Author Guide #2
FOR PTR AUTHOR SUBMISSIONS INCLUDING CAMERA-READY COPY
Workflow Once You Submit Your Final Manuscript
When your manuscript arrives at our offices, the job of editing and producing the book begins. Authors often wonder, and understandably so, why this process appears to take so long. To answer this question, we will trace the progress of a manuscript through the many stages of production. If you are providing us with final "camera ready" files, this section is for you.
The Editor and the Reviewer
When the editor who specializes in your subject receives your manuscript, it may be submitted to one or more experts in your field of study, who will read and evaluate it with care and send reviews to the editor. The editor evaluates the reviews and may discuss them with you or will simply refer these reviews to you for consideration and for any revisions you may wish or need to make in view of the readers' comments and criticism.
In the meantime, the editor considers the manuscript in terms of its potential market: For what level is it best suited? What is its competition? What is its trade appeal? The editor has an intimate knowledge of these factors and will also call upon the knowledge of fellow editors and marketing managers, whose experience in related fields may prove invaluable in assessing the market.
After all readers' reports are in and you have responded to them-and the editor has made preliminary decisions on estimated sales, format, number of copies to be printed, selling price, and so forth, the manuscript is then turned over to the Production Department. A production editor examines the manuscript to become familiar with the entire project and to determine whether any problems exist.
Before the Launch
If you would like, before you get too far into the writing of your book, the production department can provide you with templates or macros. Ask your editor to make this request for you or you may get in touch with your production manager yourself. We have templates for several different programs, including Word for Mac, Word for Windows, FrameMaker for any platform, QuarkXPress for Mac and WIndows, LaTeX for any platform. These templates have been created to make it easier for you to concentrate on the writing task and lets you format your book according to Prentice Hall standards. You are not bound to use the templates, although we suggest you do. If you would like to change the template or design in any way, ask your production manager about the specific changes you would like to make. Chances are we will not have a problem with your choices.
Whether you use our templates or a design of your own, you must submit a sample file for testing as soon as possible. The sample need not be final manuscript, but it should contain all elements that will be found in the book, including heads, tables, code, and figures of every type. Early testing will help us avoid rework of elements and will alert us to potential problems.
The Launch Meeting
The production editor then calls a meeting to set up an editorial and production program for your book. The editor, the production editor, and the manufacturing buyer attend this launch meeting. They discuss such matters as the nature and extent of copy editing required, the number and types of illustrations, what software was used to create the manuscript and art manuscript, the physical format and the typography, the kind of paper on which the book will be printed, the style of binding, and the type of composition and printing equipment to be used.
All parties at the launch meeting, each in a different area of responsiblity, air their views; each leaves the meeting with an understanding of the approaches to be taken in progressing from the manuscript to a bound book.
Estimates and Approvals
The production editor sends a sample disk or tape to the printer, along with the accompanying hard copy, so that we can make certain one last time that we will not have a problem in playing out the film, electronically imposing it, and printing from it. If there is a problem, he or she will inform you immediately so that we can get revised material from you.
While manufacturing costs are being computed, the copy editor edits the manuscript for spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, consistency, organization, and like details. The copy editor queries you about changes in phrasing and questions of fact and suggests additions or deletions. The copy editor also checks the organization of tables, the consistency and completeness of footnotes and bibliography, the sequence of all numbered parts of the book and the accuracy of references to them in the text, and may flag material for which permissions or trademark identification are needed. Depending on scheduling issues and file formats, the copy editor may be asked to set all of his or her changes directly into the electronic files, while also writing all changes on the hard copy. For some software, redlining (a feature that allows you to view what the copy editor has changed in your electronic file) may be used. Please answer all queries without fail and supply all missing information. Consider the editorial suggestions very carefully. Perhaps the copy editor has misunderstood your meaning; but if so, a reader is even more likely to misunderstand unless you make the meaning clearer. Make all changes directly in the files and return the original manuscript along with a new printout and files to the production editor.
