Summary of the Publishing Process

From Manuscript to Book and Beyond at UGA Press

Download a PDF version of these guidelines.

This short description explains the procedures the University of Georgia Press follows and the roles its various departments play in the publication of your work from manuscript to book and beyond.

Many people here at the University of Georgia Press will collaborate to ensure the quality and success of your publication. After you submit a manuscript for publication, this is what happens at each step along the way.


An acquisitions editor evaluates your proposal or manuscript for fit with our list.

Two or more outside reviewers (readers) evaluate your proposal or manuscript, providing detailed reports and overall Recommendations.

You write a letter describing revisions that you will make in response to the readers’ reports. At this time, the Press might offer an advance or provisional contract for a book still in the proposal stage. Final publication will be contingent on Board approval.

If outside reviewers have already evaluated a complete manuscript, the acquisitions editor and, in most cases, an outside reviewer, evaluate a revised version of your manuscript. If the readers reviewed your proposal, the acquisitions editor and the two outside reviewers now evaluate the completed manuscript.

The acquisitions editor presents the project to the Press’s faculty Editorial Board for consent to publish.

We issue a contract, and all parties sign it. If the manuscript is already under an advance contract, Board approval satisfies the contract’s contingency clause.

Upon request, someone from Editorial, Design, and Production looks over the manuscript and art (if any) to advise you about manuscript and art preparation.

You submit the final manuscript, art, permissions, and associated checklists (manuscript checklist, illustrations checklist, and text and illustrations permissions inventories).

The acquisitions editor “launches” the book to other Press departments. (See Marketing section.)


An in-house editor (project editor) prepares the manuscript for editing and checks for outstanding items, such as permissions or art.

The manuscript is copyedited, usually by a freelance editor. The copyeditor checks for mechanical consistency and errors in word choice, spelling, grammar, and punctuation and makes suggestions to improve clarity, accessibility, and cohesion. The copyeditor also reviews all illustrative materials and captions.

You review the copyedited manuscript. This is your last chance to make substantive revisions.

The copyeditor “cleans up” the manuscript—that is, finalizes editorial and author corrections—and returns the manuscript to the project editor.


The designer chooses book size, margins, typeface (font), styles for headings and extracts, a look for the title page and chapter openings, and so on.

The cover or jacket of the book is designed on a separate track, early or late in the production process. We usually will ask you to suggest suitable images or types of images to use.

The cover or jacket design is approved by all Press departments, and we show you the final design.


The manuscript goes to the compositor (typesetter); the project editor notifies you of the schedule for proofreading and indexing.

We send you page proof with guidelines for reading proof and (as appropriate) for compiling an index.

You (and, in some cases, a professional proofreader hired by the Press) read page proof. This is usually the last time you will see the book before it is printed.

For most books, you, or an indexer whom you hire, compiles an index.

The project editor merges your proof corrections and the proofreader’s, sending queries to you as needed.

The project editor edits the index, corresponding with you as needed.

The marked-up proof and index manuscript go to the compositor.

Another editor proofreads the typeset index and all proof corrections and rereads display matter (such as the title page and chapter titles).

Editorial, design, and production staff review more rounds of proof until all corrections have been made; we then send the typeset book files and all art to the printer.

Production and editorial personnel review printer’s proof of the interior and cover or jacket.

The first two copies of the printed book come to the Press for approval. We forward one of these copies to you—hot off the press!

The rest of the books are printed and shipped to the Press. After the books arrive at our warehouse and we release the book for sale, we fill all orders that have already been placed and send your remaining contractual copies to you.


Shortly after Editorial Board approval, the author receives an Author Questionnaire that provides valuable information about the book’s content and audience. We also request an author photo.

The acquisitions editor works with the author to set a priority list of blurbers (prominent individuals who might provide prepublication quotes).

At the launch meeting (see Acquisitions), we discuss the book’s title and audience; discuss author and acquisitions editor blurb ideas; generate a preliminary list of meetings to send the book to; and tentatively set the price and print run.

Marketing copy for each book is usually written by marketing and approved by all Press departments. We send a final copy to the author for review.

We set the book’s release date (when we will ship the book from our warehouse) and publication date (when the book is expected to be available in bookstores) based on the production schedule.

We create a catalog that features one season’s (six months’) worth of books. We distribute our catalogs to authors, wholesalers, bookstores, libraries, and other customers.

We present a season’s books to our sales representatives, to review media, and to book buyers for major retailers and wholesalers.

We add books to our website and send data to online retailers using an ONIX feed.

The publicist works with the author to arrange readings, signings, or other appropriate events.

We choose the most appropriate advertising venues and design ads for those publications.

A few months before the book is released, we send the author a marketing plan that outlines ads, awards, exhibits, direct mail, media, and events.

The publicist sends galleys (bound uncorrected first proof) or finished books to book review editors and other media.

The exhibits coordinator makes arrangements to send proof or finished books to appropriate academic conferences and other meetings.

We distribute fliers, e-mails, postcards, or other direct mail pieces as appropriate to mailing lists purchased from related organizations or provided by the author.

We nominate the book for appropriate awards.

As reviews are received, we send copies to the author and make note of praise that can be used in promoting the book.

Depending on availability of space and appropriateness of audience, some new books are featured on our blog (


We process orders and ship books to wholesalers, bookstores, libraries, and other customers; handle billing for all orders; and process returns.

With advance notice, we process orders and ship books to signings, readings, and other events.

We process requests for permission to reuse portions of our books.

We produce and mail annual royalty statements.

We monitor inventory and orders; as appropriate, we order new copies from the printer or place books in our print-on-demand program.

We notify you if your book is going out of print.


This infographic tracks the basic publishing process for a typical book project here at UGA Press.

Click on the image to see a resizable version.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to know more about the publishing process at Georgia.

Infographic on the lifecycle of a book
Infographic by Jane Chang