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From the Publisher?s Desk: How Book Publishing looks from the Other Side
Many writers aspire to writing books. Writing a book is a long, involved, difficult process. Book publishing is harder. A writer may submit his book time and time again only to be turned down again and again. He may eventually be successful. Wouldn?t it have been easier to have just gotten published the first time? Is that possible? You can improve your chances if you understand a little bit more about what happens at the publisher?s desk. Book publishers are busy people with several projects crossing their desks every day. They must make fast decisions about what will sell. They must also delegate their time efficiently in order to keep the business running. Only occasionally do publishers actually seek out work. Maybe understanding the work day of a publisher will help you to get a book published.
Persistence Has a New Meaning
You all know that writers must be persistent. Regardless of how many times you get shot down and your ideas are thrown in the trash, you have to keep going back for more discouragement. The idea is that eventually you?ll make it in the door. If you can get all the way through, you will finally get to the place where more of your work is accepted than declined. When working with the book publishing world, the rule is the same. If you have a book that you know will sell, you can?t give up on getting it onto the publisher?s desk again and again. You probably won?t be sending the entire book, but excerpts from it. As you continually send your manuscript again and again to publisher after publisher, you should try to market it in different ways. Publishers are looking for a particular kind of writing and will dismiss anything that doesn?t look like what they are looking for. Variation in your marketing techniques may turn a rejected book into an accepted book.
The Right Stuff
Book publishing is a strange area of business. The people?s tastes are somewhat fickle and a book publisher has to keep up with what kinds of books will sell. It seems that technically written mysteries will always have a place on the bookshelves, but it is unclear how many authors readers are willing to get to know. That market may be tied up until Crichton and Grisham are finished. That is just one example from one genre of books though. Publishers have to keep track of what is selling in all areas of literature. The best way for you to get your work noticed is to make it look like the other writing that is selling. Be careful not to imitate style or voice of another author. Write with your own unique words while imitating the use of popular public opinion. Another way to improve your chances of getting your work onto the right publisher?s desk is to find out who?s publishing what.
Are You Barking Up the Right Tree?
Some publishers specialize in a certain kind of writing. If you are writing a novel, it won?t do you any good to send it to the people who publish technical manuals. How do you find out who is the most likely candidate to publish your work? There are reference manuals at your library that will tell you the kinds of book publishing that is happening. It will contain valuable information leading you to children?s book publishers, novel publishers and textbook publishers. If the handbook at your library is not quite up to date, your next option is to check out the new release and best seller rack at the book store. Buy a few books and read them. You?ll have a much better feel for the market if you are a consumer.
Book publishing is a difficult field to break into. It can be helpful to approach the issue from the direction of the publisher. Before you send out your manuscript again, there are things you can do to improve your chances. Change your marketing style so that you just may grab some better attention. Make sure that you are a book consumer yourself. You?ll get a better feel for what?s selling and therefore what a publisher will buy. You?ll also find out who is publishing which types of books. Finally, by buying the product you are trying to sell, you will improve the book economy all together. Publishers need to see people buying books before they can commit to publishing more.
Web Hosting - Unix vs Windows-Based Hosting, Which Is Better? An operating system functions largely out of sight, or at least is supposed to. It doesn't matter to non-geeks how a file gets stored, or how memory is used, or how simultaneous processes share the limited resources available on a computer. These are among the basic functions of any operating system. Yet, you can find very passionate supporters - who offer very detailed lists of pros and cons - for every operating system. Why? Because, though the low-level functions of an operating system do their work out of sight, there are many other features that rise to visibility. Sometimes, they do so when they're not supposed to. Weighing the pros and cons objectively could consume a book. But to select a web host operating system, a manageable level of considerations apply. They can be weighed even by those who don't know a processor queue from a pool cue. Learning Curves For most web site owners, administering the site/server is just overhead. It's not something they take pleasure in doing and they have plenty of other things to worry about. Many wouldn't know how and have no interest in learning (rightly so, given their priorities). Consequently, ease of administration is paramount for such people. Whether a Unix-based site (usually Linux these days) is easier to administer than Windows depends on your current skill set and the type of tools and level of access the web hosting company provides. But in general Linux is more difficult to install and maintain than Windows and the learning curve is steeper. FTP and Control Panels Often, you don't have to care. For many, the operating system is fairly transparent. FTP file transfers to get a new web page up to a Windows server are very much like they are to a Linux-based site. The user/administrator simply doesn't see what's behind the curtain. Many companies provide other utilities that completely mask any awareness of the operating system underneath. When that's the case, the web site owner has no reason to care, until or unless they need or want to go 'inside the black box'. Performance Performance issues can be relevant in selecting which operating system host type to choose. But for the most part, that aspect is outside the web site owner's control. Overall performance can be good or bad on either system, depending on many factors that the publisher will rarely see. The issue is a wash, as far as tipping the scales is concerned. What is more likely to be seen by a web site owner, at some point in their (and their site's) development is the database product that can be used to store information. Databases Microsoft SQL Server is relatively simple to use, yet extremely powerful and can deliver great performance. But it doesn't run on Linux. At least, not without special software to emulate Windows, which usually kills performance. On the other hand, with a bit of time invested, MySQL isn't significantly more difficult to learn than MS SQL Server and there are many free installations. Cost may well outweigh other considerations for most on this issue. Programming Languages Last, but not least, there are differences in programming languages that can be (or at least typically are) used on Windows vs Unix. If you have programmers who are skilled in Visual Basic, ASP and other Microsoft technologies, then a Windows-based host will be your preferred choice. For Perl and PHP programmers, Linux is the more common platform of choice. No single factor can push you to one versus the other operating system. And, in the long run, it isn't the primary consideration, unless you just enjoy playing with operating systems.
