Part 1: Pre-Publishing (1C-1D)

Your Kickoff Meeting Is Being Scheduled!

You have completed the first two steps of the pre-publishing stage of your project. We have assembled the team that will work on your book and assigned a publishing manager who will be your guide throughout the publishing process. You will meet her at your kickoff meeting. In the meantime, please work on completing these steps:

C. Permissions

While Publish Her provides general guidance on permissions, and our team includes experts in publishing, we do not provide legal advice or counsel. As the author, you are ultimately responsible for your content.

Permissions are required to include certain kinds of content created by someone other than you in your book. You are solely responsible for locating and contacting individuals and organizations whose content you would like to include in your book, securing written permission to do so, and paying any associated fees. This includes content such as quotations, poetry, lyrics, data, tables and images.

This does not include content in the public domain, which is anything published in the U.S. 85 years from the present, anything published by the U.S. government, or anything published in Great Britain if the author has been deceased for more than 50 years.

Additionally, this does not include anything that falls within the doctrine of fair use, which is a brief quotation (generally no more than 50 words) that is:

  • Clearly identified as being from another work, not as your words.
  • Not taken out of context or distorted as to its true meaning.
  • Accurately reproduced, word for word.
  • Given full credit.

Song lyrics DO NOT fall within the doctrine of fair use; authors must obtain permission to include lyrics regardless of the number of words you excerpt. In general, Publish Her does not support publishing materials that include song lyrics not created by the author.

If your book is a memoir, Publish Her may require you to obtain permission to mention certain people by name. While the First Amendment protects your right to free speech, defamation and right to privacy laws protect the real-life characters in your book. The best way to avoid litigation is to obtain written permission.

If you are unable to get written permission to include content from an individual or organization, or to include a person’s name, Publish Her will offer potential next steps. You may be required to change identifying characteristics (name, gender, relationship, appearance, etc.). In some cases, we may ask you to remove content altogether.

You can find a sample permissions letter here.

D. Design Questionnaire

More than a million new book titles are released each year. That means it’s not enough to write a great book—book design has a big job to do as well. A well-designed book stands out in a crowded marketplace and attracts the attention of your ideal readers. It also lets readers know what to expect as they dig into your book and lends authority to you as an author.

The front cover generally includes author name, book title, subtitle (if you have one) and imagery that relays the spirit of the book (a photograph, illustration, etc.). The back cover typically features a brief description of the book, author information, the publisher’s imprint and a barcode with your publishing identifier. Covers may also include a positive review of your book from a well-known or respected reviewer. In some cases, when an author receives an award for a title, the book cover is updated to include the award information.

For books without images, the interior design is generally straightforward, but that doesn’t mean every designer is qualified to do it. Booksellers and savvy readers are accustomed to seeing book content displayed a certain way. Deviations from publishing industry standards—including margins, type font and size, line spacing and paragraph alignment—reveal whether a book was designed by a publishing expert or not and can make audiences question author and publisher credibility. Great book design has the power to influence booksellers’ decisions about which titles they will stock, as well as readers’ decisions about what to share in reviews.

Publish Her’s creative team includes designers and illustrators who are masters at making beautiful books, workbooks and magazines that bring your vision to life. The goal of this book design questionnaire is to help the team develop a book design that feels good to you and meets or exceeds publishing industry standards.

Helpful hint: Your work will not be saved if you close this webpage without completing the questionnaire. If you are unable to complete it without interruption, consider printing the questions, preparing your answers offline, and returning to this form when you are able to work through it in its entirety.




    Share at least five and up to 10 book covers you like in your genre. Copy and paste links to the titles on Amazon (or another bookseller) in the fields below.