So you want to publish a book: professional editing and illustrations

This series was originally posted in 2008


The editor is the most important member of the team you pull together. Don’t cheap out. There is nothing more cringeworthy than a poorly edited book. Don Bastian has decades of experience as an editor and was the Managing Editor at Stoddart books at one time.

Beyond looking simply for grammatical and spelling issues, the editor looks at the project from a readers perspective. Because of Don’s experience he was able to provide insights that made the narrative structure of the book better. And even then – we were still catching little things in the hours before the book went to the printer!

The illustrations are something that may sound easy. In Moose, illustrations are found at the beginning of each chapter and the cover. Great illustrations can help propel a story and set the tone for the book. Before we went with Bill Kimber, we looked at five other illustrators. Of those five, Bill came the closest to the “whimsy” we were looking for.

But even though he was close – it took some back and fourth before we got to where we were comfortable with what we had. Another thing to consider about the illustrator and the illustrations is how you plan to use them. In moose, the cover illustration is in colour and the chapter illustrations are in black and white. However, we had Bill create colour versions of everything, so we could also use these illustrations on the web site and on the materials Jim uses for his keynotes and workshops.

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