The PubLaunch
Learning Center

Build a book: Build your own team


Through the PubLaunch Marketplace, you can hire suppliers, publishers, or publishing consultants to help you prepare your book project for publication. Our Marketplace includes two paths for writers: build your own team and guided publishing. This guide walks you through how to build your own team, one step at a time.

Build your own team – A general overview

In the build your own team publishing path, you’ll tell us a bit about your book project, upload the most recent version of your manuscript, and then select which publishing services you’re looking for. You will then be prompted to explore our curated list of trusted industry professionals and select the people you’d like to have on your publishing team.

You will receive a full, automated estimate for your book project through the site, and suppliers will let you know if they’re available.

Sign up (or sign in) and get started

Using the Build a Book link on our homepage (or on the main menu, under the Get Started tab), you are prompted to either sign up for a writer account or sign in. Those who are already signed in will be directed straight to the Get Started window (see figure below).

Once you’re signed in, click Get Started, and you’re on your way!

Choose your publishing path

In the first step of the Build a Book process, you need to choose which publishing path you’d like to take. For more information on the different paths, check out our Learning Center and FAQ.

Tell us about your book

The first stage of building your book involves a seven-step workflow, displayed as a menu on the left side of your screen. In the first step, you’ll tell us about your book project. In the remaining steps, you’ll tell us what services you’re looking for.

Step 1: Manuscript details

Tell us (and your publishing team!) a bit about your book. Select all genres that apply to your manuscript, and include your working book title, the word count of your most recent manuscript, your anticipated book size (i.e., mass market, trade, etc.), and a description of your book.

Before you click the “Save This Step” button, upload the most recent version of your manuscript. After you’ve saved this step, click Step 2 on the workflow menu (see below).

Step 2: Ebook conversion

Answer two questions about your book formatting. From the first checklist, check off which format types you’d like to publish in (i.e., ebook, paperback, hardcover). For the next question, indicate if you’d like to hire a supplier to convert your manuscript into an ebook.

Click the “Save This Step” button, and then choose Step 3 on the workflow menu.

Step 3: Editing

Indicate which editing services you are looking for, if any. Check all that apply.

Click the “Save This Step” button and then choose Step 4 on the workflow menu.

Step 4: Interior design

Tell us what you need for your interior book design.

First, use the dropdown menu to indicate whether you need an interior designer and if so, whether you need a basic design or a more complicated, custom design.

Next, check off whether your book has illustrations, and if so, whether you will provide them or if you need an illustrator to create them for you.

Click the “Save This Step” button and then choose Step 5 on the workflow menu.

Step 5: Quality control

Also known as “proofreading,” quality control is the final step of the editing process. A proofreader checks a copy editor’s work and reviews the book design. In Step 5, indicate if you would like quality control (i.e., a proofreader on your team). Note that you will only be able to select quality control if you have checked off copy editing in Step 3.

Click the “Save This Step” button and then choose Step 6 on the workflow menu.

Step 6: Cover

Step 6 asks you about cover design. Either indicate that (1) you do not need a cover designer, (2) you would like a cover designer, but you will provide the images, or (3) you would like a cover designer who will create your cover from scratch.

Click the “Save This Step” button and then choose Step 7 on the workflow menu.

Step 7: Summary

Step 7 is a review of the previous steps, including your manuscript details and your answers to our questions in steps 2 to 6. If you would like to make changes, just click on the relevant step from the workflow menu, make the change, and then click “Save This Step.”

When you’re happy with your summary, click the “Pick Your Team” button at the bottom of your screen.

Pick your team

At this stage, you’re ready to shop for suppliers to join your team.

Like the seven-step workflow in the last stage, there is a menu on the left side of the Pick Your Team screen, listing each service that you’ve indicated you require (see above, arrow #1).

Each supplier appears as a thumbnail under the “Available suppliers” heading. All suppliers that appear here provide the relevant service (i.e., the service highlighted on your workflow menu) and enjoy working in your book’s genre.

If you have someone particular in mind, use the search bar to locate the supplier (see above, arrow #2). You can also sort the available suppliers by latest suppliers (i.e., newest PubLaunch suppliers), at random, or according to your wishlist (see above, arrow #3).

Click on the “See More” button on a supplier’s thumbnail to view their full profile (see above, arrow #4). Be sure to read their description, browse their website, and preview their previous work to get a full picture of who they are and what they offer.

To add a supplier to your team, click the “Add To Team” button on their thumbnail (see above, arrow #5). This will move their thumbnail from the Available section to the Selected section.

