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From Idea to Print: Chapter 03

Author: Roger E. Sanders
Publication Date: 2011
Subject: Writing
Number of Pages: 40

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About this title
Learn how to take an idea and turn it into a published technical article or book with this authoritative guide. Chapter 3, "First Steps – Technical Books," introduces you to the initial steps that get you to the point at which a publisher extends you an offer to print and sell your book. It covers how to locate a publisher, how to write a book proposal, how to compose a query letter, how to respond to requests for your proposal, when and how to follow up, how to handle rejection, and what to take into consideration if you decide to use a literary agent.
About author
Roger E. Sanders
Roger E. Sanders is the President of Roger Sanders Enterprises, Inc. and a Senior Consultant Corporate Systems Engineer with EMC Corporation. He has been working with DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows since it was first introduced on the IBM PC (as part of OS/2 1.3 Extended Edition) and is the author of 22 books on relational database technology (21 books are on DB2 and one book is on ODBC).

For the past nine years, Roger has authored the Distributed DBA column in IBM Data Management Magazine (formerly DB2 Magazine) and, over a 14-year period, he has written numerous tutorials and articles for IBM's developerWorks Web site as well as for publications such as Certification Magazine and IDUG Solutions Journal (the official magazine of the International DB2 User's Group).

In 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, Roger was recognized as an IBM Champion for his contributions to the IBM Data Management community; in 2010, he was recognized as an IBM developerWorks Contributing Author, and in 2011, he was recognized as an IBM developerWorks Professional Author for his contributions to IBM's developerWorks Web site. He lives in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina (population 39,042).

About the Author
Foreword by Kim Moutsos
Foreword by Jonathan Gennick
Foreword by Susan Visser

Chapter 1: Before You Begin
Writing Is Hard Work
Obstacles That Get in the Way of Writing
How to Write a Lot
A Word About Writer's Block
“Anything Worthwhile Is Never Easy”

Chapter 2: First Steps – Technical Articles
The Process for Writing a Technical Article
Analyzing Publications
Obtaining Writer's Guidelines
Writing an Effective Query Letter
Following Up
A Word About Rejection
Next Steps

Chapter 3: First Steps – Technical Books
The Process for Writing a Technical Book
Finding a Publisher
Obtaining Submission Guidelines
Crafting a Book Proposal
Writing an Effective Query Letter
Responding to a Request for Your Proposal
A Word About Simultaneous Submissions
Following Up
Handling Rejection
A Word About Literary Agents
How to Tell Good Agents from Bad
Finding a Reputable Agent
Next Steps

Chapter 4: The Publishing Agreement, the Author Questionnaire, and Working with an Editor
The Publishing Agreement
The Structure of a Typical Publishing Agreement for a Book
The Structure of a Typical Publishing Agreement for an Article
Negotiating the Terms of a Publishing Agreement
The Author Questionnaire
Structure of a Typical Author Questionnaire
Working with an Editor
Getting Started with the Writing

Chapter 5: Developing the First Draft
Create a Working Outline and Write to It
Craft a Strong Opening
Use Headings and Subheadings Appropriately
Adhere to the Basic Rules of Good Writing
Find Your Voice and Set the Proper Tone
Use Transitions Effectively
Finish with a Strong Closing
A Word About Publisher Templates
A Word About Production Notes
Your Work Doesn't End When the First Draft Is Done

Chapter 6: Using Tables, Artwork, and Sidebars
Creating Tables
Table Titles and Numbers
Referencing Tables
Line Drawings
Computer Screenshots
Text Figures
Figure Captions and Numbers
Referencing Illustrations and Text Figures
Storing Illustrations
Final Comments on Using Illustrations
Always Consult with Your Editor or Publisher

Chapter 7: Staying Out of Trouble
Bias-Free Text
Guidelines for Writing Bias-Free Text
Final Thoughts on Bias-Free Writing
Defamation, Libel, and Slander
Testing for Libel Statements
Practical Ways to Reduce Liability for Defamation
A Word About “Common Knowledge”
Final Thoughts About Plagiarism
Copyright Infringement
What Exactly Is a Copyright?
Who Owns a Copyright?
How Long Does a Copyright Last?
The Public Domain
Things That Cannot Be Copyrighted
The Fair Use Doctrine
Obtaining Permission to Use Copyrighted Material
A Word About Self-Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement
If in Doubt, Ask

Chapter 8: Revising for Perfection
The Purpose of Revision
Early Revisions
“Kill Your Darlings”
Add What Is Essential
Polish Your Prose
The Final Draft
Revising as You Develop the First Draft
Final Thoughts on Revision
Getting the Opinions of Others

Chapter 9: Soliciting Feedback
Why Feedback Is Important
Finding the Right Reviewers
You May Be One of Your Best Reviewers
When (and How) to Ask for Feedback
What to Do with Feedback You Receive
Human Nature and Getting Feedback
Addressing Your Editor's Questions and Comments
Rewarding Your Reviewers
Making the Feedback Process Work
Completing the Manuscript and Readying It for Publication

Chapter 10: Last Steps
Preparing the Front Matter and Back Matter
Front Matter
Back Matter
Obtaining Endorsements and Testimonials
Submitting Your Manuscript for Publication
Reviewing Copy Edits
Reviewing Page Proofs (”Galleys”)
Author's Alterations
Handling Mistakes Found After Printing
Responding to Readers Who Point Out Errors
Promoting Your Work
Final Thoughts

Appendix A: Sample Book Proposal
Appendix B: Example of How to Rework Copyrighted Material to Make It Your Own
Appendix C: Tools Every Technical Writer Should Have
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