About the Process

About the Process

What to expect when publishing with Inkwater Press.

Once your book has been reviewed by Inkwater and you have signed up for a publishing package, your book is placed in the editing or design queue to prepare for the process to begin. It is important for the author to understand all the dynamics of publishing a book, from the pre-publication preparation to printing and distribution. Below you will find information on the different phases of the publication process and post-production publishing services.

Publishing Options Phase

Publishing Options Phase


Inkwater recognizes that each book and author are unique, and the listed publication packages may not always be a perfect fit. During this phase, you will work closely with Inkwater staff to come up with a publishing package that best suits you and your book’s specific needs. 



Publishing Packages



Inkwater offers a basic package that includes book design, distribution options, a marketing consultation, and copies of the book. We also have a series of packages with a complement of marketing and publicity features, including press releases, website development, review submissions and YouTube book trailers. Each package can be customized to fit the author’s specific needs.

Paperwork and Account Creation


The author signs and sends all the necessary paperwork and contracts in to Inkwater, along with a down payment in order to get the manuscript into the publishing queue. Also, the author can work with Inkwater Staff to create any necessary accounts for  the author to distribute the book through their own publishing brand and logo.


Send in All Relevant Materials


The author will provide Inkwater with the most up-to-date version of the manuscript in a Word document or Rich Text File format. This would also include acknowledgements, table of contents, bibliography, and/or index listings. Images, charts, graphs will need to be submitted as JPGs or TIFs, and should be scanned at 300 dpi (dots per inch) for color images or 600 dpi for black and white images. They will also provide any permissions obtained to use materials which the author doesn't own the copyright for (artwork, photography, poetry, lyrics, maps, charts, etc.).

The author can submit ideas or images for the front cover of the book, as well as a back cover description, a short author biography, and an author photo if desired. Our editors and marketing director will assist the author with the back cover text. Authors can also submit review blurbs for the cover.

Editing Phase

Editor Copyedits Your Manuscript
Once your name comes up in the editing queue, one of our professional editors will begin copyediting your manuscript. This process can take up to three or four weeks, depending on the length and complexity of your project.
First Draft of Edit Sent to Author
Once the edit is complete, the edit draft is sent to the author, and the author reviews and approves or disapproves any changes, corrects any issues the editor has recommended correction of, and makes any additional changes desired. We recommend not taking longer than one month in this phase.
Draft of Edit Returned to the Editor
Once the author has made changes and corrections to the manuscript, it is returned to the editor for another review. The editor will look over all changes made by the author to ensure they are free of grammatical errors and are consistent with the rest of the text. A new draft of the manuscript is then sent to the author for review.
Author and Editor Agree that the Editing Is Complete
Edit drafts are exchanged between the author and editor until both agree that the copyedit is complete and the manuscript is clean and ready for design. Then the editing approval agreement is signed by the author, the editor sends the author a final copy of the manuscript for the author’s records, and the project takes its place in the design queue.

Design Phase

Design Queue
When all the contracts and paperwork are signed and returned—and we have received the content for your book—your project will be placed in the design queue. How long your book project will be here depends on how many authors are ahead of you and if you’ve paid rush fees. You will want to take this opportunity of time while your book is in the design queue to communicate with Inkwater’s designers any questions, concerns, or preferences you may have. The actual design of the book will go very quickly.
Designing of First Proof
When you reach the top of the design queue, you will be assigned a designer. He or she will take any input of preferences you’ve outlined and create a designed interior and cover for your review.
Proofing Stage
During this phase we work at the author’s pace. It will go as quickly or as slowly as the author needs. The author can review his or her proofs as long as necessary. Once the author compiles a list of changes to the proof and returns it to us, we will endeavor to make those changes and present a new proof within one business day. This cycle of review, corrections, and new proofs will continue until the author sees a proof he or she feels is ready to go to the printer.
Book Sent to the Printer
Once the author is satisfied with the proofs, and he or she has reviewed and signed an approval statement, the book file will be sent to the printer. For the print-on-demand printer, authors can receive books in hand in as little as three weeks. For offset printing (500+ books), it will take from six to ten weeks for authors to receive their books.
Books Show Up in Retailers
As amazingly fast as technology makes book publishing today, there are still some lag times that are out of our control. Retailers update their databases at different times, in different phases, and with different methods.

  • Books will show up on InkwaterBooks.com within one week.
  • Books will begin* to show up on other retailers’ websites within two weeks.
  • The process of readers being able to easily order your book online or through a local bookstore will take six to eight weeks.
  • For books that are printed offset (where authors order 500+ copies), add six to eight weeks to the above time schedule.

*Book content will appear in bits and pieces on retailers’ websites: sometimes just the title, then a few days later the cover may appear, and it may be a few more days before the description appears.

Marketing Phase

Meet with Our Marketing Director
It is essential to create a cohesive, detailed, and pragmatic marketing strategy for your book as early in the process as possible. Whether you have just finished writing your book or it has already been published, you should be thinking about various ways to reach your target audience. Although Inkwater has preset marketing packages, we prefer to meet with each author to discuss the right strategy to fit his or her audience, personal goals, and budget.
Although certain key opportunities may have been achieved during the prepublication phase, this is when your custom marketing strategy comes into play. With the guidance of our marketing director, you’ll learn how to build an impressive profile with reviews, interviews, author events, and book club and librarian exposure. We will do everything we can to increase sales and grow your audience through social media boosts, book trailers, contest nominations, and more. Now is the time to execute our plan and spend the most time with our marketing director to make those valuable contacts for you.
After Publication
Although certain key opportunities may have been achieved during the prepublication phase, this is when your custom marketing strategy comes in handy. You should already know whom to contact for reviews, interviews, events, sales, and book club and librarian exposure. With our help, you will already know how to “work” social media via giveaways and book trailers. Now is the time to enact your plan, and now is when you’ll spend the most time with our Marketing Director to make those valuable contacts for you.

Are you ready to be a published author?

Inkwater Press is here to make your publishing dreams a reality. Let us know how we can help.
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