If you can reach this Chronicle of Higher Education article on “Things You Should Know Before Publishing a Book,” read it. Elizabeth Knoll worked in both academic and trade publishing, and her insights into the editing process, contract negotiations, jacket design, and other things are spot on.

I worked for a bit with Elizabeth when I was a postdoc. I first sent my eclipse expeditions book to her at UC Press, but she left for W. H. Freeman before I was able to finish the revisions; then I got another job, moved to Chicago, delayed the revisions, UC lost interest in the book, but fortunately Stanford picked it up.

Anyway, having learned quite a bit about the publishing process from my most recent book, I can recommend the article.