Tips to Help Your Book Creation and Production Stay on Track

by Laura


Notes from the AAUP Annual Conferencecalendar

Sheridan Books attended the 2015 AAUP annual conference which took place mid-June in Denver.  The theme of the conference was collect: collaborate.  In keeping with the theme, our reps took copious notes during the sessions that are full of tips to help publishers and authors, and we will share them with you through our blog.

Up first, Scheduling in a World of Variables: The Planning, Doing, and Reporting.  This session panel was comprised of several University Press production managers, editors, and a printer, and revealed tips and tricks that they use, and that work, to keep their projects flowing smoothly.

As publishers continue to seek faster schedules it is necessary to consider, monitor, and report on all the steps that go into the creation and production of a book.  Each person involved needs to be held accountable for ensuring their piece gets completed on-time, and correctly, so the project can continue down the produciton path.

Make sure the following are in sync:

  • Acquisition editor
  • Authors
  • Managing editor
  • Copy editor
  • Design and production
  • Marketing
  • Sales

A little forethough before sending your project to the printer will help your project flow smoothly without delays. 

  • Have complete specs at job entry – Make sure your page count is finalized, paper and cover stocks are decided, quantity is identified, etc.
  • Send a print ready PDF – Ask your printer for their file setup and submission guidelines to ensure that your files fit their workflow.
  • Time proof and check copy approvals – Make sure staff will be available and plan for adequate time to review proofs.
  • Inventory vs. special order – It is quicker to go with a stock that your printer has on hand rather than waiting for a stock to be special ordered.
  • Furnished covers – Coordinate arrival time so the printer/binder does not have to put your project on hold while waiting for them to arrive.
  • Preschedule and inform manufacturing of special events – Let your printer know the date you will need your books by as soon as possible so they can block out press time before the project is even sent to them.
  • Digital before offset – If you need books in a hurry, consider a digitally produced short-run order to get books in your hand sooner while the longer run offset order is being produced.

Additional tips to keep you on track:

  • Request regular schedules from your printers and vendors.
  • Meet weekly, or more frequently, with in-house staff to keep on top of current and future projects.
  • Consider using a collaboration tool such as Google Docs.


Look for more posts related to the AAUP conference in the coming weeks.