Posted on 30th SEPTEMBER 2019 by eric team
Welcome to the world of book publishing… wait, what even is book publishing?
As the name suggests, book publishing is the process of producing books. This can be anything from graphic novels to cookbooks to textbooks (yawn) to fiction books… the list goes on! But the book publishing industry isn’t just about the next J K Rowling and scores of editors. It’s an intricate habitat, so get ready to explore it with us - in fact, we all know Harry Potter, right?! Let’s use good old J K and the publishers that took a chance on Harry and all his wizarding/muggle mates as a reference point so you can really understand how it works...
The process of publishing a book involves different departments. But for the sake of simplicity let’s split this up into: editorial, marketing, sales, production, publicity, sales, legal and finance.
The editorial team in a publishing house will decide if a book has potential. They also work with authors to edit the books.
HARRY POTTER APPLICATION: Editor Cheryl Klein had to make sure that specific spells did what they were supposed to according to their previous usages in the series.
The marketing team is in charge of every aspect of marketing the book: from social media posts about the book to bookstore displays.
HARRY POTTER APPLICATION: For the launch of the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, over 2,000 buses throughout the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland carried advertisements that read, “All Aboard for Harry.”
The production team - as the name suggests- produce the book. So they transform it from a word document onto a proper book!
HARRY POTTER APPLICATION: The cover art of each book varies depending on the audience. The adult edition usually features an object or place that’s key in the plot whereas the children one depicts a major event in the book.
The publicity team hype up the book through exposure in newspapers, radio and TV.
HARRY POTTER APPLICATION: In the advance of JK Rowling’s fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a spoiler was released on the official Potter website that one of the characters gets murdered in the book.
The sales team ensure that when a book is published it is available in every corner of the world where books are sold from supermarkets to your local independent bookshop.
HARRY POTTER APPLICATION: More than 500 million copies of the Harry Potter series have been sold worldwide! None of this would’ve been possible without the sales team.
The legal team organise the contracts between the publishing house and the author. Another element that is important is ensuring that the publishing house is protected against lawsuits that could arise from identifying someone in a book without their permission, for instance.
HARRY POTTER APPLICATION: The estate of late author Adrian Jacobs claimed that parts of the Harry Potter series were plagiarised from Jacobs’ book ‘The Adventures of Willy Wizard’. A solicitor from Rowling’s publisher dealt with the claim.
The finance team are involved in anything that involves money. Who manages the cost of producing a book? Finance team. Who forecasts how much profit a book will make? Finance team. You get the jist…
HARRY POTTER APPLICATION: The Harry Potter series made over £1 billion profit when all costs of production are considered. Not bad, eh?
So there we go! That was a little look into the world of publishing and all it entails.
We want to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts below, tweet us at @eric_festival or instagram us at @ericfestival!