Tag Archives: struggles

finally . . the submission

The final stages of the approval process have been completed, including the marketing text for the cover.  All the edits have been approved and the marketing text has passed muster. The only stages of the process remaining include a properly structure final submission, approval of a cover design, the scrutiny of a proof reader, professional indexing and final approval of the finished book.  In order to submit the manuscript for layout in book form (eBook and print format), it must be packaged properly.

A manuscript is composed on pages that are 8.5 x 11 inches, but a book is published in various formats. The print version of my book will be 6 x 9 inches. To complicate matters further, the margins of a manuscript are not the margin dimensions of a finished book. The individual charged with formatting a book for publication requires some freedom to prepare the book layout. My submission will consist of  two folders; one folder contains a single clean copy of the manuscript and a second folder which contains a separate file for each graphic or photograph to be included in the text.  All photographs and graphics, should their be any, are cut from the manuscript and a place holder is inserted to indicate where each belongs.

My manuscript also includes some tables and text boxes. I was given the option of formatting them myself or having it done by the layout pro. I have opted to have them formatted for placement by the layout pro because I am certain to make a hash of it. After all the work and expense of getting to this point,  a highly professional looking finished product is the only possible outcome for the author.

The cover design is another matter which I have turned over to the pros. They will do their best to come up with a cover design that is attractive and appealing, and I simply have to approve it. Throughout this process I have taken my lead from the experts. I am a writer, not a layout expert. When you choose to self publish and pay for a package deal, the expertise of the publisher is what you paid for so you should exploit it to the max. Tomorrow, when I click the send button on an email that has my files attached in submission format, I do so with confidence and certainly a degree of excitement.

The next phase of the process is up to me. There are lots of books for people to chose from in this world and no book sells itself. Unless you already have a public profile of some note, the first time author is an unknown entity in a very crowded and competitive space.  I have written for a target audience and I need to reach out to them. My next post will discuss marketing planning and structuring an Author platform.

Until the next post I remain your faithful blogger . . .

L Alan Weiss (Larry) 

Soon to be published author of Through a Lens of Emptiness

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Filed under Working with an E-Publisher

Starting Out – When Ten Plus Five Equals One

Until the spring of 2012, my writing portfolio (if I had one) was composed of short scientific papers, academic research, a myriad of reports and report card comments over 27 years of teaching, and the rare false start attempt at creative writing. To say this writing portfolio marked the work of an aspiring writer would require a vivid imagination. T he dream of publishing a book seemed farther away than ever until I read about self publishing. After investigating the idea of self publishing through an internet search, and some inquiries through the “contact us” invite of a number of self publishing services, I finally selected a publisher and a publishing package  that looked like the right fit to reach my goal.

Once I paid the required fee and completed the required documents I was off to the races, and the struggles began. My struggles had nothing to do with the publisher, they were all inherently my own. Moderate dyslexia would complicate the process as usual. A look back at some few items of written work that from my elementary, middle, and high school years, had me wondering how I was permitted to graduate. The content in everything I had written was complete, and ideas were abundant, but spelling and grammar in my work were an embarrassment. In university, my written work in the humanities tended toward mediocrity but the content always pulled me through.

By the time I reached graduate school, I’d had enough of mediocrity, and took to the habit of writing and rewriting papers as many times as necessary. I rehearsed and practiced writing answers to possible exam questions so I would waste as little time as possible thinking of spelling and sentence structure. It became a matter of survival. I began producing better written work with respect to spelling, syntax, and grammar, and the content and ideas were presented in a more beautiful frames. Ironically, the disabled learner is doubly handicapped; they must cope their learning disability in  daily life, and have to work much harder to get a descent result for their efforts. With this background information my readers can well imagine what lie ahead for this novice writer.

After five major reads and revisions, I finally had a manuscript completed to the point of submitting it for a first evaluation. In addition to the publisher, I imposed on several others to act as readers and provide feed back. One of the chosen few was a retired English teacher and high school principal, who kindly took his time to do some copy editing. The publisher and all the readers gave me feedback on the content, clarity, and logic in presentation. As usual, content, ideas, and research were all very strong, but there were many weaknesses reflected in there comments. There were problems with the sequence of topics and some content that did not seem to fit in the context of the manuscript. In addition, there were pronoun use errors, some agreement errors, some incorrect word choice errors, and many others small but significant flaws.

There was much work left to do. After ten months of hard work, and five drafts of the original manuscript, I was determined to finish what I started. I had the opportunity to review the feedback from the publisher with a consultant and developmental editor, and was advised of some services that were available to me at a reasonable cost. I’ll write about the debrief experience in about 48 hours after a short period of R and R. Until then……

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Filed under Writing a book

Too Harsh on Hegemony

Before I leave the topic of Hegemony, I need to acknowledge the rant quality of my last post, which was too harsh in some ways. I went after the US with a venomous mind, without considering the sensibilities of the most important element in that country, the people. The people are the country in the end, not just the hegemonic structures which govern their lives.

The founding principles of that democratic nation are truly good and just. The problem is not in the principles, but in the practice at the highest levels, not at the level of the people. By-and-large, the American people are kind and generous people. In times of strife, they pull together for the common good, perhaps like citizens in no other nation. They fiercely defend their rights and freedoms, and are generally fair-minded, and more than ever, seem committed to egalitarianism.

The USA was born of rebellion against the dictates of an imperialist Great Britain by a populace that was tough and independent by nature. Those characteristics are exactly what was required to establish a nation where only wilderness prevailed. The United States of America has progressed in fits and starts during its existence as a nation-state. The fits have been the product of drifts away from its founding principles, and the geopolitical drama that has unfolded over those years. The starts have been the result of being drawn back to those same founding principles.

Perhaps it is more wise to judge the success of the United Stats, not be its absolute success, but by how far it has come in light of all the struggles it has had in moving toward the ideas of democracy put forth by its founding fathers. Booker T. Washington exhorted the American blacks, struggling to succeed in the period after the Civil War, with that very idea. The inherent optimism of his sentiments at that time, may be for this time too.

Hegemony still has no place under my dome of heaven, but the people who struggle against its evils, and right those evils through democratic means, do. We need to return to hegemony in its most benign form which serves society, not dominates it.

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Filed under Politics