Do the Skate

The publishing process is a bit like “doing the skate”. It’s an intricate process that can seem perplexing at times and the truth is it's not as easy as it looks. This guide should help us to get in co-ordination so that we’re not stamping all over each other’s feet, missing our cues, getting frustrated with each other and generally looking like idiots on the dancefloor.

First time writers sometimes imagine that the work is done as soon as they complete the last word of their manuscript (or make their last edit) but the truth is a little more complicated than that. What the inexperienced author assumes is the end of the process is just the beginning of the publishing process and this is one reason why we would encourage you to read this guide.

Communication with Dostoyevsky Wannabe

Pretty much all that you will need can be found in this guide, in the checklists and forms available to download from this guide, and elsewhere on our site. Due to time restrictions we just can’t discuss details of this process with you in person anymore, we simply do not have the time. For the first few years, we just answered all queries about the publishing process in email or on social-media and all was well but as the books that we produce have grown in number it has become an impossible task.

Unlike huge corporate publishing houses who employ large amounts of staff to produce lots of books, or smaller independent publishing houses who might outsource typesetting and cover-design to third-parties, Dostoyevsky Wannabe consists of only two people (one and a half when our day-jobs are taken into consideration) and we do all of the typesetting and cover design ourselves so there are just not the hours in the day to continue working on a one-to-one basis across email or social-media (incidentally, conversations on social-media tend to bypass our usual working practices and often therefore add more complexity and not less, books have ended up being delayed via plans that we've made with people in social-media inboxes).

It probably seems like we’re being terribly impersonal but the simple fact is that if we don’t have the time to work on the books then it is effectively your book that is suffering so we hope that you understand why we have moved into doing things this way and will work with us to smooth out the process.

Stages to Publication

So we just need to master a few signature moves between us and we'll be fine. Five signature moves actually.


This is the first stage and occurs (obviously) BEFORE we have accepted your manuscript. Please go to our submissions page for details of this.


If we accept your manuscript and want to collaborate with you on it, you'll receive an email. We're often backed up with submissions so it could take a while and there's no timescale that we can commit to for reading submissions but starting from the next round of submissions next year you will receive a reply one way or the other (in the past you didn't).


This stage is VERY IMPORTANT to get right if you want your book to go ahead smoothly. We've improved our documentation on it in the guide below to help you get through it. There are lots of components to it including sending the correct checklist with the final manuscript and ensuring that you've formatted the manuscript correctly (in the past we had time to help with the formatting but we don't have that time these days). This is the final stage to get your manuscript right for you before the typesetting stage.

During this stage, you will need to read the guide below and also fill in the relevant forms/checklists and return them to us with your final manuscript and other files:

For single-authored books (such as Dostoyevsky Wannabe Originals and Experimental):
DW Single Author Manuscript Delivery Form

For anthologies (Samplers, collaborative anthologies but NOT Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities anthologies):
General Anthologies Manuscript Delivery Form

For Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities anthologies:
DW Cities Anthology Manuscript Delivery form


The production stage encompasses a few back and forth sub-stages between author and Dostoyevsky Wannabe (see below).


The process doesn't even end when the book is published. That would be the time to try and sell it to as many readers as possible. This is a process carried out co-operatively but largely separately between author and Dostoyevsky Wannabe. More info on that below too.

Please read the general information and then read in more detail below about each stage.

General Info

Delivery Date and Length of Process

When we accept your book, we will usually offer a date as to how long this process will last and when the book will be out for sale. It should be noted that this is very much a provisional date from our end and, although we rarely find ourselves unable to publish a book in and around this initial date, the process can sometimes be prolonged by factors outside of our control. More often, we find the date prolonged by factors outside your (the author’s) control however (maybe you need longer to polish off your final draft manuscript or other things happen). It would be helpful to us if you suddenly feel that your manuscript will not be ready for some months after the provisional date, it is not a huge problem (life gets in the way of books for all kinds of important reasons), and we can re-order our schedule but it will definitely mean that your book will then be dependent on us finding gaps in the Dostoyevsky Wannabe schedule and this may cause delays way past the initial projected date. Rough timescales for the publishing process can be found in the sections below, although it should be noted that this is different for DW Cities books as they are often tied to a physical launch event date and so they are treated differently.

