How to keep your textbook on track during the production stage

Textbook On TrackOnce you have delivered your textbook manuscript to your publisher, the book production process begins. What should you, the author, do after the final manuscript has been submitted to ensure the book starts—and stays—on the production schedule?

Three textbook authors share their advice:

“In order to ensure that your book adheres to the production schedule, keep in constant contact with your editor and respond to all queries as quickly as possible.”

Dr. Kimberly Collica, Associate Professor, PACE University, Co-Author of Crime and Society with Dr. Gennifer Furst, Associate Professor, William Paterson University
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Think of yourself as a writer

Authors need to understand the process by which their manuscript will be evaluated and take that into account when they submit. If a smart recent college graduate can’t decode what your book is about, you’re in trouble.Writing

When I graduated from college I hoped to land a job working on a dude ranch in Wyoming. Instead, I fell into a career in scholarly publishing, acquiring books for Oxford University Presses. I realize now that as an editor I didn’t pay nearly enough attention to the prose. I cared more about the ideas than about how well they were expressed, at least that’s what I told myself. It wasn’t true.

I would stand over the credenza to choose which of the many long-ago-submitted manuscripts I was going to tackle next. I liked manuscripts with subheads that helped to signpost the argument. Some looked inviting—they got me interested at the first sentence, and I kept reading while I walked back to my office. However, the ones with paragraphs that went on forever, their page-long sentences cobbled together with semicolons, told me the authors didn’t give a hoot about my experience as a reader. Giant blocks of quoted material suggested the author was unwilling or unable to think independently. If the first few sentences contained heaps of words that no one ever spoke out loud, I knew I’d need a cup of coffee. Those were the manuscripts I left for later. Sometimes it would be months before I would get to them. Many months. [Read more…]