Originally Posted by frayne
I know a few here have had some of their works published and I am curious as to the process or the mechanics of how it is done. Once a manuscript is written, where do you go from there ?
I didn't know this at the time, but most authors submit proposals to publishers and then write the manuscript. When I sold the book to Impact Publications, the owner sent me a contract and asked me several times how long it'd take to get the manuscript ready. He seemed pretty surprised when I e-mailed him the signed contract and the manuscript a few hours later.
Publishers seem to have a template for their book layouts, and depending on where you are in the spring/fall publishing calendar they'll show you a sample within a few weeks to a few months. We did everything via e-mail. I sent the manuscript in August but didn't see a template until November. After that we had several back & forth edits, mostly for spelling & grammar. The covers were done in January. The book went to the printers in March, shipped in late April, and was in stores by June.
By now this timeline is probably regarded as hopelessly historical. You could self-publish in a matter of days, and it might not be worth publishing hardcopy at all. One of the reasons to use a real publisher is that it helps you learn (or at least teach yourself) the publishing & marketing process, but that information is much more prevalent on the Web today than even two years ago.
Two years ago, two of the best submission guidelines websites were Wiley & Impact:
Wiley: Book Authors