Education Copyright Law The Nuts and Bolts of Education Copyright Law It is a wonderful thing that Education Copyright Law is available for educators. It isn?t only teachers that can take advantage of education copyright law. Students are also covered under education copyright law -- to a degree. Teachers are able to use copyrighted materials in their classroom and make copies of them. Students are also able to use copyrighted materials in school projects. The key to education copyright law is how often a teacher or student uses copyrighted material, in what way they are using it and how many copies they have of it. It is important that teachers and students do not cross the line of education copyright law or they could be in for some stiff penalties. It helps many students and teachers to learn what exactly is not copyrighted. Any work that is in the public domain is not copyrighted and can be used in school and for school projects. Work that is not in the public domain is copyrighted and if you use it you should make sure you fall within the fair use or education copyright law regulations. Many people do not know what exactly fair use copyright regulations are. When you are trying to see if you can use another?s words, you should keep a few things in mind. The answer to the following questions will help you gage whether you would be violating a copyright. First, are you transforming someone else?s work or are you copying it directly? If you are using another person?s work directly, for what purpose and how much of the original author?s work are you using? Many publishing companies have set rules on how much material they will allow to be quoted in other sources. Some of these ranges start at 100 words or less. However, there are truly no standards to go by, so be careful. You can not assume that keeping your copying fewer than 50 words will allow you to pass under the radar ? especially if the original piece is hovering around 125 words itself! There is a greater amount of room to maneuver when it comes to technical writing. For instance, if you are writing a report on something that involves a lot of reporting from an expert, you would probably need to quote more of their work than you would a fiction novelist?s work. The fair use copyright law enables people to use portions of material that is copyrighted for the purposes of criticism or as commentary. Individuals who are involved in the distance education field should take a look at the TEACH Act that was made into law in 2002. This Act clearly outlines the requirements that a university or school must be in compliance with when it comes to transmitting copyrighted works via the Internet. The TEACH Act allows students and teachers to transmit copyrighted works, but they must be within certain guidelines. If the school or university cannot meet these guidelines, the material that is being transmitted via the Internet needs to fall within the fair use copyright act ? or the individuals involved need to have permission from the copyright owner. If you are an educator and you are using copyrighted material make sure it falls within the education copyright law.
?To-may-to? ?To-mah-to? Does it Matter How You Say it? (second language writing articles) Is it possible for anyone to be a writer? In the United States, it?s easy to believe that anyone can to anything until you start looking more closely at the issues. Not everyone is equipped to be successful. There may be some individuals without any personal wealth that can get scholarships for higher education and therefore enter into better paying jobs. Some might not make it though. When it comes to language, it becomes a big deal sometimes how you talk based on where you live. Writing is the same way. If there is a standard language, it can be very difficult to break into the writing world with less than perfect abilities in that language. If English is your second language, writing articles is still a possibility. The Changing Population and Standardized Language In the United States, the vast majority of the population speaks what is called Standard English. That means that they speak in an agreed upon system of rules and acceptable words. There are many native English speakers that may speak a dialect other than Standard English, but they are able to switch into the most acceptable dialect when the situation calls for it. There are increasing numbers of non-native English speakers in the country though. While there are occasional battles about making some other language acceptable, Standard English continues to win out. The desire is for continuity and a united nation. What that means for non-native speakers is that many job opportunities may not be opportunities. If English is your second language, writing articles may not seem like an option for you. There are some possibilities out there though. Hiring an Editor It is definitely possible for English as a second language writing articles to become acceptable for Standard English publications. Individuals may be able to learn well enough to be able to write well for standard publications. If not, and if the writing is still engaging and good, you may want to hire an editor. You can hire one locally or freelance to help you with your wording so that it fits into a publication?s style and tone. In all reality, even first language English speakers can use the help of an editor in this way. As a second language learner, you will just require different talents from an editor. By employing an expert, you can get your second language writing articles published anywhere that publications are printing. First Language Article Options Standard English publications are not the only ones printing in the United States. Even though there is a push to unify the language all over the country, there is a definite need for publications in other languages. As mentioned earlier, the population is changing. There are increasing numbers of non-native English speakers that live in this country. Many of the people may not speak any English at all. Those people create a market for printed material in their own language. A talented writer who is a native speaker can do a great job in writing articles in their own language. Many publications are also translated which is another interesting job opportunity. If English is your second language, writing articles for various publications is still an option. You can learn to write Standard English, but you don?t necessarily have to. A good editor can turn your writing into something that would be appreciated all over the country. You can also find opportunities writing for those who speak your native language. Language does not have to be a barrier. If anything, communication is getting better and better all the time. You can be a part of the process by writing articles in English or otherwise. In addition to your language skills, you have extensive cultural knowledge that others need to know.