I’m a believer in task lists, and in breaking tasks lists into ever smaller parts—which is likely why my career as a technical writer took a turn into management. I’m working on a series of Managing Up posts for Steyer Associates about program management tasks for tech-comms professionals.
While that series develops, I’ll create some parallel entries here for fiction writing and publishing tasks for independent authors who publish their own work.
Here’s a modified task list for producing a book on the Opera En Español series that Jugum Press publishes. These are Spanish-language translations of opera librettos created by Dr. Eduardo Enrique Prado Alacalá. I keep this list to guide the tasks that must be complete when I’m publishing several librettos simultaneously.
First, for a long list of tasks, you need categories.
- My last edit and draft layout.
(This is in 2 languages in this series, so I proof in both Italian and Spanish, for example.)
- Draft to copy editor.
(Checking grammar and diacritical marks in Spanish.)
- Corrections complete.
- Corrected draft sent to author.
- Receive and input correction from author.
- Final text approved by author.
- Final print layout reviewed and completed.
- Complete cover text—parallel with rest of series.
- Final © statement—including acknowledgment for public domain text.
- Complete art source statement—differentiate public domain art from copyrighted art.
- ISBN details entered.
- Complete Composer biography, with complete opera list.
- Complete Author bio.
- Copy/correct Jugum Press page: title list and social media access are complete.
DRAFT DESCRIPTION AND BLURBS
- First draft online description.
(For this series, the description if in Spanish, which I don’t read well enough to serve as editor.)
- First draft cover blurb.
- Submit description and blurb to Spanish-language editor.
(Even if yours is all English, you need a copy editor to check these—else, you will miss errors!)
- Correctfinal blurbs.
REGISTRATION AND CATEGORIZATION
- Create full CreateSpace entry.
- Specify BISAC category — text and numeric.
- Define keywords.
- Complete ISBN entry.
(This series uses CreateSpace ISBNs; this is a longer task if you use Bowker ISBNs.)
- Submit Copyright request to U.S. Copyright office.
(I desire these texts to be in the Library of Congress.)
- Preserve all these details in master Jugum titles spreadsheet.
PRINT TEXT PREP AND SUBMISSION
- Create first DRAFT of print-book PDF.
- Print and proof the draft for final visual check.
- Submit PDF to CreateSpace.
(This step calculates the spine width and generates baseline per-copy cost.)
- Input cover copy.
(I use CreateSpace templates for this series. This step is different—and quicker—if you use a custom template that contains all your cover art and text. The step is quicker, but you’ve already done several rounds of edits with your cover artist.)
- After CreateSpace checks, complete my review and signoff approval.
For first review of a new book, this should include ordering a physical proof copy.
- FINAL proofread of cover copy.
- FINAL proofread of internal copy.
- FINAL check of all art.
- Proof approved.
- Set per-book price for all locales.
MARKETING ENTRIES ON THE WEB
- Create thumbnail cover for Jugum Press site and for OperaEnEspanol.com.
- Write and proof enhanced (longer description) for both web sites.
- Add detailed “Buy” info, ISBN, hotlinks to store sites, and so on.
- Add to “shopping cart” and submission form for bulk orders.
- Update per-composer “store” pages on OperaEnEspanol.com.
KINDLE / EPUB PREP AND SUBMISSION
- Move text to pre-HTML template.
- Cleanup and save as HTML (filtered).
- Create cover art and any additional JPG for inside book.
- Build .mobi file.
- QA to satisfaction.
- Copy/input online description in ebook vendor UIs.
- Complete Kindle entry and online QA check.
- Set price for all locales.
- Repost .mobi with Kindle ASIN in .mobi header.
- Complete entries in other ebook sites.
- Add Kindle ASIN and all other links on OperaEnEspanol Web store pages.
OK, we’re done now.
Except, of course, any step that says “Draft” or “QA” can reiterate several times.
I’m about to genericize this list and add it to the Tools menu above.
What’s your list look like? Care to share in comments?