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Based on many years writing, rewriting and considering publishing options dashdot has collected considerable experience and expertise. From that experience here are some tips for current or prospective authors to help them with the process of writing and publishing.

This list is orientated to preparing to engage with a publisher or two about a book.

There is no strict order and the process is variable to suit circumstances. Sometimes authors have more than one concept at a time. This process can be undertaken for each concept.

  1. Find a title - possibly with an explanatory subtitle - keep it as a working tile - be prepared to change or refine it later.
  2. Write the text for the back cover - what is the book about? - why should someone buy or read this book?
  3. Provide a Contents list - full listing - adjust to obtain balance and constancy - use appendices as appropriate.
  4. Identify the target audience or market for the volume - who and possibly who not.
  5. Identify the competition - other existing or in development volumes and other media by others with full details including title, authors, editions, date, price, contents, sales. What is different in your volume? Could this competition be reference material?
  6. Draft, redraft and fine tune the Introduction / Preface / Foreword.
  7. Fully assemble a typical chapter / section from within the Contents - as a sample of your style and abilities - complete all aspects with diagrams, figures, references, etc.
  8. Locate existing publications which demonstrate the image, style, layout etc. you feel appropriate to your volume - as hard back, soft back, 'e' books, pdf downloads.
  9. Prepare a short CV or profile of yourself to suit an author role.
  10. Identify any other activities - current and potential - that could be linked to the publication - talks, presentations, lectures, video games, software, institutional links, academic connections, etc. - that might assist promotion and sales.
  11. List other authors, contributors, peer reviewers, references etc. that could be involved.
  12. Provide an indicative price.
  13. Consider other options as well or instead - academic papers, internal training manuals, smaller booklets, magazine articles, blogs, talks or similar.
  14. Find your writing style or "voice" by writing sample sections as above or in other means as letters, short pieces, reports.
  15. Back to item 1

DO NOT:

  • attempt to write the whole book,
  • set timetables or deadlines,
  • expect enthusiasm,
  • expect others to believe if you do not have and show self-belief and confidence in your concept,
  • expect your first concept to work - try again, later, on something else,
  • expect to be rich or famous from writing and publishing (alone),
  • become downhearted - there is satisfaction and enjoyment to be found.