Overview of the book publishing process

At Elsevier we understand that while you are an expert in your subject area, you may not have prior experience or knowledge of book publishing. This section is intended to provide some background on the key stages of our book publishing process so you know what to expect if you are a new author, or can learn what has changed if you have authored a book in the past.

Proposal review, development and approval

Contract agreement

Writing and content development

Manuscript delivery

Book production

Publication

Marketing and sales


Proposal review, development and approval

Be it a new book or a new edition, all potential new publications go through our rigorous proposal assessment and approval process. The relevant Acquisitions Editor for your area will seek external reviews of your book idea or revision plan and then work with you, the content expert, to incorporate useful feedback as appropriate. A project plan will be prepared by your Acquisitions Editor and put forward for approval by key Elsevier stakeholders.

For more information on how to prepare a proposal and what happens when we receive a proposal for assessment, visit our page on writing and submitting proposals.

Contract agreement

Once your proposal has been approved, a contract is prepared to confirm our publishing partnership. This contract will include key details agreed with your Acquisitions Editor, including a final delivery date for your manuscript, your rate of payment or royalty for the project, and any specifications you need to consider as you prepare the work, such as a target page or word count. Once the contract for your project has been signed by you and countersigned by Elsevier, writing and content development can begin.

Writing and content development

Your Acquisitions Editor will stay involved and in contact throughout the life of your project, but at this stage another editorial contact will be introduced, your Editorial Project Manager (EPM), who will be in touch regularly throughout the writing phase.

Your EPM will provide any guidance or information you need regarding manuscript preparation, formatting and delivery, and can help you to plan out your writing schedule. He or she will also request sample material from you early in the process so we can ensure that any issues with formatting or file types are resolved ahead of final delivery. Project schedules are monitored closely by the EPM and Acquisitions Editor to ensure timely publication of your book while achieving the highest standards of quality.

For more information, visit our page on things to consider as you prepare your manuscript.

Manuscript delivery

Delivery can be in batches or as a complete manuscript, as agreed with your Acquisitions Editor and EPM. We accept material via a variety of different delivery methods, dependent on the complexity of the project and the file sizes involved. Your EPM will guide you through the best option for your project.

Upon receipt, the EPM will verify that your submission is complete and in line with the specifications discussed at project approval and throughout the development of the project. The files provided will be checked in detail, a list of the figures to appear in the book will be prepared, and anything that is unclear will be highlighted for resolution ahead of transmission to our Production team.

Book production

Once your material reaches our Production team, a Production Project Manager will be assigned to guide you through the transformation of your manuscript material into a finished book. Although the Production Project Manager is responsible for all stages of production, your EPM and Acquisitions Editor will remain involved and in contact alongside your Production Project Manager.

The Production Project Manager will coordinate copyediting of your material, typesetting of the text and figures into a page layout, proofreading of the typeset pages, indexing of the content and manufacturing of the finished book. He or she is responsible for creating, communicating and monitoring the production schedule for your book and ensuring quality and accuracy in the finished product.

You will be asked to check proofs to confirm that the material has been presented as you intended, answer any queries from the copy editor and identify any errors that may have been introduced during typesetting. We aim to make only minor changes at proof stage, and most authors will only see one round of proofs.

Publication

The stages above culminate in the publication of your work - usually in print and electronic form - across our worldwide network of information providers and resellers. On publication, any complimentary copies detailed in your contract will be delivered to you, and we will work with you to find the best way of getting news of your publishing success out to your network.

Marketing and sales

Our marketing and sales activities in support of your book begin well before publication and a large part of this strategy is focused on maximizing discoverability of your book. We release information and detailed metadata about your book to market six months ahead of publication to begin driving interest and pre-orders, and continue this effort with social media activity and data-driven campaigns that reach out to end-users with targeted messaging.

Our sales and marketing channels have extensive global reach, enabling us to directly target practitioners, researchers, faculty, students and librarians, as well as business, industry and governmental agencies. Our global retail partners and third party providers enable us to sell and market to an even wider customer base. Publication on Elsevier's leading platform, ScienceDirect gets your work in front of 16 million researchers alone.