Proofreading is an important skill. When it is done correctly, it makes a better book. Please check the pages with scrupulous care. The eye has a way of seeing what it wants and expects to see, and it is very easy to skip over misspellings and even omissions.
Verify the position of all tables and check all text references to tables and illustrations; don't overlook correcting a reference such as to "the figure below" in a line that follows the figure referred to. Finally, check the running head at the top of each page and the page number. These should be automatic tasks in most word processors and page layout programs, but sometimes the program does exactly what you tell it to do and in doing so, does not catch errors you may have made in using style sheets or templates.
This is your final look before the book goes to the printer, so make certain that what you see is what you intend.
Front Matter Proofs
If you would like, your production editor can compose your title and copyright pages, and perhaps your series page, and will send that material to the printer along with the rest of your files. The front matter is distributed widely throughout the marketing and editorial departments, who use the information contained there for sales purposes (we use your materials on our web site, possibly in print or e-mailed ads, on the back cover copy, etc. to help sell your book). Please make sure this material-the preface and/or foreword-is as informative as possible.
Early in the process the Art Department puts into motion the creation of the design for the cover. This is done in conjunction with your editor and marketing manager. Your production editor will work with you to get the back cover copy finalized.
A great amount of attention is paid to the cover because the reader gains the first impression of the book through this element. The cover must be aesthetically appealing, eye-catching, compatible with the interior format and content, and correct for the audience the book is to reach.
Once sketches of the cover have been approved, the designs are completed, back cover copy is written and approved, and mechanicals are then prepared and sent to the printer, so that the finished will be available when the book has been printed and is ready to be bound. The sketches are also used for sales purposes-they are put into our catalogs, our sales reps may get copies of them to show to their accounts, etc. The cover is one of the most important elements of your book.
Oftentimes we have media accompanying a book, or even a book accompanying the media. While this is a very important feature in many of our titles, it is often one of the items put off for last and given the least amount of attention. This is a serious mistake, as a delay in a CD or disk can seriously affect the schedule and marketability of a project. If you are in the process of creating a mastered CD, you may find the following items useful.
Premastering software to create cross-platform CD-ROMs is getting better every day. Today there are just a few premastering software packages that can create cross-platform CDs and preserve every feature of existing computing environments. These CDs can be accessible in the native environment of Windows (3.1, 95, and NT), Macintosh, and Unix systems (many flavors). The formats we use are:
We are in the process of evaluating new generations of premastering software packages as an on-going R&D process, so we can continually be on top of the technology and upgrade our systems, as well as making sure that our vendors do the same.
You may find these tips helpful in putting together your materials:
If you have questions while you are getting the materials together be sure to contact your editor or production manager.
When you submit your files, either on separate media for us to premaster or on a premastered CDR, please include a printed directory listing.
The key to your book is the index, and it is important that it be a good one. Readers refer to it constantly, and reviewers often comment on its adequacy. A book's usefulness-and consequently its sale-can be increased or diminished by its index.
Compiles the Index?
Many word-processing and page layout programs allow you to create your own index as you prepare the manuscript. This section's general guidelines for index preparation still apply to embedded and tagged indexes, but there are a few special considerations.
As you go along placing index markers, you may wish to create a reference file of your main headings and the style of your entries. This will help you avoid going back to fix redundant headings in the index. If, for example, you mark some entries under the heading "Networks" and others under "Networking," you will have to go back and change the reference at each insertion point. It is important that you update the in-line references, and not just the output index. This way, when the index needs to be regenerated to accommodate editing changes, it will not need to be corrected again. It will also save time and effort for revised editions of the book.
If you prefer to have a professional indexer compile your index, we will arrange to have it prepared here by one of a number of experienced freelance indexers we have on call. We will pay the indexer directly, advancing the cost against your royalties.
