Home > Dog Ear Processes > The Dog Ear Publishing Process

This article focuses on navigating the world of Dog Ear and understanding what happens as your book moves through our processes.

If your book is in editing … well, this email comes a bit early because it really addresses things that should start AFTER the editing process is complete. The world of copyediting has its own unpredictable rhythm, and I won’t even attempt to address it here. So – if your book is in editing, save the emails!

The Dog Ear Publishing Process Outline

Below is a rough outline of the journey your manuscript follows as it moves from manuscript to finished product. The entire process usually takes about 12 to 16 weeks, and the first six to eight weeks are very quiet as your book moves into queue and on to pre-flight and design.

Stage 1 – Initial sign up:

At this point you’ve completed the initial sign up process – where we collected your contact information and discussed in greater detail the type of book you want us to build for you. You should have already received a receipt for your initial payment and a copy of our contract and W9 forms. If you have not yet returned a signed copy of these documents to us, please do so as soon as possible.

Stage 2 – File submission:

If you haven’t sent us your files yet, please review our author checklist once again. Once you have prepared your files according to our specifications, please submit the following items:
•    manuscript
•    author biography
•    book summary
•    cover concept
•    images (if applicable)
•    any necessary notes or instructions

Please upload your files to us via the Author Project System. For LOTS of files if you have many pieces of art you are sending along, please send them to us on disc by mail. On the package or in the subject line of your email, please include “NEW FILE SUBMISSION / Your Last Name / Job #”. This will ensure your files are directed to the appropriate person.

Stage 3 – Production


After receiving your files, production will review your materials for issues that might cause potential problems. If any are found, we will contact you before moving on to the next step.

Sample cover and interior proofs:

Sample designs are typically sent six to eight weeks after the latter of either your paid invoice or your file submission date. Please note that we cannot start the design process until we’ve received ALL of the necessary files, contract, and payment.
The design proof is meant to showcase our design team’s vision for your book. We’ll ask you to submit any design-related changes before we proceed with the complete layout of your book (holding any editorial-related changes until we have completed the design process). Note that the cover design proof IS the cover as it will appear in final form (with the exception of spine width and price listed on the barcode). Any changes, whether they are design or editorial in nature, may be submitted in response to this proof.

Page Proofs:

When the Sample Design is approved, we lay out your entire book into the design you’ve chosen. The interior is sent to you for review – this is called First Pass Pages and includes everything within your book. We will ask that you review the interior file for any grammatical errors or editorial changes that are needed. Instructions on how to submit your changes will also accompany your proof. Each round of changes typically takes 7-10 business days to process.
If changes are submitted in response to your First Pass Pages, a revised proof (Second Pass Pages) will be returned to you. The process for this round is the same as with First Pass. If additional changes are needed, we will continue to return revised proofs to you until we receive approval.


Once your cover and interior are approved, we will have a short discussion on pricing. You will receive an email outlining the formula used to calculate your profit and providing you with your book printing cost. We will ask that you determine a retail price for your book as well as a wholesale discount. Typically all information needed for you to set pricing is included in that email. If you have questions or would like suggestions, however, we can discuss this in further detail. We are happy to help you determine a successful retail price.

File upload:

Once pricing is set, we will be ready to begin uploading your files to press. The initial set up process takes approximately 10 days to complete. During this time, your files will be sent through a series of quality checks at press. Once the book is made available, you will receive notification by email. Your complimentary copies will be ordered for you that same day. As a Dog Ear author, you can order additional copies through our author ordering automated system – instructions will be sent to you via email.

Stage 4 – Distribution:

We submit all the information needed by our distribution partners at the same time as your book is uploaded to press. Once your book is available at press, it will be added to Ingram and Baker & Taylor – listed as in stock and available for purchase. Your online listings with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and our other retail partners usually post within just days of initial print availability.

Stage 5 – Marketing:

The marketing aspects of your project will be addressed once the book is uploaded to press. In most cases, we use elements of both the cover and interior to prepare these marketing tools. Just as with your book, you will be shown proofs of all items. These proofs are sent approximately 2 weeks after approval of the cover and interior. Changes can be submitted just as they were with your book. The first round of changes on all marketing materials is free of charge.

Additional items of note:

Placing Book Orders:

The quickest and most economical way to order your own book is by using our online ordering system. Your personal ordering page is ‘open’ once the book is available at press. A unique author code is used to ensure you receive your per unit cost and is sent to you by Dog Ear via email once your book is available. Orders typically ship within 48 hours but may take 7-10 days to receive depending on how they are placed and the delivery method you choose. All orders must be prepaid.

Author Profit Payment & Sales Reports:

Your author profit checks are issued on a monthly basis. Payments cover a variety of types of sales (distribution, direct, e-book, author site sales, etc) and the scheduling is more complex than this email can cover. Visit the Dog Ear Publishing site for complete details – found here: http://dogearpublishing.net/resourcesauthsales.aspx

Both profit payment data and sales data are available for you to review through our online system – authors.dogearpublishing.net. The data is updated on a monthly basis and reflects all activity for the previous month.

Status updates for your project can also be accessed through the authors.dogearpublishing.net site.

Wow! I know that’s a ton of information, but hopefully this outline leaves you with a better understanding of what to expect as you work through the publishing process. If along the way you have any questions (we understand you will – it’s all part of being a new author), please do not hesitate to ask.

Ray Robinson
by Ray Robinson

When Ray first entered the publishing industry, authors relied on “vanity presses” to produce their work – many of whom would charge $15,000 or more and leave the author’s garage filled with hundreds of books. Ray, along with coworker Alan Harris, joined forces with Miles Nelson to create Dog Ear Publishing to provide the author community a self-publisher with a heart. The group’s application of new technologies and publishing on demand reduced the cost of publishing a book to a fraction of what it had been for previous generations; authors now have the ability to publish a book in as little as six weeks and print as few as a single copy.