Find out more about the publishing process at Penguin Random House

all books begin with an idea a moment of inspiration if you like but they also begin with a purpose they're written by one person but they're meant to be read and hopefully loved by thousands and if we're very lucky by millions the publishing teams at Random House exists to support writers at every stage of their career caring for our authors believing in their work and feeling the thrill that great writing can give and wanting everyone else to experience that to authors to a publishing house or everything without all sirs we don't exist they are everything to us really this film is a glimpse behind the veil often it's a literary agent who will send us the manuscript to start with another way may be that the editor may come up with an idea find one of their writers or think of the right person to write that book and put that package together a ideas stage and then there may work with that writer to work up a proposal and again take it to acquisitions meeting we then bring it to the table here we discuss it with the other teams that we work with sales marketing publicity international rights and ultimately we make a decision as to what the books we are we want to publish how we want to publish them and what we think they're worth we all bring things that we have read that we feel excited about or interested in over the previous week but once we've got our sales team interested we then take it to an acquisitions meeting so there's a huge amount of people involved in in every book because there are so many aspects to making it bit successful the process of taking a book from manuscript to finish book is about a year and we edit the book we go backwards and forwards that process is quite intensive it's quite personal you're dealing every author is different and you need to respond to their needs if you're going to take on a book then you know you've absolutely got to know that you really will do everything possible for it and I think an author should know that every author is different every book is different everything that we bring to market is different and we have to and there are different ways we're dealing with that there are some people I've published for 30 years every single one of their birds and then and then they win the Booker Prize you know with book 9 or something and then you burst into tears or I do some of the the debuts I'm publishing next year you know while I've read you know probably five times this week one through the edit but you know every time I open it at a random page I find something on though I think that is brilliant I love these you came up with that I love that you made that nutty incredible funny dark odd world exists it didn't exist before you know this person made it up and so yeah that's that's good so with regards to the book cover generally the conversation will start with the author already talk about what sort of cover he or she sort of have envisaged for the book I will then brief the cover to the design department and I will key mark a few key scenes that I think have got the biggest visual impact so then we produce a range of visuals or one visual sometimes and that goes to a weekly cover meeting where we present it and once that's approved it will go to the author and the agent and once that's approved the book when we get that jacket out right when we often use that as a sales tool just as much as we do the manuscript you know when something special happens it is something inside that just sort of lights up or clicks in that and when you recognize that moment you know that it's right and you know that's that creative spark which you've achieved what you were looking for marked you're involved in different stages right the way through so we might get involved in how the cover looks we will certainly get involved in what the blurb says on the back of the book whether we want to copy line on the front of the book or a quote or just sort of generally we're part of the pitching process for the book as and we start planning a really exciting campaign that we know that is right for the people that would would end up buying that book so you know whether that's working digitally whether that's what assets we're going to create to help promote the book whether that's looking at where they're going to go on tour with the book if that's if that's something that's right for that book so it's really a joint decision with the author about how we how we think is the best way to get that book into the customers hand children's production the variety of products you can work on anything from very straightforward fiction paperback which is lovely but to an all-singing all-dancing pop-up book we have specialists in the department in consumer insight who will bring that to the all the conversations these are the types of people that we think would most be attracted to this book and therefore these are some of the things that we should be doing an editor will come to us with a rough specification of a book how much money we're going to spend on it and marketing things like that and I'll put together into a P&L so I'll do the initial costing but what I will do at that stage is spec it out so we know what kind of paper were going to print on we know roughly what kind of finishes we're going to put on the cover and then I won't hear anything about that project for a long long time until it's written it's copy edited and it's in a state that it then got can go off to origination so we get a final production PDF which is used to create the physical book and we take that and we send it to the conversion house and they've got a big checklist and instructions of what we want to get out of that book they take around two to four weeks to turn that round and then we get a an e-book back from them which we check internally we check it on all the different devices which is really important because ebooks render very differently on different devices though if you're looking at it on a Kindle it will look different too if you're reading it on an iPad so we need to make sure that the experience is as good as it can be for all those different devices one of the big issues with ebooks is discoverability what we're trying to do at the moment is really push the boundaries as well so constantly think up new ideas new ways of animating books new ways of bringing them to life a lot of people talk about digital in terms of its risks and the disruption that it's posing to the industry but it's more important now for authors to realize the opportunities that are out there and I think our role here is to you know inform and educate and also perform a translation service really between developers and the tech community and then our editorial teams here and authors as well we've learned a lot about app development over the last I'm really starting to understand where apps can add real value to our publishing and where content works best in an app format and where it works best in an e-book format and I think that's been an incredibly valuable process and something that we're proud bill about knowledge is something we're proud to be able to bring to our office Random House we have digital marketing expertise but we also have digital merchandising expertise and the relationship between the two is incredibly important often we find that the marketing that we're putting out there actually does have a direct effect on the retailer relationships that we have and the support that will then be given in store when it is a digital store our core role in UK sales is to make sure that we have our books displayed as well as possible and as many retail outlets in the UK as possible and that's both in either physical or digital form it's not like we're selling Mars bars or babies where a tin of baked beans is at in a baked bean this is a wonderful ever-evolving job independents are perfect for getting the community together the smaller book shop in the smaller towns and villages that I think we could really work with and develop their visit I think authors really like it when they see their books in different kinds of places you know they see their new cookery book in Lakeland or if they see their a new autobiography of an artist invert it then I think you know they really like that certain books will sell very well in some countries and not travel at all to others so we do have to build up quite a newest knowledge of the individual territories so that we know what to prioritize when we go to them present things sell store around 37,000 titles and have around 37 million books that we distribute whether it's the biggest library in the world but it's a fair sized operation one of scale and complexity we give the author peace of mind they know that they're going to be paid on time they don't have to worry about it they can then concentrate on more creative writing books I mean it goes without saying that you have the legal expertise so you know expertise in libel copyright we really work hard to ensure that the author gets to say what they want to say and that the important messages and stories that really are what this company is all about and what our authors are all about get to the as wide a possible audience we also have dedicated anti-piracy coordinators within the company whose job is to troll through what's out there every day and take down the stuff that is so obviously pirate copies of books I helped set up roundhouse enterprises which is the team that looks after exploitation of intellectual property we set it up this year and as in response a thing to the requirement now to be able to take our authors intellectual property beyond just books Random House Enterprises looks at opportunities to build partnerships that are mutually beneficial both for us and the authors to take their books and their characters and extend them into other product categories for example merchandise TV film sponsorship live events and digital and gaming digital products tend to be fantastic at getting an author's brand or a book exposed to an audience that don't necessarily otherwise normally discover it we're always thinking about how we tie that back to the book we can link back to the book introduce the app to introduce the author introduce the other books that they produce as well I think what's interesting for us as we have relationships with television companies or people who operate on you know in film television or games and radio and so on and there's no reason why we can't be the kind of central anchor point for a product that encompasses that brings in all of those different elements I promise they have said you know the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you think blimey this is it and sometimes it is you know the center of everything it's the author is the characters they've created is the language they've used and that's that's kind of what's unique to every author and that's that's what we're celebrating I've been in this business for over 20 years and I can tell you that that passion that excitement when you start reading the first few pages of manuscript is the most marvelous feeling you feel tremendously privileged we're working in the realm of magic and touching people's lives and we often say that a really great book can transform a person's life so if you have some small part in that process it's extremely rewarding

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