Physical Book Launches

If you want to organise yourself a physical event to promote the book and if you intend to book a venue with which to launch your DW Original or DW Sampler or DW Experimental then please DO NOT do this until AFTER the book is live for sale on Amazon. We may very well not be able to work to your launch deadlines and then you may have a venue deposit or otherwise a planned launch date that exists ahead of the possibility of any physical books and that wouldn't be as good as launching with physical books of course.

Also physical launches, if you do choose to do them (you obviously don't have to) are completely your responsibility and the nature of our print on demand model means there are not discounted copies available for sale (although pricing your book at a low-cost and taking advantage of the usual free delivery offers that are built into Amazon's usual systems can allow you to buy a few copies and sell at a pound or so more in order to make your money back and many Dostoyevsky Wannabe author-collaborators have done that previously to good effect).


Permission from the copyright owner must be obtained for any third-party materials cited that fall outside the remit of ‘fair use’ conventions. For information on the interpretation of fair dealing in UK law, please consult the Society of Authors Guidelines on such matters because they know more than we do.

There is no fair dealing exemption for epigraphs, which always require permission, as do quotations of any length from poems, letters, lyrics and recipes. Artwork and images, including photographs, maps and line drawings also require written permission. Photocopies or scans of permissions granted must be submitted with your manuscript on delivery.

Artwork and Images

The use of cover images will be discussed with Dostoyevsky Wannabe editors during the cover design stage and are also subject to copyright.

Cover Design

We will sometimes produce a cover ahead of the production process for the rest of the book. We will have asked for preliminary ideas for these ahead of time during the submissions process.

Delivering Your Manuscript

This is not the delivery of the initial submission but refers to the delivery of the manuscript ready for the typesetting stage. Please ensure that the final manuscript has been proof-read and is as free from error or omission as you can manage. It is not possible for corrections to be made at post-typesetting proofs stage that amount to major edits/re-writes of the text, that stage is only for fixing problems that occur during typesetting. You should consider having the book read by a colleague or professional editor or just someone who loves to point out errors in grammar (inasmuch as you stylistically care about such thing) BEFORE delivery of the manuscript.

Different checklists are available for single authored books, for Cities books and for other anthologies and these must be completed and delivered with the manuscript. We’re afraid that it is NOT acceptable to deliver a manuscript and to ask casually whether it is formatted to our standards as we receive many manuscripts every week and we do not have time to open them to check. You will need to read, follow and format your final draft manuscript before ticking the box to say that you have done so. If we move to typeset a manuscript and find that it is not formatted correctly, we will have to return it to you and this could cause delays in publishing the book that will be out of our hands.

Technical Terminology

Terms such as hard-return, soft-return, tab, page-break, etc, what they are and how to view them and create them in your word processing software, can be more easily understood by downloading and reading our Guide to Formatting Marks which is downloadable below this guide.

Formatting – General

  • Each chapter, section or individual poem MUST end with a proper page-break. Please DO NOT just press the enter key until another page appears as this will not work for typesetting.
  • Please remove all footers, running headers and page numbers.
  • Please make the first page of the document the first page of the text and don’t add the title, author, bio or anything in. We add the front matter in during the typesetting process.
  • Use up to a 12pt typeface/font preferably Times New Roman or a serif equivalent.
  • Please remove any contents page as that will be added in later.
  • If you have a particularly complicated layout (poetry or prose) you might want to use the DW Word template (see list of useful files at the end of this guide) to ensure that your line-breaks satisfy our margin size. This will only be a guide and any difficulties will have to ironed out during the typesetting process. You’ll need to set the type in Times New Roman (11pt) to most closely approximate the font-size and style of the finished typeset book.
  • Text written over other text or redacted or strikethrough text or text that has been collaged can probably only appear if you send it in a black and white, high-resolution (minimum 300dpi) JPEG. Each piece will also have to be sent in a portrait and NOT a landscape orientation.


For poem titles or chapter titles, please make them bold and separate them from the text that follows using ONE hard-return.

