TECH AUTHOR GUIDE #2
 
 
The Editorial Staff
 
Content Preparation
 
Workflow Once You Submit Your Final Manuscript
 
The Technical Manuscript
 
Illustrations
 
Revisions
 
Checklist (MS-Word 77k)
 
 adobe icon PDF file (211k)
 
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MORE AUTHOR GUIDES

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 #1
For computer science and engineering authors who WILL NOT 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 #2
 FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING 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, 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 editors and marketing managers, whose experience in related fields may prove invaluable in assessing the market.

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 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.


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.

Scheduling
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 must be finished, when the proofreading (if this is to be done) needs to be completed, when the covers must be designed, approved, printed, and shipped to the bindery, 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 Approvals
After the launch meeting the production editor assembles all information regarding manufacturing and design specifications, cover costs, along with any other costs that may be associated with your specific book. The manufacturing buyer calculates the costs and the production editor routes them for approval.

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 playing out the film, electronically imposing it, and printing from it.


Copyediting
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 may flag material for which permissions 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
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. Also make sure that your table of contents and index (if any) accurately reflect your books final pagination.

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.


Covers
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.

Once sketches of the cover have been approved, the designs are completed, and back cover copy is written and approved. Mechanicals are then prepared and sent to the printer so that the finished covers and jackets 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. This is considered to be one of the most important elements of your book.


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.

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
If you are going to do the indexing yourself, beginning to tag the entries as early as possible is a good idea. If we are to hire the indexer, then we will wait until you have input the copyediting changes so that the indexer will be working off of the final page makeup. The indexer could then provide you, through the production editor, a word processed file that you could then import into your page makeup program. If we have time and you have the capability and knowledge, you may prefer to ask the indexer to highlight the entries on the hard copy instead. You could then go into the electronic files and do the tagging while you are inputting the copyediting changes. You should discuss these options with your production editor, who will be able to help you decide the best route to take.

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 and then make into pages.
  • Ask your production editor how many pages would be best in order to fit a pre-specified "signature". See the section about binding later in this document for an explanation of this term. It is easy for your production editor to give you this information rather than calculate it yourself (if final page makeup is complete).

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.

    AAA
    ABC
    Abilene
    AFL-CIO
    Agriculture.

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

    Parallelism:
    for coordinate elements
    with correlatives
    defined
    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 without a page number if it is followed by a group of subentries.

  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."


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 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
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 Shipping Department.) 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 ask you whether or not you would like to have your original materials returned to you. We will keep a set of the final 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.


Reprints
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 it 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. If you wish to submit reprint corrections in electronic format, 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 keep all materials self-contained and self-explanatory.

Extensive changes should be saved for a possible new edition.


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