Charting Your Way to a Best Seller

Barbara Vey -- May 25th, 2012

As readers we really don’t know or necessarily care what goes into the making of a book.  Our main concern is reading that amazing story that will transport us to other times and places and take us away, for a while, from our reality.  But, of course, authors do care about the system, so I thought I’d share this amusing chart I found on Facebook.

If you’re a reader, does it matter to you how books get published?  Or are you only interested in the final product?  What about the chart?  Clever or too close to reality to be funny?


Bottom Line:  “You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I’ve only ever had one.” ~ Albert Einstein

129 thoughts on “Charting Your Way to a Best Seller

  1. Susan Carlisle

    I find the chart to be scary. As an author I know and understand what happens in the book process. As a reader first and foremost, I don’t care how books come to be or get to me I just want them to be good and satifying. What is it you say-I want a happily ever after!

  2. Christine

    As a reader I just like the book to be available–how it gets there is only interesting if I’m reading an author interview. And the chart’s amusing for a traditional publication, especially if a publshing house has paid big bucks for some celebrity-written (or ghosted) tome. Otherise, with all the cutbacks, it seems the average author is lucky to get any attention at all. Considering the sloppiness of some published titles, I’m not sure a copyeditor or proofreader even gets the opportunity to look at the manuscript. So what’s the ebook process like?

    1. Amanda

      The ebook process is the same for traditional houses except that the slow boat from China is replaced with formatting and uploading the book to as many ebook platforms the publisher has an account with.

      Self-published authors are in there with Stephen King, Lady Gaga and reality stars: minimal editorial oversight, for better or for worse.

  3. Skip Press

    You found it on Facebook? That’s the best you can do? You couldn’t track where it came from?

    That alone is a comment on the dumbth of traditional publishing these days. (It’s a Steve Allen word – look it up – but not on Facebook.)

    1. Sheila

      The origin of the illustration is listed on it. It took me 10 seconds to find the original article-

      The fact that it’s circulating around Facebook is interesting. It shows that people are interested, even if it is for a laugh.

      This is a blog, not an article. It doesn’t require a list of resources. The owner of the illustration even has Pinterest listed on their site for sharing. The URL was left on the illustration. There’s nothing wrong with the way this blog was written. And it certainly does not reflect on “traditional publishing”.

      There is some irony in your post though. ;-)

  4. Stephanie Scott

    I’ve always been interested in how things work. If a book is written amazingly well, I wonder about the author’s process, how they gathered the research and inspiration and packaged it up in a great novel. Even before I took my own writing seriously, I always read the author bio several times, the acknowlegements and things like that. I love to know the extra tidbits.

    That’s not to say I understand how the publishing industry works. I only learned this year that most authors don’t have control over their cover art. I thought more would have a say in it.

  5. Charlene Sands

    Hi Barbara – I looked at the chart and laughed. Sometimes, it really does feel that way to get a book published. Love it, though and you gotta really love the business/craft of writing or none of us would do it!!

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