50 Years of Boss Fights: What Happens After The Manuscript has been submitted?

Think you're finished once the manuscript is done? Not a chance.

50 Years of Boss Fights: What Happens After The Manuscript has been submitted?

If it was only a matter of writing up a bunch of words, submitting the manuscript, followed by seeing the book in a shop after a few months, everyone would be doing it.

The road to publishing a book can be long and frustrating at times. But ultimately, there are few better feelings than to see something you have created, available to buy in shops and websites, being read by total strangers as well as family and friends.

With days to go before '50 Years of Boss Fights' is out on June 30, I wanted to talk in this issue about what happens after a book has been written — at least, what happens when I finished writing this book.

Note: An excerpt of the book is now available to read on the Radio Times website, which you can find here!

Screenshots speak a thousand words

After rewriting '50 Years of Bosses' for the final time throughout January 2023, the manuscript was sent off to a fantastic proofreader, then submitted it to the publisher, Pen and Sword, in April 2023.

This is the first part for me — writing and editing is only half the process. It's a big part, but it's still only half. There's a lot to do before the book can be bought.

First of all, the screenshots. Every boss in the book required these. Early on, in early 2022, I decided that there should be between 2 and 4 images, and I'd obviously take them all. The amount of images were dependant on how big the word count was for certain bosses, as well as how much context was required. Granted, one of the aims in writing these bosses was to give the reader as much detail as possible to help them imagine what the player would face off against. But seeing the boss can do wonders — especially if there are alternative methods to beating certain bosses, or none at all...

We live in an age where getting screenshots, especially press material, can be easily downloaded for projects like these. But for me, that's not good enough. As I played every game featured in this book, I took plenty of screenshots during my encounters with these bosses. This way, it made the screenshots unique — especially for those games that would show my name in certain situations.

It gives the book that added authority, as well as proof that I've actually played these bosses — I've not been winging it!

In addition, I tried my best to make sure that every screenshot reflected how the game would look being played on its original system — whether that was a Nintendo Game Boy or a Sony PlayStation 3. Sometimes, I'd have no choice but to use my Steam Deck in order to take screenshots from emulated games. These days, some games are incredibly expensive due to their rarity, so I'd have no choice but to go down this route.

However, this meant I had more control in freezing gameplay when needed, so I could get the right shot for certain bosses.

Once I had collected all of these screenshots, the next task was to make sure where each image would go in the book. This was a task in itself, as I needed to make sure which image was the standout for each boss, attracting the reader as well as giving more context. There were times when I had to revisit certain games to take more screenshots because the initial ones didn't convey the boss as well as I had hoped. Eventually, every screenshot was taken and labelled for each boss.

Next, it was going through the comments made by the proofreader, as well as updating any bosses that may have been impacted by recently released games, such as sequels and remakes.

To the Wire

50 Years of Bosses

My second book, all about bosses — from the first one in 1974 and beyond.


Out of the 51 Bosses, five had to be updated to reflect certain sequels and remakes in their respective series that were announced during the writing of '50 Years of Boss Fights'. One of the worst things you can do is to not update what's been mentioned to reflect recent announcements. If you don't, your book, blogpost, article, video, is dated before it's even out. This is why certain bosses reference games that have been announced or released since I finished writing the book.

For example, one (or more?) boss from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is in the book. When I was writing about a certain boss in 2022, the game's remake, Metal Gear Solid Delta had not been announced. Fast forward to the end of 2023 when it was, and I was able to update this section so I could mention the remake in passing.

Providing updates like these assures the reader that the book is current with the latest developments in the series.

Looking at the book now, I can see that one boss references Metroid Prime 4 — but the section doesn't name the game as 'Metroid Prime 4: Beyond'. That title was only confirmed on June 18 after years of silence by Nintendo since the company announced the game's development in 2017. The book has been printed and is now shipping around the world. It happens. There comes a point of no return when you’ve updated and rewritten the book as much and as well as possible.

So once the images are done, followed by going through the edits and updating any bosses to reflect any modern news, it's the final checks!

On your marks...

Almost there! At this point, it's making sure that the book cover meets your approval, as well as the layout of the book itself.

Having a completed manuscript with images is important, but it also needs a good layout and an attractive cover to stand out on bookshelves and in online search results.

And then, once everything is finalised and sent off, we wait. You may be playing Hungry Hungry Hippos for a few months while the publisher handles the printing of the book and finalises its release date.

Suddenly, after all this time, after all the planning and all the edits, the book is out!

And yet, there's still more to be done over the coming months.

Thanks for reading.