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Resources - Write/Edit for Hentzenwerke
Wanna write or edit a book? Here's all you need to know about how the publishing process works here.
Write/Edit for Hentzenwerke
Proposing a Book
Some of the time, I have an idea for a book. This idea may come up from something I've run into in my own day-to-day work as a developer, or from something I read online, or even from a conversation with someone. In any case, I'll draft a "mission statement" for the book - two to four sentences that captures "What's in it for me?" from the point of the reader. I'll also describe who the intended reader is, list ideas for the content, and perhaps sketch out a very rough draft of an outline.
In other cases, a prospective author will
have an idea and come to me to publish their book. When they
come to me, it’s usually very casually, inquiring about a
general topic, along the lines of a two-paragraph email. This
is usually a good idea, since you wouldn’t want to spend a
lot of time on a proposal only to find that someone else had
beaten you to the punch.
The author or authors
At this point, if it's my idea, I'll search for an author. Sometimes I have an idea for a potential author because I already know someone with the skill set needed for the topic in question, or because I’ve spoken to someone who has expressed interest in that topic. Other times I'll put out feelers for new prospects. And still other times I'll look through my list of people who have contacted me in the past and who have indicated they'd be interested in writing, but don't have a specific topic in mind.
Of course, if an author has already pitched
an idea to me, that part is settled. I will never take
an author's idea and give it to someone else unless the author
willingly gives it up, or commits to it and then repeatedly
shows that they're unable to meet that committment.
A proposal is a document that does two things - (1) sells me on the book, and (2) provides me with information that I can use to sell my customers - both my distributors and resellers as well as people who come directly to our website.
A sample proposal is included in the Author Kit here. It includes information about what's going in the book as well as who the target audience is. The proposal also includes an outline and a schedule. If more than one person is involved in writing the book, one of the authors involved will need to take the leading role in the book. The lead author is responsible for coordinating the work between the other authors and the tech editor as well as delivering chapters to me.
Once the author (or authors) has been selected
and agreed that they'd like to do the book, it's time to get
down to the guts of the proposal - the outline and schedule
of writing. The outline is essentially a table of contents
fleshed out to the first set of major headings - in other
words, a list of chapters and major topics to be covered in
each chapter. Having an abstract (one to two paragraphs) for
each chapter is really a good idea at this point, but not
The lead author and tech editor both are required
to submit a progress report each week. Failure to do so will have an adverse
affect on the earnings of the person who fails to submit their reports
The rest of the players
Assuming that I accept the proposal submitted to me,
it's now time to flesh out the rest of the crew. The next player is the
I handle the other folks involved, including copy edit, layout, ebook production, indexing, artists, and so on.
Now it's time for contracts.
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