The process of preparing the text of your book starts with an understanding of what you are looking for. You will most likely have a Word document and some pictures you may like included as well.
There are two basic methods of producing your book. The first one would be to use the Word document which you have probably been working with, and creating a print ready PDF from that. I would check it is the correct size that you need, and that there are no problems with the file that would prevent it from being printed correctly.
If there were any changes that needed to be done, they could be made to it. This may include removing unwanted folios, adding some extra pages, changing the order of pages, or virtually anything else that you need. Any issues can be fixed, in order to get your file print-ready.
The second and by far the best method of producing a professional-looking file which will print hassle-free is to take the Word document and import into InDesign, a page layout programme. This will be used to produce the final PDF file. It will be the correct trim size, and has all the folios, running heads, chapter starts, pictures, captions and other page elements you are after.
Obviously the second method costs a little more, but is often worth it for a more flexible and professional-looking result.
The most important information prior to starting is the trim size of the book and the page extent. You may have already had a quote done from a printer with these details. From there, it is a matter of working out whether the manuscript you have makes about the correct number of pages. I will find out from you what sort of book it is, and suggest a design to suit, that fits in with what you would like the book to look like, taking into account your ideas also.
The Word document is imported into the InDesign document and the text is formatted roughly in the first instance to see how many pages it makes. I can adjust the design to match the page extent of the quote if necessary.
At this stage, I would send you a PDF of the document to see whether you were happy with the overall look of the book. Any problems with the page extent would be sorted out now. If your manuscript is way too long or short compared to the quote, you may need to have your project re-quoted by the printer.
Assuming you are happy with the layout and design, I would go ahead and format everything properly as it should be.
Once the document formatting is complete, I would either supply you with a PDF to check on-screen or for you to print out if you like. Alternatively, I could supply you with a set of proofs for checking.
Any corrections are done at this stage, and any minor spelling mistakes corrected. I don't charge extra for any of these corrections – as long as it's not a total re-write!
Any corrections are fixed and checked again by you. Once they are done and you are completely happy with the file, I'll send the print ready files to you, or can send directly to the printer if you would like.
By the way, if you're looking for an ISBN for your book, go HERE
and look for information on ISBN's. They can also provide you with the barcode file itself, or I can create one for you if needed.