Make sure that you click through the entire workflow and hire a supplier for each service you require. Once you’ve selected your team, click the “Next” button at the bottom of your screen to receive a full estimate for your book project (see below).

Note: At this stage, you have not yet applied to your suppliers and can still return to the Pick Your Team stage if you are unhappy with your estimate.

Reviewing your service estimate

This stage is a review of the estimate you’ve created for your book project.

The estimate for each service is based on your manuscript details and the rates of your suppliers. Here’s a refresher on how our estimator works:

  • Structural editors, copy editors, and proofreaders set an hourly rate. We use your manuscript’s word count to determine the number of hours required. (Therefore, quantity = hours.)
  • Indexers, interior designers, and ebook converters set a per page rate. We use your anticipated book size to determine the number of pages your book will be. (Therefore, quantity = page count.)
  • Cover designers set a flat fee. (Therefore, quantity = 1.)
  • Illustrators set a per illustration rate. (Therefore, quantity = number of illustrations.)

If you’re unsatisfied with the estimate and would like to return to the Pick Your Team stage, click the “Go Back” button. You can then remove selected suppliers and add different suppliers to your team.

Click “Next” if you’re satisfied with your estimate. Note that there is still one final step before your selected suppliers are notified.

Submitting your book project

When you reach this last stage, your book project (i.e., your selected services) will be listed under “Draft” (see below).

If you are not ready to submit your project, you can leave your project under Draft and click the “Save and Exit” button (see above, arrow #1). You will be directed to your dashboard, and can find your project under the Draft section.

When your project is in the Draft section, you have very limited functionality. Click the “Service Summary” button to return to final stage of Build a Book (see below).

Back to the submission page…

If you are ready to submit your book to your suppliers, click the “Submit” button (see above, arrow #2).

Your services move to “Pending,” which means your suppliers have received your request. Click the “Save and Exit” button to be directed to your dashboard. Your book project now appears in the Pending section of your dashboard.

Signing supplier contracts

Once your project moves to the Pending section, you can access your project’s contracts page (see below). All other links will be grayed out and unavailable until the project graduates to the next sections.

The contracts page will have an entry for every service agreement for your book project. Initially, the contract status will say “No” for all parties.

You need to sign each contract. Click the green “Sign” button beside each agreement (see below).

The contract will pop up on your screen. Click the “Accept and Sign” button at the bottom of the contract. Once you’ve accepted, “Yes” will appear under the Writer Signed? column (see below).

Suppliers have five business days to respond to your application. As they accept your project, “Yes” will appear under the Supplier Signed? column (see below). Notice how the background color of each row changes from yellow to green when the contract is signed by both parties.

Fund your project or pay direct

When all contracts are signed by both parties, the “Crowdfund or Pay” button on your dashboard becomes available.

Use this link to choose a payment method (see below). 

Paying directly

By paying directly (using the “Pay Now” button), you can begin to work with your publishing team immediately. You will pay by credit card, and upon payment confirmation the “Launchroom” link becomes available on your dashboard. See our Launchroom user guide for an explanation of how to use our Launchroom.

Crowdfunding your project

Choosing to crowdfund your project (using the “Create a Campaign” button) will prompt you to create a crowdfunding campaign. See our Crowdfunding user guide for details on campaign setup.

Note that the “Campaign” link on your main dashboard will become available as soon as you have a saved draft of your campaign. You can return to your draft campaign at any time using this link from your dashboard.

Upon completion of a successful campaign, your publishing team is paid directly from your raised funds and the “Launchroom” link on your dashboard becomes available. (See our Launchroom user guide.) You can now begin working with your team!

Dealing with a declined submission

If a supplier declines, their contract line will change to red. Click the “Reason” button for an explanation from the supplier (see below).

You can either remove this service from your book project or submit to a new supplier by returning to the Build a Book process. From your dashboard, click on the title of your book project (see below).

You will be led to the beginning of the Build a Book process; however, all your previous selections (including selected team members) will be saved.

If you would like to remove the service instead of submitting to a new supplier, find the relevant service under the seven-step workflow of Tell Us About Your Book and revise your answer. Remember to click “Save This Step” before returning to your dashboard!

If you would like to choose another supplier instead, leave the seven-step workflow the same and click the “Pick Your Team” button at the bottom of your screen.

Remove the supplier who has declined your project by clicking the “Remove” button on their thumbnail, and then choose a new supplier under the Available suppliers heading by clicking the “Add to Team” button. When you’re ready, click the “Next” button at the bottom of your screen and continue through the process until you are led back to your dashboard (see below).

Your book project will remain in the Pending section on your dashboard. You can use the “Contracts” link to view your new application status. Don’t forget to sign the new contract!