Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Final Steps – Working with an E-publisher

The Final Steps – Working with an E-publisher

My last blog post in this series focused on the topic of indexing and cover layout. I had chosen to purchase the services of a professional indexer and cover layout specialist rather than attempt those tasks myself. I’ll address the cover polish first, and then the index.

I had already signed off on the block design for the cover by the time I had written my last post, and I still find it gives the book an attractive and professional feel. The only problem with the cover is found in one sentence of the text. Although I provided most of the text, the cover editor added and subtracted a bit to the text that appears on the flyleaf or the back cover, and that’s where the problem lies. One sentence has four key verbs contained within, the first is in the present tense, which fits with the tense of the whole. The second, third, and fourth verbs are in the past. Ugh! I missed that when I reviewed the text.

I have emailed the appropriate support person in the editorial department to see if the tense can be adjusted. Since I already signed off on the cover design, I’m not sure it can be altered, although it should be a simple matter to address. The tense issue is a very small one in the grand scheme of things for two reasons. First, only a very picky reader is likely to notice, and secondly, this is predominately going to be sold as a print on demand or an eBook. It’s not like I will get much shelf space in Barns and Noble or Indigo/Chapters.

This small issue is just that, a small issue. I just wanted to point out that it exists because the final text was prepared by a cover polish expert. Expert or not, he or she is just as likely to miss a small error like this. The error exists in the hard copy of one paragraph of the cover text because I abrogated my responsibility to a ‘professional’ with sheer abandon. Within lies the error. Hopefully, a change will be made to rectify the issue. We shall see how responsive the editor will be to my request. I’ll let you know.

The index was completed and forwarded to me by PDF file as usual. It looked pretty good and gave the reader a good idea of the range and scope of the content. I assessed the quality of the index in substance and layout by comparing it to the index in a few works of non-fiction, and it compared favourably. I happen to be reading Hawking’s A Brief History of Time at the moment. The index in Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity, and Contentment is not demonstrably different in appearance and usefulness as compared to others, even Hawking’s book. So when it comes to indexing, go pro and spend a few $$.

The next step will be to review and approve the Galley Proof of the printed version of the book. When it arrives, I will post my comments.

Until the next post, as always, I remain your faithful blogger,

L Alan Weiss (Larry) – Author of Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity, and Contentment

Visit my author website at www.lalanweiss.com

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Awaiting the Index, a Worthwhile Wait

 

Awaiting the Index, a Worthwhile Wait

My manuscript has been turned into a book. The work Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity, and Contentment, is nearing its publication date. The text is in the hands of a professional who specializes in indexing. I expect to receive the index for my inspection and approval in a few more weeks. The topic of this post relate some thoughts on the value of specialized services.

Self-publishing is not an inexpensive undertaking. The package I purchased provided many editorial and support services, but not the type that result in a polished finished product. Proof Reading the final blocked out interior text and cover text is essential. No matter how excellent one’s technical writing skills may be, and no matter how exhaustive the author has been in proofing his or her work, a professional proof reader is worth the cost. This service was available to me at about $1000. You might find this a steep price to pay, but my brother paid almost twice that to proof edit his crime fiction novel, which has many fewer words than the 66000-word piece I have produced. No matter whether one uses the service provided by an e-publisher or hires an independent proof reader, there is a cost to producing a text free of errors.

If the work is a fiction, then indexing is not an issue, but if it is non-fiction, even creative non-fiction, indexing is necessary. Just examine any work of non-fiction, and an index should be present in the majority of those texts. The indexer will read my text and create an index that reflects the intent of my work. I will have a chance to review his work, but based on all the other supports I have received, I expect the index will be well done. My cost for indexing is close to $800. Again my reader may be shocked, but the expense is well worth it. The task of indexing is both tedious and highly specialized.

The added cost of specialized services is well worth it. I am confident that the final product will compare favourably with other industry standard books. Whether my book has public appeal or not is a moot point. The potential sales of an unknown author’s first book are a statistic that time will reveal. That will also depend on how the book is marketed and what exposure it gets. Marketing my book is the next exciting adventure that awaits me..

My work is a creative non-fiction. The factor that makes it easier to market non-fiction is that the target audience for my words and ideas exists. Reaching that target audience is the trick. I’m working on that problem as I await the official release of my book. Of course, I will be blogging on that experience as well. My plan is to dedicate myself to marketing my book over the next year. It will be yet another interesting experience in the life of the first-time author. I must admit; there were times when I thought that the sobriquet AUTHOR would never apply to me.

Until the next post, as always your faithful blogger,

L Alan Weiss (Larry) – Author of Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity and Contentment

Do you think that all non-fiction genera books require an index? Please comment…..

Visit my author website at www.lalanweiss.com

 


 

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