If you compile the index, the following notes will help you:
Some important rules to keep in mind are:
Printing and Binding
With the advent of desktop publishing, where postscript files can be provided to the printer, the need for "camera copy" is unnecessary most of the time. Using the old method, the compositor would pull a reproduction proof of each page of type. This proof was of extremely fine quality, and was pulled on a special paper designed to give optimum clarity and sharpness to the type. Line illustrations and proofs of the halftone negatives would be integrated with pages by pasting them in place. The resulting "camera copy" then would be released to the printer, who would photograph the camera copy and strip in the film negatives of the type with the film negatives of the illustrations.
Electronic publishing allows for an easier, more cost-efficient means of preparing pages for the printer. Once the final proofs of a book are checked and approved, a disk or tape containing all of the electronic files (which include art) is sent to the printer. Because both art and text are electronic, they have already been combined during composition. This makes the printer's job easier, since the intermediate stages of turning repro proofs into film and stripping in halftones are no longer necessary. The printer plays out film directly from the electronic files. Sometimes, when halftone or other art is scanned, a low-resolution marker will be put in place in the electronic file. Because of space constraints, we will ask the printer to swap high-resolution art files with the low-resolution files, thus providing the best quality output when needed for the final book, and acceptable quality for proofing during the production of the book. The file sizes of high-resolution art can sometimes be astronomical, especially if color is involved.
The printer makes blueprints or "book blues" (proofs of the page negatives) for our final check before plates are made and the book goes to press. At this point, your production editor will be checking to make sure that the pages are in order, the margins are correct, and other such quality controls.
Offset presses are of the rotary type-that is, both the impression and printing surfaces are cylindrical. These presses may be either sheetfed (flat sheets of paper move into the press individually) or roll-fed (paper is fed to the press from a continuous roll).
Each printed sheet that will make up the book is folded so that the pages on the sheet appear in proper sequence. These folded sheets, consisting usually of thirty-two pages, are called signatures. The signatures are then gathered so that each collation contains all pages of the book in proper order.
The term "paperbound" books encompasses a wide assortment of bindery styles. The collated signatures are placed in a set of clamps, with the folded or "spine" edges up. One-eighth of an inch is then trimmed from the folded edges so that only single sheets remain. Glue is applied to this end surface; then the paper cover is put in position and folded around the book. The entire covered book is then trimmed at the top, bottom, and outside edges to final size. This method, called "perfect binding," is also occasionally used for case-bound books. Another method, "RepKover," is a process of "Lay-Flat" binding which uses cloth as a reinforcement media. This is a method of paper binding which improves functionality of manuals because they "lay flat" easily for constant no-hands reference.
If there is any media in the back of a book, this is a function that will happen after the books are printed and bound. This is hand-work that is a time-consuming process and that can add a week to your print and bind time.
Copyrighting the Book
The books are now ready, and the production editor rushes an advance copy from the bindery to you. (The "author's copies" called for in your contract follow shortly, after the books have reached our warehouse.) We also send two copies to the Register of Copyrights, Washington, D.C., together with a copyright application and a fee, thus fulfilling the requirements of copyright law.
Original Manuscript and Files
Once the book has been published, the production editor will return all the original artwork, photos, and manuscript, if you would like, to you. You may have to return some of this material to the sources from which it was borrowed. Otherwise it should be safely filed away for possible use should it ever be necessary to re-use for any purpose not yet known. We will keep a set of files here for any possible reprint corrections or perhaps for translations into other languages.
If your book is eventually published in a new edition, some of this material may be usable again, with a saving of time and expense on your part and on ours.
Your production editor will ask you to keep our reprint editor up to date on any misprints or other minor errors that you may discover or that may be brought to your attention from time to time.
When the stock of the first printing reaches a minimum and a second printing is anticipated, the reprint editor may notify you and request additional minor corrections, if any, by a certain date. These changes will be included if they are minimal and arrive on time. A warning is in order here. The reprint editor may not have enough time to warn you of an impending reprint. Therefore, we advise that you send in corrections as they come up. If possible, we will make the corrections in the files ourselves. However, depending on the program you have used, the extent of the corrections, and the schedule, you may be asked to provide the corrections in new files yourself.
Extensive changes should be saved for a possible revision (or new edition).
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