to accept and reject the edits and respond to queries. This is your last opportunity to alter the text, but, again, alterations should be confined to those in response to the copyeditor’s edits and queries.
You then return the Word files to your editorial contact at the press, where the changes are finalized and the manuscript is moved into production for typesetting (aka, the creation of the first page proof).
What if I have editorial disagreements with the press?
If you find that your work calls for a specific deviation from a standard practice, feel free to approach your editorial contact at the press. You will find us very receptive and eager to make your work as appropriate to your audience as possible. However, do keep in mind that we hire highly experienced professional copyeditors who specialize in this kind of work and they may be aware of a compelling reason for a certain convention—and so we will make exceptions to standard practices on a book-by-book basis.
When do I see page proofs?
Depending on the complexity of your book and the demands of our publication schedule, you will see page proofs (sometimes called first pages) approximately 6–8 weeks after we have finalized the manuscript. Your contact at the press will email the full proof along with instructions for proceeding.
- Look carefully at the front matter, and make sure that the table of contents matches the pagination listed and the chapter titles.
- Review the running heads for accuracy.
- Check that the display pages, subheads, and section breaks are properly formatted.
- Ensure that all illustrations match their captions and that illustrations match the references to them in the text and are appropriately located.
- Check that the footnotes/endnotes are in correct sequence and correspond to the proper reference numbers in the text.
- At this stage, poets should review the indents, spacing, and line breaks.
What kind of changes can be made?
Edits should be limited to fixing egregious errors and errors that may have resulted in the layout and design process. Remember that alterations at this stage are very costly, both in time and money. Authors can bear a portion of the cost if they make too many edits. Keep in mind, too, that even the smallest change may affect pagination, so please resist the urge to fine-tune or rewrite.
How do I indicate changes in the PDF?
We would ask that you print the electronic file you will be provided with and make changes on the hard copy. If you would like to mark changes otherwise, please be sure to arrange this with the managing editor.
Will I see corrected proofs?
Yes, you will be sent a set of corrected page proofs (called the second proof). You should confine your review to checking that your previous marks have been correctly implemented. Note that the editorial department will also be checking to make sure that the changes have been made properly and that no new errors have been introduced. The turnaround time on this second proof is quick—usually 48 hours or less.
When do I make the index?
If you and your acquisitions editor have agreed that your book requires an index (typical for scholarly works), then this step is usually completed at the first proof stage, as that is when pagination is determined. Authors or volume editors can compose the index themselves or pay someone to do the work. The index must follow our Indexing Guidelines and should be returned to your press contact as a Microsoft Word document one week following the due date for first proof corrections.
Do I have to do the index myself?
No. Although it is your responsibility to provide the index, making one is a highly specialized activity that is most often left to professional indexers and authors with extensive indexing experience. We have developed good relationships with a handful of very qualified freelance indexers, and we would be more than happy to connect you with them. Contact us early on in the editorial process—before you return your redlines—to set it up. Indexers work on long schedules, so you will want to make arrangements early. Be sure to give the indexer a due date that will give you time to review the document and still send to us by the deadline we give you.
For other indexing arrangements, you should be sure to work this out with your acquisitions editor prior to your book being transmitted to editorial and production.
When does my book get turned into an e-book?
If your book will have an e-book edition (which is typically the case), the e-book will be released at the same time as the print book.
What if I find errors after the book is published?
Mistakes are inevitable. If you find any in your book, forward them to your editorial contact who will mark the changes in the event we do further printings.
Whom can I contact if I have editorial or production questions?
Contact the managing editor, Tara Cyphers, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
How are royalties calculated?
Royalties are based on a percentage of net sales, with net sales being defined as gross sales of the book less any returns. Your contract specifies your royalty percentages.
How often are royalties paid?
Royalties are paid annually. The press operates on a fiscal year that runs from July 1 through June 30. Once the fiscal year closes, royalty calculations begin, and all payments are processed by
What about rights income?
Your share of any rights income received will be included with your annual royalty payment.
Do I need to request my author copies?
No. Complimentary copies agreed to in the contract are shipped once the book arrives from the printer.
Do I get a discount on book purchases?
Yes. As an author, you are entitled to 40 percent off any of our titles.
What if I have more questions?
If you have any further questions about royalties or finance-related matters, please contact your acquisitions editor.