I Never Intended to Ever Write a Book (Part 2)

The chapters of the book are now complete. At this point each chapter has only text in it. The figures and tables are not included; figure numbers and table numbers are inserted as space holders in the text. A new person enters the process. His name is Jeremy Horsefield, the copy editor. He is a free-lance writer hired by the publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press, to work with me on finalizing the text in each chapter. After completing his review of each chapter, he sends his changes to me which I then review. He is a professional writer and 75% of the time his changes improved the book. Even though I never met him, he was easy to work with. This process lasted about three months.

After thanking Jeremy and saying good-bye to him, three separate folders: one containing the final version of the text, one containing the numbered tables, and one containing the numbered figures are sent to the publisher. Enter the production group which has the task of assembling the three folders into the final version of the book. Each figure and table must have a heading and be inserted in its right place in the book. Believe me this is a big job. This process takes another two months.

The final galleys were then sent to me; this was my last chance to correct any errors in the final version of the book. I had to be careful that the tables and figures referred to in the text are given their correct page numbers. Since the book consists of over 100 figures and over 100 tables, this is a very time-consuming task. This process lasted for one month.

Then I received the bad news that it was time for me to create the index for the book. When I signed the original contract, I committed to do the index for the book. For years I always took an index for granted. When I was interested in finding where a certain item was in any book, I simply looked in the index. I never imagined the work necessary for someone to create the index. I had no idea of how to create an index. Fortunately, I had a helper in the creation process. My helper was Microsoft Word which provides an index making tool. The process of picking out key words and phrases and assigning page numbers to them is very time consuming and tedious job. The creation of the index took another month to complete. The last two items to be included were the table of contents and acknowledgment page. These two items were very easy for me to do. The corrected galleys, the index, the table of contents, and the acknowledgment page were then returned to the publisher.

No, we are still not done. We do not have a title for the book. The publisher came up with the title: Sandlot Stats: Learning Statistics with Baseball. I loved it. They sent me their idea for the cover of the book. I loved it.

Finally, I arrived home one day to find in front of my garage a box from Johns Hopkins University Press. After opening the box, I held the book in my hands. Four years had come and gone. The labor was difficult. The pregnancy was over and the book was delivered. Happily, the author and the book are doing well.

It was at this point I found out that any book published by Johns Hopkins University Press must go through a 20-step process. Step 1 is the submission by the author of a proposal for a book. Before the contract is even drawn up the proposal must pass a peer review test and then be approved by the Johns Hopkins University Faculty Board. After the book is completed, the finished manuscript is again peer reviewed and the Board must give final approval before it actually goes into production which is Step 19. I can see why the editor never told me about the 20 steps. If I had known this ahead of time I probably would have abandoned the project before Step 1.

This brings us to Step 20. The next posting will discuss this final step in the process along with the nurturing of the book…

Original Comments:

2 Comment(s):

WilsonSmith said…

give important to index don’t ever take it for granted On demand printing http://www.thebookpatch.com/

March 5, 2014 01:30:08


WilsonSmith said…

This is very much great and hope fully nice blog. Every body can easily found her need able information. I am visit first time but I fond many use full article. I will back again when get time.

February 23, 2014 09:53:06


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *