The Editorial Staff
Content Preparation
Workflow Once You Submit Your Final Manuscript
The Technical Manuscript
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General Author Guide
For higher education authors, this general guide provides in-depth information on how to submit a proposal, an overview of the Prentice Hall production environment, and compositor's guidelines. Includes link to an online submission form.
Technical Author Guide #2
For computer science and engineering authors who WILL be providing Prentice Hall with camera-ready copy.
Non-Technical Author Guide #1
Covers the entire workflow cycle, from submissions of your manuscript to final revisions and publication. For PTR authors NOT providing Prentice Hall with camera-ready copy.
Non-Technical Author Guide #2
For PTR authors who WILL be providing Prentice Hall with camera-ready copy.
Technical Author Guide #1
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 manuscript that we are to make into pages, then 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 editor
s and marketing managers, whose experience in related fields may prove invaluable in assessing the market. Much of the information gathered will not only be helpful in editing the manuscript but will also provide the basis for planning the book's physical format.

After all reviewers' 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 decision is made by the publisher that the manuscript is ready for production. 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.

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.

At this meeting a production schedule is drawn up, establishing key dates that must be met to ensure that the book will be published as close as possible to the most advantageous time for maximum sales. This schedule shows, among other production details, when copy editing and artwork must be finished, when edited manuscript must be released for keyboarding, if necessary, and makeup, the dates for receipt and return of proofs, and the dates when printing and binding will be completed. At each stage of production, your production editor will inform you of the dates you must meet to help maintain this schedule. Because the publication date is critical, you have a vital responsibility for adhering to the deadlines that have been set. All parties at the launch meeting, each in a different area of responsibility, 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.

Cost Estimates and Sample Pages
After the launch meeting the production editor assembles all information regarding manufacturing and design specifications and may send a duplicate manuscript and files to a compositor for a determination of the cost of setting and makeup and for a castoff (an estimate of the number of printed pages the manuscript will make).

If you have submitted your illustrations in rough form, our Art Department estimates the cost of preparing finished drawings and selects an artist for the work. The production editor will send you copies of the finished drawings for checking before they are scanned, if necessary, and imported into the book files.

A number of weeks are required to prepare specifications and layouts, to obtain compositor's, printer's, and binder's manufacturing prices, and to work up the cost of producing the book. When all format details are settled and a manufacturing budget has been approved, the manufacturing buyer issues an order to the compositor for making pages and importing the art or for setting, if this is the agreed upon method of production.

If you have provided us with your electronic files (and we strongly advise that you do so as soon as possible), a disk or tape with the electronic files will be tested in house and/or sent to a compositor for testing. At that time, the files will be evaluated for compatibility with composition software and equipment, and conversion routines or macros to translate files into an appropriate form may need to be created. Even if you have laid out the book electronically using page-makeup software, such as FrameMaker, there may still be a need to recalculate the castoff. Small changes in the text or layout can cause the overall page count to change significantly, so the final page count is not certain until all edits have been made.

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, questions of fact, or suggested additions or deletions. The copy editor 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 flags items that may need permissions. If agreed upon in advance, depending on scheduling and file format compatibilities, the copy editor will 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. We normally return the manuscript to you for approval of the editing and for action on queries and editorial suggestions. 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 on the manuscript using colored pencil (use a color other than that used by the copy editor); do not use proofreader's marks on the manuscript. If you have submitted your manuscript in electronic form and the copy editor has not made the changes in your files, please update them. Anything that is not in the files that we provide to the compositor and is changed later will be considered an Author's Alteration (AA), which is discussed elsewhere in this document.

In addition to being copyedited, your manuscript may also be typemarked. Either the copy editor or the production editor marks each element in the manuscript with an identifying letter or number so that the compositor will have explicit instructions on all typographical details. The manuscript is then sent to the compositor, who verifies that the proof dates on the production schedule previously drawn up will be met. If the book is to be set in-house, the production editor will verify that the book is set on time.

Proofreading is an important skill. When it is done correctly, it not only makes a better book, it also cuts down that distressing item in the compositor's bill, "Author's Alterations."

One thing to remember about proof is that it is not manuscript. In manuscript you rightly make every correction within the line at the point of correction so that the compositor can read along line by line and set the type while reading. But once the type has been set and the proof marked for correction, the compositor does not read each line to see where changes have been made. Instead, the compositor looks in the margin to find the appropriate proofreader's mark opposite the line in which the correction is to be made.

