Preparing a Book of Readings
The first and most essential step towards preparing a book or readings is applying for permissions. You should allow yourself, at the very least, six months before the manuscript is due at our office. Some permissions take months to obtain, particularly if one publisher has to refer you to another. Occasionally, some permission costs turn out to be prohibitive, or a permission cannot for some reason be given, so that a substitute reading must be used. For these reasons, it might be a good idea to apply for permission for more selections than you plan to include. In any case, the book of readings cannot be released for production until every permission is cleared. (See Permissions for more information.)
  • Apply for permissions at least six months before the manuscript is due at Allyn & Bacon.
  • Get permission from the original or current copyright holder of the reading - not from someone who has simply reprinted the material.
  • Be sure to read all the fine print on permission contracts; there may be special stipulations.
  • Obtain separate permissions for materials that appear within the reading, such as text extracts, charts, poems, and music. For example, if a reading copyrighted by Psychology Today contains a chart from Fortune and part of a Bob Dylan song, you must send additional permissions requests to Fortune and Dylan's agent.
  • Obtain permission for any deletions (say, of footnotes) or other editing you may intend.
  • Send us your permissions log and the entire permissions correspondence, including copies of your original requests. Code the correspondence to the manuscript (i.e., mark permissions "Chap. 1, Item 1," etc.) and put the correspondence in the same sequence as the readings in the book. Keep copies of your request letters and all correspondence for your own files.
  • Type all credit lines, double-spaced, using the exact wording requested by the copyright owner(s).
  • Don't let the total cost of permissions outrun the figure agreed upon by you and your editor.
Preparing the manuscript is simple, but it must be done carefully. Photocopies of readings may be used for the master manuscript. Care, however, must be taken to see that they are absolutely clear and legible. Books of readings are scanned electronically to produce typesetting files; therefore, accidentally omitting a paragraph or supplying muddy Xeroxes will likely create errors that cause problems in the production process.

Pay particular attention to the length of the book as specified in your actual agreement. Too often an author is tempted to include more material than was specified, only to discover that the book cannot be competitively priced unless some of the articles are cut. Before assembling the final manuscript, check the number of words you have included.

To determine the approximate number of words in an article, count the number of words in each of several lines to get an average number per line. Multiply this average by the number of lines on each page to obtain the number of words per page. Multiply that figure by the number of pages to get the article's total number of words. This process must be repeated for each article if type page sizes and type sizes vary from article to article. The time you spend on checking the length of the manuscript is worthwhile because it will alleviate the need for cutting later.

Send the original manuscript to Allyn and Bacon and keep a copy for yourself

  • Obtain at least two tearsheet copies or photocopies of each article so that you can prepare one master manuscript.
  • Make sure that every word of tearsheet or reprint material in the master manuscript is legible, especially if it is footnote material. No scanner or typesetter can "supply" missing copy.
  • Cut the tearsheets or photocopies and tape each one onto a white backing sheet of 8? x 11-inch good-quality paper. Tape the right and left sides down completely. Do not tape over the type area, because the tape will interfere with the scanning process.
  • Leave ample margins at top, bottom, and sides. For large-format material, cut up the page so that when it is put on the backing sheet there will be room for copymarking. Double-column material must be cut apart and pasted one column to a page.
  • Cut out all illustrations and paste them on separate sheets. Key them to the text manuscript by putting a notation ("Fig. 15-3 here") either in the space from which the illustration was taken or in the margin.
  • Cross out all material not to be printed. Put a light line through running heads and folios.
  • After putting together the reprint material and your own typescript, number the manuscript pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Once the manuscript has been put together, read through the master reprint material again to catch all cross-references, etc., that are no longer applicable (e.g., "see page 100," "the table above") and to see that no lines or pages of reprint material have been omitted.
  • Send us complete front matter including contents.
  • Make copies of the manuscript from the edited master, so that each set is identical.
  • Don't staple material to the backing sheets.
  • Don't use Xeroxed material that is faint, even if it is just legible. Light copies are difficult to scan, and errors are likely to appear in the final proofs.

Artwork in readings books often poses a problem. You may have to get separate permissions to use line drawings or charts. There may be technical problems about reproducing elaborate figure, such as charts, or color work. The costs of redrawing even simple material can be high, and this cost will be charged against royalties. If the readings you choose are likely to contain many diagrams and other types of figures, please consult your editor at the planning stage.
  • Keep a separate list of any line drawings or photographs that may have to be reproduced.
  • Whenever possible, send a tearsheet, not a Xerox copy, of any line drawing, chart, etc. A tearsheet is absolutely essential for material printed in more than one color if the color helps explain the information being presented. We may be able to adapt the material for black-and-white presentation, but we cannot do so without seeing the colored original.
  • Obtain a glossy print of any photograph that must be included. Reprinting printed photos from tearsheets is rarely satisfactory.
  • Don't expect that photocopies of line drawings, graphs, etc., can be reprinted without being redrawn. Occasionally tearsheet copies of line drawings can be used, but only if their size and style suit the new book's format.
Introductory material that you are writing should be submitted and prepared according to the guidelines in From Title Page to Index: An Overview in the Preparing Your First Edition section.

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid much of the work attached to preparing a book of readings. You will have the satisfaction, however, of knowing that production time for an orderly, legible manuscript, with all its permissions cleared, is often three or more months shorter than production time for one that has not been so well prepared.

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