Formatting – Prose

  • Paragraphs should end with ONE hard return.
  • If you have any section breaks within the same chapter (that denote a passing of time or a change of scene or whatever) please use three hard-returns so that we can distinguish these from paragraph spaces.
  • Please don’t use the space bar to make paragraph indents, use the appropriate paragraph indenting rules.

Formatting – Poetry (conventional and unconventional)

  • To make a line-break (not a stanza-break) you need ONE hard-return (the ENTER key) and NOT a soft-return (so NOT SHIFT + ENTER).
  • If you're writing poetry that is laid out with different indentations, please DO use tabs but DO NOT use the space bar (also please DO NOT indent poems with the ruler or via the paragraph dialog box because those indentations will be lost). If it's particularly complex, it might be worth downloading and using the DW template in the useful files section below. The reason we ask you to use hard-tabs (i.e CTRL + the TAB key) as indentations for more experimentally laid out work is because we can be a 100% sure they will survive the typesetting process.

Other Parts of the Book

It is usual for a book to open and close with front matter and back matter. Please send any such details in separate files labelled ‘front-matter’ and ‘back-matter’. Typical examples of this type of content include:

Front Matter/Preliminary Book Text

This may consist of some, or all, of the following:

  • Foreword or preface
  • Introduction
  • Dedication
  • Thanks or acknowledgements
  • An epigraph

Back Matter/Appendix

This may consist of some, or all, of the following:

  • Contributors bios, author bio
  • Glossary
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Any blurbs/endorsements from other writers

Internal images

If your book has any internal images then we must be sure that you have the permission to use them and they MUST be black and white (colour is too expensive), high-resolution (at least 300dpi) and cropped in a portrait orientation.

Sending your Manuscript

All manuscripts should be delivered electronically as email attachments along with the appropriately filled out manuscript delivery form (see above). Each delivery form tells you which is the correct email address for manuscript delivery. Please do not send it to all known DW email addresses or to the incorrect address as we have automated elements in place that mean that we might not see that you have submitted your manuscript.


For anthologies, please ensure that the manuscript is split into individual files according to the work of each individual contributor to the anthology and that each file is named after the author who wrote the piece. Again read the appropriate manuscript delivery forms (there are two - one for general anthologies and samplers and one for DW Cities anthologies).

The Production Process

The next stages are:

  • Cover Design - responsibility of DW
  • Typesetting (6-8 weeks) - responsibility of DW
  • Revision (1-4 weeks) - responsibility of author. This is simply to check the file post-typesetting and NOT literary revision
  • Final Correction (3 weeks) - responsibility of DW
  • Upload to Print On Demand provider (3 weeks) - responsibility depends on Option 1 or 2

Important note on revision stage

The revision stage is NOT for revising the manuscript from the point of view of literary composition (as that should have been done prior to the delivery of your final manuscript) and is ONLY for fixing any errors introduced by the typesetting process.


Copyediting is the responsibility of the author or their own appointed copyeditor and this should have been undertaken BEFORE delivery of final manuscript.


Unless you have purchased your own ISBN, we will use a free-ISBN from Kindle Direct Print.


Author Copies/Contributor Copies

Dostoyevsky Wannabe is a zero-budget operation who produce many books and thus we cannot offer ANY free author copies for single-authored books or contributor or guest-editor copies for any anthologies.

The best we can recommend is that authors or guest-editors price the book at a very inexpensive price and buy from the Amazon site post-publication, taking advantage of the free postage over £10 (or equivalent outside of the UK). If an author wants to buy books to sell at launch events it should then be acceptable for books to be sold for a few pounds more to your assembled audience (or indeed you can sell them at the cost price, that is up to you).

Also see our note above on any potential physical book launches that you might want to do.

Discounted Copies for Retailers

See our Retailer Guide:

Marketing your Book

Dostoyevsky Wannabe has a policy of announcing all DW books on social-media and promoting them on those platforms at the launch date but due to the scale of books produced we cannot really do more than that. We try to promote each book equally and then it is the job of the authors to promote their books to gain sales. If we are tagged in/mentioned on Twitter or Instagram, we will always try to retweet to help get word about the book out there but that is as far as we can go due to time considerations.

Forms and Checklists

These forms will need to be completed and sent over with the relevant files depending on type of manuscript.

Submissions Stage

Delivery of Manuscript Stage