Proofs are normally output to a laser printer which cannot produce the high-resolution for artwork and type that you will see in your final book. However, the proof is accurate for size, placement, fonts and text.

When the pages of your book reach you, check them with scrupulous care. It is not enough to read only for sense and accuracy of facts, dates, and statistics. Each word and each mark of punctuation should be examined. 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. It is wise to read the proof word for word against copy by yourself. Or have someone else do it. Certainly all tables, equations, statistics, and the like should be read against copy, and the position of every exponent, prime mark, or decimal point should be verified. Many times, in order to meet tight schedules, we ask our authors to read the proofs blind while our proofreaders read the pages against the manuscript.

Occasionally you may see other proofreaders' marks on the pages; they are not marks you will use in your own proofreading, but their meaning will be readily apparent. A set of proofreader's marks and sample corrected copy can be obtained from your production editor or the Prentice Hall Web site. Study the proofreaders' marks and the corrected page carefully before you read proofs. There are a few general things to remember. Use pencil of a color different from any marks already on the proof and take care to write legibly. Put all marks in the margin, left or right, whichever is nearer the point of correction, opposite the line in which the error occurs. Separate one correction from another on the same line by a slanted line (for example, lc/tr/cap) and arrange them in order so that they read consecutively from left to right. If the same correction is to be made in two places in the line, with no intervening correction, write the correction once and follow it with two slant lines. When there are many corrections in one line, begin in the left margin and continue in the right.

When material is to be added to a line, put a caret (^) in the text at the point of insertion and write the addition in the margin. Do not put a caret in the margin-the compositor may think you want it set in type. When material is to be deleted and nothing added in its place, just cross out the unwanted characters and put a delete sign in the margin. Don't put the characters to be deleted in the margin following the delete sign. When material is to be substituted for a deletion, don't use the delete sign; just cross out the unwanted material and write the substitution in the margin. Circle any notes to the production editor or compositor to indicate that they are not to be set in type.

Occasionally you may change your mind about something you have crossed out. To restore it, put a row of dots under the deletion; in the margin cross out the delete sign and write "stet" (let it stand).

Be sure to answer all queries on the proof. A query usually consists of a suggested change followed by a slant line and a circled question mark. To accept the change, cross out the question mark; to reject it, cross out the entire query.

Never make any change or answer any query on the dead manuscript rather than on the page proof. Your notation will be overlooked.

If you detect an error made by the compositor and not so indicated by our proofreaders, please mark it with a circled "PE" (printer's error). Initial each proof in the lower right-hand corner in pencil of the same color you used to make corrections.

Reviewing Page Proofs
When you review page proofs, first make sure that all corrections indicated on the manuscript have been made. Verify the position of all tables and illustrations (but remember that the compositor cannot always put them exactly where you have indicated and still produce a balanced page) and read all captions and credit lines carefully. 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 page proofs reflect the layout of the final book; do not overlook anything that seems out of place with the idea that it will be "fixed up" in production. The exception is the quality of artwork and shading. Page proofs from an office laser printer are normally rendered at 600 dots per inch (dpi), which gives a reasonable level of detail, but cannot produce fine lines or delicate shading with great accuracy. The final output, at 1200 dpi or above, gives much greater accuracy and detail. Also, if your book contains halftone art or art that has been scanned from hard copy you have supplied, only a low-resolution image will appear on the page proofs. This low-resolution image will not show as much detail as the final, high-resolution output the printer can get when film plays out.

When you have done all this, give the proofs a final critical reading. Extensive changes at this point are impossible, but you still have an opportunity to correct misstatements of fact, to check the spelling of proper names and the accuracy of dates, and to substitute vital last minute statistics.

Front Matter Proofs
Before the last of the text pages come from the compositor, the production editor will work out a front matter design that is in harmony with the text design and prepare final front matter copy. The compositor sets this copy into pages. We read the master set here and send you a duplicate set for checking. Be sure that your name and affiliation, if necessary, appear in correct form on the title page; check carefully the spelling of all names of people to whom acknowledgment is made in the preface; verify the accuracy of all other information. If you find any errors other than obvious typographical ones, phone or e-mail your production editor immediately and indicate what changes must be made. 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 that 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.

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.

Hard cover books can be embellished in a variety of ways, through die-stamping, offset printing, silk screen, or any combination of the three. Paper covers are usually printed by offset.

