Once the ghostwriter has finished writing, the task of rushing a book into print falls to the publisher. If a newsy or highly anticipated manuscript arrives on schedule, says Steve Culpepper, executive director of editorial at Globe Pequot Press, editors huddle with sales staff and marketing, among others, to determine whether it’s big enough to be worth crashing out quickly. The company’s president makes the final call.
If it’s a go, each step in the release process gets crunched. Instead of having a manuscript copyedited all at once and then sent to the author for review, doing it piecemeal can whittle the typical four-week process down to less than one, Culpepper says. Two weeks of fact-checking can get cut in half, and design and layout times curtailed from five weeks to five days. Eight days are shaved off the usual 10 for proofreading. And instead of a week, last-minute corrections are done in a single day. When the printed books arrive in the warehouse, they’re shipped out again the very same day.
The impetus for all that extra work is, of course, money. Rush rates can bump copy-editing, proofreading and fact-checking costs up 50%, Culpepper explains.