Publishing and Media

Pre-Publication FAQ

“When and how should I send in my manuscript?”

If your manuscript is not yet complete, please send it to us by the date specified in your contract. You may email us the text (as one document, please, rather than separate files for individual chapters or sections) or send us a disk, but please also mail us a hard copy. We set the due date based on the book’s anticipated publication date and the time we expect it will take to prepare the manuscript for publication. Delays in submitting the manuscript may result in postponement of the publication date. If you feel you will not be able to meet the deadline specified in the contract, please contact us to discuss an extension rather than submitting an unfinished book, which will certainly create delays.

Please refer to our Style Guide before submitting your final manuscript. Then see How to Submit a Manuscript.

Any illustrations you wish to include, as well as release forms or letters of permission for reproductions of copyrighted material (including not only images but also song lyrics, poems, and excerpts from other writers’ work) must be submitted with the manuscript. For more information on copyrights and permissions, please see the section on ‘The Author’s Responsibilities’ in the Chicago Manual of Style, which includes guidelines for acknowledging sources and submitting requests for permission to reprint copyrighted material. The U.S. Copyright Office can help you determine whether a work you wish to quote is protected by copyright; however, it’s generally safe to assume that it is! Another site provides a quick guide to whether a work has passed into the public domain.

“How long will it take to edit my book?”

The answer to this question varies with each individual title. Factors such as length, level of editing and fact-checking required, our publishing schedule (the number of books being worked on at any given time), and the extent of revisions will determine the answer for each book’s required time frame. We do, however, estimate the duration of the editorial process and set a season and month for your book’s release, subject to change.

“How will you edit my book?”

We will edit the electronic text in Microsoft Word, tracking the changes and, where needed, inserting comments and questions for you to address when we email the text back for you to review. Then you’ll add your own changes to the same document and email it back to us. We often send a few chapters at a time, but we may also send the entire manuscript at once.

“How late can I make changes to the title or the content?”

Once the title has been announced as part of our fall or spring season, it becomes extremely difficult to change; therefore, this almost never happens. Subtitles are more flexible, but the title, concept and text of the book should be complete before you send it to us to begin working on it. If you’re re-envisioning the book’s message, shape or audience; collecting images, soliciting editorial suggestions from friends; organizing the bibliography; tracking down citations, etc., the manuscript isn’t ready for us to work with.

Once the editing begins, of course, some changes may be necessary. The contract explains how much time you have to make changes to the edited manuscript once it’s been returned to you. Requesting further changes after that point may cause delays in production.

“How do you obtain endorsements for my book?”

Using the information you provide in your author questionnaire, we generally send out copies of the manuscript or bound galleys for endorsements after the book has been edited; however, it can also be very helpful when an author has done this him- or herself prior to editing. This option may be practical when you are personally acquainted with prominent people who you believe would be interested in the book.

“What will be on the cover of my book?”

Our editorial and design departments will work together to put together a cover that communicates the essence of your book through images, quotes and promotional copy. The cover that appears in the catalog announcing your book is often a preliminary cover that may not reflect the final design. When you send in your manuscript, you are also welcome to send us any ideas you may have about the cover design.

“What should I tell people who want to order the book before it’s published?”

Pre-orders can be placed by calling our order line: 703-661-1594. Amazon accepts pre-orders, as well.

“How many books will be printed in the first print run?”

Don’t worry about the number of books printed! Lantern makes this decision based on many factors. We carefully track stock levels and, when we see demand increasing, will re-print your book as needed. If we did print runs the size our authors asked for and reprinted based on good publicity (rather than sales), we’d be out of business.