Once sketches of the cover have been approved, the designs are completed; back cover copy (if being used) is written and approved; and mechanicals are prepared and sent to the printer. The finished covers are now ready to be bound to the printed book. 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. This is considered to be one of the most important elements of your book.

Author's Alterations
Every publisher's contract contains an "author's alteration" or "AA" clause. It invariably gives the author an allowance for proof changes-for no one is perfect-but provides that corrections in excess of a stated percentage of the original cost of composition are to be charged against royalties. In order to minimize the risk of unnecessary AA charges, we urge you to read this section with care and to be guided accordingly in your proofreading.

Correction costs mount up quickly because the compositor charges for changes at a higher rate than for original composition, in compensation for the additional time it takes to set the changes, remove the old material from the pages and put in the new, possibly re-run the pages, and proofread the corrections. For this reason, a change of 10 percent of the text in proof involves a total cost far in excess of 10 percent of the original cost of composition.

The best way to hold down corrections is to submit a manuscript as nearly perfect as you can make it by following the instructions given in this Guide. Especially important is the final check of the manuscript. To change a word or delete a comma in manuscript takes only the stroke of your pen; to make the same change in proof may involve the work of two or three persons and considerable expense.

Sometimes errors that have escaped everyone's notice in manuscript become glaringly obvious in proof. Also, information that makes changes necessary sometimes comes to light after the manuscript is in pages. The problem then is how to make the changes as economically as possible.

To make a correction in page proof, the compositor must disturb the carefully balanced page makeup. Suppose you add three lines in the middle of a page. The last three lines on that page must be transferred to the top of the next, and so on to the end of the chapter. Often it is not even as simple as that: tables, illustrations, or headings may intervene, making it impossible to balance the pages merely by adding or subtracting lines of type. If there is no room for additional material on the last page of a chapter, the change will affect the next chapter, and so on. Thus a seemingly minor change may alter the makeup of a substantial part of the book and result in a heavy bill for alterations.

In addition to the cost involved, heavy corrections in proof may seriously affect the production schedule, resulting in a delay in the publication date and, ultimately, in a loss of sales.

The Index
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.

Who Compiles the Index?
As the author, you are responsible for providing the index. But should you compile it yourself? Certainly you are more familiar with the contents of the book than anyone else could be. If you also have a firm grasp of the principles of indexing and can work well under time pressure, you are the best person to prepare it. If your book is technical or scientific in nature, we urge you to prepare the index yourself or at least to have a colleague do it for you. Most professional indexers will not have the technical knowledge to do justice to such an index. If necessary, some authors have the publisher charge for a professional indexer.

Many word-processing systems allow you to create your own index as you prepare the manuscript. This section's general guidelines for index preparation still apply to electronically-prepared manuscripts, 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.

As with any electronic file operation, check with your production editor to make sure that the index created by your software will be compatible with the software used for the final version of the book. Many times the software is incompatible and the work that has been done by the author has to be undone and redone. It may be easier to mark the hard copy manuscript and have the items tagged during composition, if the composition program will accommodate this. Otherwise, it will be easier to wait until pages are set.

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:

When to Index
Page proofs are usually sent to you in small batches. Because the index is the last part of the book to be set in type and delay in preparing it may delay publication of your book, begin indexing as soon as you have read the first batch of page proofs and keep the index up to date as further batches arrive. But don't try to combine indexing with proofreading; each is an exacting job that requires your undivided attention.

You may think you can save time by indexing from manuscript, rather than from pages, but this is usually not the case. The attempt sometimes results in confusion or in doing the same work twice. You may want to wait until you receive page proofs. We sometimes encourage an author to start indexing in manuscript if there is an indexing function in the software that is used and if it is compatible with the page makeup software to be used. Check with your production manager first, however, so that you do not do the work only to find out it cannot be used and must be re-done.

What to Index
The first thing to consider is what to index. Indexing requires imagination. Put yourself in the reader's place; of every item ask yourself, "If I were the user of the book and not the author, would I be likely to look this up?" If the answer is "yes," include it; if the answer is "no," don't let a false ideal of completeness tempt you into putting it in; you will only overload your index. (If the answer is "maybe," put the item in. In indexing, the worst sins are those of omission.) If your book is organized with a system of headings and subheadings, they will provide the nucleus for your index, though of course you cannot index the book from headings alone but must read the page proofs through carefully to catch every topic of importance. Break down every main idea into the individual details readers are likely to look for; they will seldom look in the index for the subject of an entire section or chapter, which appears conspicuously in the table of contents. Moreover, an unqualified entry followed by a long string of page numbers will only irritate them. Obvious items to index are names of people, organizations, institutions, events, places, and so on.

