My project team was excited to start Spring term here at PSU, as it meant we were one step closer to publication date. We’re working on Ooligan’s final Spring release, a memoir entitled Breaking Cadence: One Woman’s War Against the War, by Rosa del Duca. (For more background on the book, check out this post.) After first reading the manuscript for the memoir way back in 2017 during the acquisition stage, we’re looking forward to finally seeing the book process come to fruition in a tangible way.

At this point in the book’s development, the vast majority of editing work is done. We’ve cycled through developmental edits, copyediting, and proofreading. There’s still some tinkering of the manuscript going on, but generally speaking, the book looks very similar to its final form. (For more info on editing, take a look at other blogs on that topic.) Among many other steps, we’ve already outlined a marketing strategy, sent sales kits to representatives, received blurbs from other authors and individuals whose work is relevant to the book’s themes, and printed galleys. Galleys, also known as ARCs (Advance Reader’s Copies), are initial print copies of the book that will be sent to reviewers, bookstores, newspapers, and other types of publications; they are not for sale. Galleys are a great way to get a sense of what the book will look like in print form before we order the final print run of the copies that will be available to the public.

We’re also done with the design aspects of publication. Many outside the publishing industry don’t realize that book design is far more than creating a compelling cover, and also includes extensive work laying out the interior (i.e. how the text itself looks on the page). Interior designers’ work can be painstaking; they are not merely copying and pasting the manuscript into a document, but meticulously selecting fonts, layouts, and combing through each page to make minute adjustments to the text’s positioning to ensure a smooth reading experience.

Marketing and social media are important focuses right now. On the marketing end, we’re requesting reviews, setting up author interviews, and generally finding creative ways to connect the book to people and communities we think would resonate with Rosa’s story. It’s not always easy to spread the word about a book, no matter how great it is, because there are so many things vying for readers’ attention in this day and age. This is where a good social media strategy comes in to complement marketing efforts. We break down our campaign into multiple phases, starting with bringing awareness to the book and its main themes and, particularly in the case of Breaking Cadence as a memoir, our author’s background and résumé. We weigh the pros and cons of transmitting certain information on each social media platform based on typical user demographics and the formatting of the particular platform and think about how best to aesthetically represent the book in a consistent way. We also brainstorm the most important things we want to highlight in our posts, identify key people and organizations to reach out to, and ultimately, how to best engage our audience. When you see a social media post from a publisher, the content may look simple, but a lot of work has gone into its development. (For more information on book marketing, check out our past blogs on the topic.)

A final element of the process that’s currently ongoing is the Breaking Cadence audiobook. We are quite fortunate to have an author, Rosa, who has experience in radio and other recording (including an excellent podcast, Breaking Cadence: Insights From a Modern-Day Conscientious Objector), and who can take on the labor-intensive project of creating an audiobook recording. Given that Breaking Cadence is, of course, a memoir, listening to the audiobook in Rosa’s voice will provide an excellent companion option to reading her story in print, and we’re excited to make use of her talent in putting this option together.

Only one more month to go, and we can’t wait. Pick up Breaking Cadence: One Woman’s War Against the War on a bookshelf (virtual or otherwise!) near you on May 21.

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