Balboa Press, the self publishing arm of Hay House, the one I’m using for my memoir debut, has three distinct steps on the road to producing a book.
Phase one is submission. It sounds quick and easy, right? Submit your manuscript. The end. That is not the case, nor should it be. (The easy way is the hard way in the end, my mother always said.) Once your manuscript is submitted properly, through a Word document or pdf, it goes to legal. Legal makes sure there is nothing libelous in your story – they do not want to get sued (and neither do you). You receive a CIC, Check-in coordinator, who assists you through the process of: sending in any pictures you want to include internally, the cover art – yours or one you choose from their large assortment of possibilities, front and back cover design and text, editing – they offer a 1700 word edit and then suggest the editing package they believe your manuscript needs. They recommended a line edit, the simplest form of editing (at additional cost) but it was well worth it. Since they gave me a new CIC, everything has been running smoothly.
Phase two is design. I am champing at the bit to reach this phase. I sent my final review of the edit back to editorial last night, and we will see what needs to take place before, and until, moving on is sanctioned. In design, the internal formatting of the book is set; where the title goes on the page, the copyright information, what is centered or left aligned, how much space is around the margins, the image insertions, the covers – front and back. This stage is slated to last three weeks. They do something, I review it, I send it back and they review it, and so it goes until we reach a consensus. If phase one is any indication, it will take significantly longer. I can live with that as long as the process is in forward motion.
The third and final phase is distribution, slated to take approximately sixteen weeks. The design team does a final quality assurance check before the files go to the printer. Very exciting. Three weeks after that, I receive an author’s copy. OMG! The book will become available online at Balboa Press bookstore. Next, printed and digital formats will become available for distribution worldwide.
Balboa has stepped up her game and sent me top notch individuals to work with. I will say, they handled the initial issues quickly and well and there is talent here. I was concerned this would feel like a mill, but it doesn’t. I am given the attention and assistance I want – and I await the final product with joy and anticipation. Of course, we are only at the tail end of phase one. I vow to keep you informed.
Thanks for being here!
I am so happy to read this process has gotten better for you! J
Thank you, Justine – a little persistence can go a long way!
Quite informative and exciting; good luck sister!
Much appreciated, David – it really is soooo (as my daughter would say) exciting!
Aha! Been waiting for more updates from you about this topic! You might say I’ve been “Champing at the bit” too. (That’s Gotta be the greatest all time typo ever, you champ, you!) P.S. Cannot wait to see your cover!
I struggle with champing and chomping – actually, both are (at least idiomatically) correct. Whether champing or chomping – I’m very ready to move this process along. It is wildly exciting!
I appreciate your willingness to share this process with us, Wendy–warts and all. A less-than-honest review serves no one, and I’ve come to expect unflinching honesty from your posts. I’m so excited for you, that you’re actively pursuing your dream!
Thank you, Celia. I appreciate that you appreciate my honesty. Not everyone does. And thank you also for your excitement at my dream ‘s pursuit. You’re a good egg.
Any words of wisdom as I am just about to embark on the journey with Balboa press. Today I am going to make my final order and then sign the contract (which I feel is very ambiguous and my gut tells me not to). I am simply going to trust that this is the best place for my book. I have read so many horrid stories about Balboa and yet, my heart tells me to go with them. I have an attorney close at hand and ready to work through any glitches with them. You might say, you wonder why I am publishing with them. I have a habit of listening to my heart and it tells me it will be ok.
It is a dilemma when your gut (intuition) says no, but your heart (emotion) says yes. I have to admit I went through a similar situation, especially when I found out they use Author’s Solutions for distribution (who sound the equivalent of strychnine ingestion for an author). I did make the decision to go ahead, after months of waffling. The beginning was shaky and you can read about the experiences in my posts on ‘Balboa Bouts’. The rest, so far, has been okay (but I’ve only been through phase one of a three phrase process. What package did you take and what is the subject matter of your book?
Great to hear the process has gotten smoother…and even more thank you for sharing your process with us. It’s been enlightening.
It is, of course, my pleasure to do so. Any questions, you need only ask.