How to Index
If you are tagging the entries into your word processor or page makeup application, please see your documentation or on-line help files for specifics. Your production editor may be able to help you with this if it is a program that we are familiar with, but please do not assume that we would be able to help you with this specific task. If you do not have the knowledge, time or capability to do this in your electronic files for any reason, but want to prepare the index yourself, here are some steps to guide you:

  • Write the entries on cards.
  • Arrange the cards in alphabetical order.
  • Edit the cards and indicate indents by means of dots.
  • Keyboard the index as a separate word-processing file.
  • Edit the index and provide the file and hard copy to your production editor.

Some important rules to keep in mind are:

  1. Alphabetize items beginning with Mc or St as though the full form-Mac or Saint-were used.

  2. Alphabetize entries beginning with figures as though the figures were spelled out-"400 Club" under the Fs.

  3. Alphabetize abbreviations of government agencies, broadcasting companies, publications, and so on, according to the order of letters in the abbreviation, not as though the names were spelled out.


  4. Alphabetize subentries according to the first principal word, ignoring any preceding prepositions and articles:

    for coordinate elements
    with correlatives
    in outlines.

  5. Capitalize the first word of each main entry; lower case all remaining words unless they require capitalization for other reasons.

  6. Separate each entry from its page number(s) by a comma; use a colon after an entry.

  7. Combine similar entries and provide cross references where necessary. For example, you may have one set of cards for "National Humane Society" and another for "Humane Society." Since these are different names for the same organization, it is wrong to list some of the references under one name and some under the other. List all the references under "National Humane Society"; for "Humane Society," provide a cross reference, "See National Humane Society." A good index also directs the reader to pages where aspects of the same subject are discussed under different key words. After listing the page numbers for "National Humane Society," you might well add a "see also" reference: "See also animals" or "See also shelters."

Finally, after, you have edited all the cards, keyboard the index one column to a page, double-spaced. Then check the accuracy of the index against the cards. Send the index file with a hardcopy printout to the production editor.

As soon as the production editor receives the index (from you or from the indexer who has been commissioned to prepare it for you), the copy is sent to the compositor to be set into pages. There is seldom time, or need, for you to check proofs of the index. Our proofreaders give it a thorough reading. We do, however, send you a duplicate set of proofs for your file.

Printing and Binding
Page proofs are the last proofs you will see; rarely are corrections so extensive that it is necessary to send an author revised page proofs. However, the production editor receives final proofs before the book is printed to make certain that all corrections indicated on the page proofs have been made.

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 Printing
The principle involved in reproduction by offset is a chemical one: grease and water repel each other. The type, art, and photographs on the printing plate (a positive image) is grease-receptive, and the printing ink has a greasy base. After the plate is fastened to the plate cylinder of the press, it is dampened with a watery solution and inked simultaneously. The grease-receptive image repels the water and accepts the ink. The blank areas of the plate accept the water and therefore repel the ink. The inked image is then transferred to a cylinder around which is wrapped a thin sheet of rubber, called a "blanket," which is also continuously dampened with water. The greasy ink adheres to the rubber blanket. The blank areas on the blanket remain free of ink because they are coated with water. The inked image on the blanket (a mirror image) is then transferred to the paper, faithfully reproducing the image on the printing plate. Thus the plate itself never touches the paper. Rather, the image is transferred-or "offset"-from plate to blanket to paper.

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).

Binding is the final stage in the manufacture of a book. Various methods are employed, depending on the kind of finished product we want.

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.

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 (usually by March of a given copyright year). 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 are found. If possible, we will make the corrections in the files ourselves. However, depending on the number and type of corrections, we may need to go back to the compositor for these changes. If you acted as your own compositor and wish to send in corrected files, please send the files on a disk, along with a hard copy showing your corrections and a clear guide to the file formats and file names. Do not expect the reprint editor to know the history of your book's production process; for timely reprints, try to make all materials self-contained and self-explanatory.

All corrections to be made MUST be made in the first two reprints. After that, we will not incorporate any more changes. Extensive changes should be saved for a possible revision (or new edition).

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