The Publishing Process: A Guide for Authors


University Press Publishing

The Association of University Presses provides great information for learning about how university presses work. Please see their Ask UP site for a better understanding of book, journal, and digital publishing, plus additional resources for submitting a proposal and working with the publishing professionals who help produce your book and bring it to market.

Publishing with UNC Press

For a great big overview of all the folks and functions involved in publishing books at UNC Press, click to enlarge the infographic below. (Accessible text version of UNC Press’s Publishing Process available here.) Not every step applies to every book; each book has its own unique journey into the world. But this flowchart offers a good introduction to all the pieces that come together at UNC Press to bring work of great value to the widest possible audience.

click image to view full-size pdf
Click image to view full size infographic of The UNC Press Publishing Process. Or view the accessible text version.

The UNC Press Author Guide

The Author Guide pages of our website walk you through the steps in that infographic in a narrative form, providing descriptions, links, and downloads throughout to help demystify the process of publishing a book with UNC Press. This guide also connects you to the Author Portal, where contracted authors can securely upload documents, forms, and files mentioned in the steps here.

You can get a one-year glimpse of the cumulative work of the Press (the year’s awards, reviews, funding, special projects, and more) and put faces to the names of folks you’ll be working with by checking out our Annual Report.

The content on these pages is searchable; toggle the “Information” option next to the search bar at the top of any page to find what you’re looking for.

Search bar with an arrow pointed at the toggle for "Information" to the right of it
To search the informational pages on our site (not book or journal detail pages), toggle the “Information” option beside the search bar at the top right of any page.

The Author Portal

The Author Portal is a restricted-access section of our site where contracted authors can fill out required forms, securely upload electronic materials, and conduct other business with the Press as described throughout the Author Guide. Your acquiring editor will provide your password for access once the contract is signed.

Information by Topic

For information about what each step in the process means for you as a UNC Press author, dig deeper into a specific topic by selecting one of the sections below.


Proposals, contracts, peer review, preparing your manuscript, obtaining art and permissions


Manuscript appraisal, copyediting, indexing, page proof

Design & Production

Cover & interior design, typesetting, printing, ebook file conversion, reprints


Review copies, booksellers, social media, interviews, awards, conferences & festivals, promotions

General Administration

Royalties, subrights & translations, fundraising, accounts payable, HR

Secure Author Portal

Secure Author Portal
Securely upload files and forms throughout the process. For contracted authors only.