Working with Spectacle
At Spectacle, we want authors to feel confident and comfortable with the publishing process from the moment of contact through publishing and beyond. We believe in being up-front about the process, what will be expected from the author, and what can be expected of us. For this reason, we have compiled this guide explaining the steps of working with Spectacle.
An agent is not required to query with Spectacle Publishing. We accept queries directly from authors through our website. We do expect queries to be professional; however if you need assistance with this process, our Acquisitions Department will be happy to help you in making sure your query has all the necessary elements.
When responding to requests for submissions for anthologies or web content, follow the guidelines laid out in the specific request at http://www.spectaclepmg.com/. For all other queries, follow these steps:
1. Include a cover (query) letter. Please include a brief biography focusing on information that is pertinent to the work you are submitting. Tell us what led you to write this work and what niche it will fill for readers. Identify your target audience and at least one piece of work that is similar in theme. If your book is nonfiction, your cover letter should include how you came to write this work and any professional or personal qualifications or titles that speak to your expertise. Summarize your work in a few paragraphs. Finally, explain why you chose Spectacle Publishing Media Group as a potential publisher for your work.
2. Include an outline. For fiction, this should follow the progression of the story. For nonfiction, a chapter-by-chapter breakdown is sufficient.
3. Include three chapters of your work. For fiction, send the first three. For non-fiction that doesn’t depend upon a certain sequence of events, send the three strongest chapters. We will need at least 5000 words total to fairly assess your work.
4. Previously published work is acceptable. No simultaneous submissions, please.
5. Send your query to firstname.lastname@example.org
When your query is in order, it will be reviewed by the managing editor. If it is accepted, a request for contract will be sent to our business department. You will send your full manuscript to us as soon as your contract is finalized.
Once your work is accepted and your contract is signed, there may be a gap of time before the editing process begins. You will be advised of an estimated timeframe, and you will be kept updated on that timeframe.
When your work enters the editing department, an initial read-through of your full work will be completed by an editor to determine the best process for you and your book. We offer workshops for authors that might need help in a variety of areas, including assistance with filling in and lengthening a story, and assisting with research guidance.
If we feel that your work could benefit from a writer’s workshop, you will be contacted to set up times for web meetings. You will work with one or more of our experienced writers and editors to help you develop your voice.
This entire process is designed to help you write the best piece possible as well as create a product that is highly marketable. We focus on strengths and explore weaknesses, as well as challenge writers with genres and themes they may have never considered. These workshops last from one to four hours.
Editing is a process that takes time and involves working back and forth between editor and author. There are several steps in the process, and you should expect to make revisions to your work at least once before it goes into production. The general outline for this process is as follows:
1. Your manuscript will be assigned to an editor for what is called “content editing”. They will read through the whole manuscript and note any questions or suggestions they may have for you. They may also address basic formatting needs, spelling and punctuation errors, or grammar, depending on their particular style.
2. The manuscript will be returned to you with notes that identify places you need to make revisions as well as any overall issues that might need to be addressed.
3. Throughout your revisions, we will check in with you frequently to see if you have any questions, to see if you need any help, and to stay up-to-date on any possible changes to your timeframe. We do this not to put pressure on you, but to make sure we are meeting your needs to the best of our ability. Your editor and Acquisitions contact will always be available to you for any concerns you may have. Do not worry that you are “bothering” us!
4. After all reviews and revisions are complete, your editor will begin content editing. That is the process of addressing any issues with word usage, tenses, sentence structure, readability, and so on. They will look for inconsistencies, things that interfere with flow, and unnecessary clutter. It is not the editor’s job to rewrite your work, but rather to make sure that your voice and vision shine through every word.
5. When content editing is complete, you will get the manuscript back for approval. If all is agreeable and in order, it will then pass to a copyeditor who will do line edits. If you feel there are still issues, you will work with your editor as needed to resolve them.
6. Line edits consist of checking for typos, work usage issues, and readability. A third person is necessary to check these things because often someone intimately familiar with the work, such as the author and editor, miss things because they see what is meant to be there instead of what the page actually says.
7. After line edits, your book will move into the Production Department, where it will be prepared for publishing.
Sometime during the editing process, you will be contacted by the PR/Marketing Department to begin the process of developing your “author’s platform” and marketing plan. An author’s platform is the means by which you, the author, interact with the public to promote your work. A marketing plan is the outline of how we at Spectacle will promote your work. These two things fall into one department because they are inter-related.
Your Public Relations Specialist will stay with you through the process of establishing or strengthening your platform prior to publishing and beyond. They will handle your press releases and assist you with identifying potential self-promotion opportunities, finding reviewers, and much, much more!
When all revisions and edits are done, your book will go into production. Production is the process of preparing a manuscript for sales. It involves layout and formatting, creating cover art, and writing cover copy and summaries for websites. It also involves perfecting you Author’s Biography and any Acknowledgements, Foreword, or Notes to the Reader. You will be asked to look over each element for input and approval.
When everything is in order and approved, you will be given a publishing date and the Production Department will begin layout and design of the actual book. Some authors contract for eBook publication only, while others are print only, and some are both. The processes are similar for each case; however, the final product will vary. eBooks will conform to most common platform parameters and be available on Barnes and Noble, Apple iBookstore, and Amazon. Print books will be made available to Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Amazon, and a variety of smaller markets.
Throughout each process, our staff will be on hand to discuss any questions or concerns you may have, to assist with any part of the process you feel unsure of, and in general to support you and your work. We want your book to be the best it can be. We want you to feel like part of a team, not a war. Above all, we want you to succeed!
Spectacle Publishing Media Group Acquisitions, Editing, Public Relations & Marketing, and Production Departments