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Production Process

The following checklist and timeline are intended to show you the process of preparing and publishing your book, as well as the approximate amount of time required for each step. Release times vary and depend on whether a title is to be included in an Ingram seasonal catalog. These times are shown as a guide, not an absolute.

Title Preparation

3-4 weeks
  • Signed and executed contract
  • Author Questionnaire (author photos, cover samples)
  • Manuscript formatted according to Koehler Books style guide
  • Welcome & Creative Call

Creative Production

2-5 months
  • Front cover design
  • Marketing Program
  • Editing
  • Copyediting & Proofreading
  • Text Layout
  • Cover wrap and text layouts
  • Client approval of all layouts
  • Tip Sheet (sample tip sheet)

Printing & ARCS

5 weeks
  • Advanced Review Copies (ARC)-Publisher provided
  • ARCs – Author optional purchases
  • ARCs – Digital ARCs


  • Online print pre-sales 1-3 months prior to launch
  • Ebook 4-6 weeks prior to launch

Total publishing time

9-11 months


Title Preparation

During this period the author and/or agent/attorney will make changes to the contract so that all parties are in agreement. The author may sign and mail the contract or sign it electronically via approved methods.

Author Questionnaire
The Author Questionnaire is one of the most important documents created during the publishing process. The Author will provide basic contact information; an author biography and photo, back cover marketing text, BISAC categories, sales hook and other marketing information. See Author Questionnaire sample.

Manuscript formatted according to Köehler Books style sheet
Authors must prepare their manuscript according to the Köehler Books Style Guide, which will be provided. It will give exact formatting rules for preparation of the manuscript so that it complies with the formatting needs of the editor and design team.

Welcome and Creative Calls
The Welcome Calls will introduce the author to the Köehler Books timeline and provide a chance to go over the entire step-by-step process of developing the title for publication. This will include discussion of the technical marketing aspects of the book including pricing, target audience and release. The call will also include the creative process and include a discussion about the cover design.

Creative & Production


Front Cover Design
The front cover design is the beginning of the creative development cycle. Our designers will setup a call with the author to discuss the cover, to brainstorm ideas and to build rapport. The author will provide examples of covers they like during this process. Then they will create and present 3-4 cover options based in part on the discussion with the author. Next the author will rank the covers from favorite to least. No alterations, direction or design shifts are allowed by the author, however the rankings by the author helps us to pick the two best covers for the cover polls: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/cover-polls/

Authors and designers will collaborate throughout the creation of the cover, and the publisher will make the final choice.


Marketing Program
Book marketing is a partnership between the author and the publisher. The publisher promotes the book upstream to Ingram, other distributors and booksellers by making sure the title is accessible at a good wholesale rate and is returnable. The author primarily promotes the book downstream to readers.


Köehler Books partners with authors to create comprehensive marketing programs that includes conventional media, social media, and other ways to build a buzz and raise awareness about your book. We also train and coach emerging authors on the best methods for reaching out to readers using low-cost guerilla marketing techniques as well as working with publicists and marketing professionals.


This is the process where you will work directly with our executive editor Joe Coccaro or an editor he assigns you. The process is collaborative, yet decisive. We will provide our edits as review items so you can see exactly what changes we have made or recommend. In some cases we may start the process by asking you to cut or alter specific sections of the manuscript.


Text Layout
After your manuscript is edited it will go to text layout, where the words are flow into the actual book format. The designers will handle all aspects of this phase, including title page, legal page, pagination and headline fonts, etc.


Copyediting & Proofreading
From layout the text goes to a copyeditor who will follow our style guide, paying particular attention to grammatical usage and rules, as well as stylistic issues like spacing. The copyeditor will contact the author if there are any significant questions about the text.


Cover wrap and text layouts
The cover wrap layout includes the front and back covers as well as the spine. The designer will ensure that the back-cover synopsis reads well, along with author photo and biography. We also add the bar code and BISAC information and pricing.


Client approval of all layouts
Once the proofreading and layout phase is complete, PDF proofs of the text and cover layout are emailed to the author. The author marks up the layouts using Adobe Acrobat Reader directly on the files and returns the files to Köehler Books. After client approval the book moves to printing.


Tip Sheet
Tip sheets are essentially an information sheet that includes your cover, description, author bio and buying information including price and ISBNs. Our authors use tips sheets in many ways, and we recommend they include them with any email or snail mail package about the book, or when the author visits a bookstore or an event. The tip sheet prevents any chance that they do not have enough information about the title. See a sample tipsheet  here.

Check out one of our book’s interiors

Printing & ARCs

Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) – Publisher Provided
These are the printed book that are promised by the publisher to the author in the contract. They are completed books but may be updated later with endorsement quotes and reviews, as well as corrections. We will also provide a Digital ARC saved as a pdf file.

Author Direct Book Purchases
The author may buy books to send out for reviews, for personal use, or for tours and book events, at cost plus 50%, which is still well under wholesale (typically $5-7 author cost with wholesale cost typically 50% off the list price). Authors keep any profits from the sale of books they purchased, but they do not count as sales, nor do the authors receive royalties from those purchases.

Go here to purchase copies of your book: https://www.koehlerbooks.com/author-center/kb-authors/book-orders/

Please note that ANY books ordered by the author during the pre-sale period and prior to the publication date are not returnable or refundable. Only books ordered on or after the publication date may be considered for replacement or refund. 


Online Print Presales
As soon as the author questionnaire has been edited and the cover is completed, the title will be posted on Ingram’s vast online title management system, which is used by thousands of booksellers and distributors. The title will then become available for presale online orders, which will typically ship 1-2 weeks prior to the pub date, but MAY ship earlier.

E-books will be processed after the final signoff on the print files. Ingram Digital will then distribute the e-book to over thirty digital providers.