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Five Pillars of Publishing (plus one)

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

At Siretona, we think producing a book is the easy part, and that lands somewhere in the middle of the whole publishing process. We approach publishing in five stages:

  1. Prepare

  2. Polish

  3. Produce

  4. Promote

  5. Profit

plus 1: Partner


There are a lot of practical considerations when an author is getting ready to publish: websites, blogs, social media, manuscript, etc., etc.

Perhaps the biggest need it to prepare one's mindset. Are you intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually ready for the journey before you? You can read any number of books about the writing life and the publishing business, but until you embark on your own journey, you won't really know what's involved. Sometimes no matter how much you prepare, you'll always forget to pack something in your metaphorical suitcase. Just don't forget readiness and resilience: they'll help you with anything you encounter.

Oh, you should also pack resolve. You need conviction that you should be publishing this work, that someone needs it. Perhaps you know from the start exactly who your reader is. Perhaps you're not sure, but you're on a quest to find them, to inspire them or entertain them or educate them or inform them. Someone somewhere needs your writing--and all the forms it will take.


Once you're clear on the conviction that you need to publish your book and find your readers, you need to make your book ready. How do you polish? Editing.

Technically, polishing could be viewed as part of preparing, but editing is really a separate stage, requiring a different kind of help than prepping. Here you get into the details.

In developmental editing, you craft storyline, plot, characters, scenes, themes. You organize and re-organize ideas to make everything flow. Developmental editing is also known as content editing or substantive editing. This is big picture work, like framing and roughing in a house.

With copyediting, you pay attention to the mechanics of grammar and punctuation. This is detail work, like the last clean-up before someone moves into a house.

In between, you might want a thorough line-edit. A lot of people skip this stage, because it's more about style and continuity than substance and tidiness. Line editing takes care of discrepancies and smooths everything out. It's like hiring an interior decorator for a house before the final clean before the residents move in.


Did I mention that I think producing is the easy part? This is where you actually make the book: design the cover, lay out the interior, print the thing, distribute it to buyers.

Technically anybody can put words on pages, bind them together, and voila! A Book! But is it a good book?

We started making the book good when we started polishing. Now we're putting the finishing touches on it. Like it or not, people do judge a book by its cover, so let's make yours appealing to the reader.


You've made a book, and it's a good book, and it's ready to sell.

Now start telling people about it!

Wait a minute. I hope you started telling people about it way up in the Prepare stage, because you have a message long before you have a book.

What's your message? Is your book going to entertain? inspire? educate? inform? I hope you've been doing that all along, whether through blog posts, vlogs, social media, emails, direct messages, private conversations, etc., etc., etc. Don't wait until the book is printed -- start promoting it today!


What does success mean to you? There are many ways to profit from your book besides money. Is it a profitable, worthwhile venture, whether you break even or not? Only you can answer that, so be clear on your goals.

Do you want to make money with your book? Go for it!

Do you want to make a living? Grow your business? There are many ways to do that.

Do you want to raise funds for a cause? Do it!

Do you want to leave a legacy? What a beautiful goal. I hope your family loves it.

Knowing your goals and achieving them is success.


Finally, who's on your team?

I love Charlie Gilkey's concept of Success Packs. Who are your guides? your peers? your supporters? your beneficiaries?

Make a list.

  • Reach out to your guides. Tell them how they've inspired and equipped you.

  • Confer with your peers. Invite them to collaborate.

  • Thank your supporters. Ask for more help.

  • Hug your beneficiaries. Do the work for them.

Feeling inspired or baffled by any of this? We can help you sort it out.

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