Our close attention to detail will give your book a truly professional feel. Paper density and quality, typesetting font and styles, binding and trim size are just the start of the intricate details that a truly professional publisher knows. We make sure that your book is bound perfectly, that appropriate paper stock and embellishments are used, and that it is typeset so your text is legible and appealing.

Book production is the process required to turn a raw manuscript into a final printed product or ebook. Book production at its most basic includes editing, design, formatting, printing and ebook conversion. Book production is an essential part of professional publishing.

You’ve done your research and you’ve decided that self-publishing is the route for you. It can be very daunting trying to figure out exactly where to start and who to approach.


Furthermore, making the wrong decision can result in a needless waste of money – something that, as a self-publishing author, you may not have very much of to begin with.

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is: What is my vision for the book? The answer to this question will determine a lot of things, one of which is whether you should approach a company for professional book production, or just your local printer to print and bind your books from a Word file supplied by you.

If you would like to publish your book professionally with an emphasis on bookstore distribution, then using Shawline Publishing is the best course of action. Bookstores and book marketers are reluctant to take on books that look self-published – and while you may not easily tell the difference, they certainly can. Choosing to go the bookstore route will also mean that large-run litho printing may be necessary since the unit costs of short-run digital printing are just too high and you’ll likely make too little money to cover your costs. Each member of the distribution chain requires a percentage of the retail price and once these percentages have been deducted, the balance must cover all your production costs.

Great visions and bookstore distribution usually require a larger capital outlay – anything from around 5 to 10K for a single colour text-based book to a couple of hundred thousand for a full colour hardcover coffee table book. These figures are fairly low when compared to the production budgets of large publishing houses that easily extend into hundreds of thousands.


You might understand now why it’s hard to pick up a publishing deal by the larger publishers. They’re investing a ton and need to know they’ll get it back. Hybrid publishers like us will offer you lower costs with higher royalties so all the effort is removed and all the focus on sales is enhanced to your benefit.

Since this website is geared towards professional book production and distribution, we’re going to focus on the steps involved in book production from this perspective.

Editing and manuscript preparation

This includes manuscript evaluation; editing; translating; obtaining and verifying permissions; proof-reading. Depending on the book, it can also include commissioning artwork, briefing artists and photographers, and conducting picture research.


This includes book design; scanning; typesetting; creating DTP artwork; cover design & makeup; ISBN application; barcode generation; copyright insertion; supplying page proofs; and creating a print-ready PDF file.

Printing or ebook creation

This covers large-run litho printing (usually 1000 copies or more); low-run digital printing (up to 500 copies); print-on-demand (printing each book as it is purchased); and ebook creation.

Finding an author services or book production company

Your first job when choosing to self-publish is to find a suitable author services or book production company who will carefully shepherd your book through the production process. An author services business and book production company are basically the same thing – they usually both provide a full-spectrum production service from manuscript evaluation and editing right through delivery of a final printed product or ebook.

If you are serious about your publishing endeavour and intend distributing on a larger scale through bookstores, then you need to become a Shawline Published author. One way to tell whether you’re dealing with a professional company offering true publishing quality is to look at their production charges. Good cover design does not come cheap, and neither does good editing. At the same time, don’t automatically assume that a high price tag guarantees a good job! A barometer of whether an author services company will do your book justice or not lies in their previous production experience and the quality of the work that they have completed in the past. Ask to look at previous samples of our work if necessary to see if their quality matches the price.


Once a title is scheduled for publication and a release month has been set, the work begins in earnest. The time from a book’s acquisition to the day it hits shelves is typically anywhere from one to two years. It depends on how timely your topic is, how many titles are under contract in your category and when we think your book will have the greatest chance of success in the market.

We meet often to discuss the seasonal schedule and position of our titles to maximise sales potential. The biggest consideration is competition, both in-house and from other companies. Publishing competitive titles concurrently dilutes the sales potential of the entire list. This is another reason it’s essential to meet all your deadlines for rewrites, revisions and reviews: Failing to do so can endanger the carefully choreographed timing designed to maximise your book’s sales prospects.


We work from a set of numbers that is developed during initial acquisition meetings. Upon agreeing to publish your manuscript, we already know the number of copies your book needs to sell to be profitable—for the house and for you. Profitability is the cornerstone of everything the company does with regard to publication, and it’s often referred to as the “budget number” for each book. 

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