Baba: A Magical Cat with a Message
By Shirlee Hall
Baba shares his infinitely superior wisdom with his human pet, Mama Shirlee. Baba suggests how we can heal ourselves and others and at the same time be connoisseurs of comfort. He also suggests that magic can be a living part of our lives. Although he can purr his way out of anything, his wisdom message needs to be heard. Time spent with him is never wasted. Mama Shirlee has studied many teachers and has come to the conclusion that the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.
Manuscript Preparation& Editing
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My Life as an Astrologer|
By Anold Lane
You are about to enter the world this astrologer has inhabited over the years, including some unusual and paranormal experiences which are written about in this book. Anold hoped you will gain an enhanced sense of how extraordinary and mysterious life can be as you read what has become his abbreviated autobiography. Some of his stories will take you “out of this world!” Fitting for an astrologer’s life, is it not? May this book inspire you to follow your own calling, whatever it may be.
You and Your Manuscript
The Publishing Decision
Getting It Printed
Give Yourself a Promotion
Far and Wide ... Or Not
Capitalize on Your Potential
Manuscript Preparation Guide
Effective Advertising Guide
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You and Your Manuscript
Your own motivations and the content of your manuscript will help to determine which path to follow to publication for your book. It is important to do some critical analysis of why you wrote your book and for whom in order to gain an understanding beyond the more obvious reasons that may have sufficed during the writing process. When you are investing your own time and minimal expenditures on materials, your enthusiasm is likely sufficient context for making decisions. However, when you are at the point that your book is essentially done and you are looking at involving outside sources to complete the final steps to publishing your book, enthusiasm needs to take a back seat and reason needs to take charge.
What’s your book about? This is the basic question you will be asked by almost everyone who finds out you have written a book. You will need to be able to answer that question in less than thirty seconds without trying to tell them the plot or about the characters. They are asking, “Why should I spend my time and money?” on the story you present to them. Or if your book is nonfiction, what new insights will they find that may have been overlooked, and what lessons may they see confirmed in historical facts? Are there interesting alternatives to consider in well known situations or innovative solutions that can be applied? Does your book contain circumstances with which your readers will identify, or lead to understandings that might not have been possible otherwise?
(Please note also that in addition to publishing fiction, nonfiction, and informational books, RealityIsBooks can provide help with manuscripts which are not necessarily intended for publication. Over the years we have edited master’s and doctoral theses, resumés, corporate presentations and diverse other works.)
So, why did you write your book? To make good decisions about
what will be useful in publishing your book, you need first to decide what is
important to you about it. Did you want to share your perspectives on a
topic, transmit some special knowledge or insight regarding a misunderstood item, or
give hope to others who share your feelings that they are not alone? There are
probably as many reasons for writing a book as there are writers, and there are
no incorrect answers. But knowing why your book exists can help determine which
steps to take regarding the other phases of publishing it.
Who is the audience for your book? This question is necessary because, although it is easy to say “everyone will like it” or need it or can benefit from it, the fact is that everyone will not take that statement as a reason to buy or spend time reading what you have written. Each subject has natural audiences who relate to it, or what they believe it to be, such as teenage boys and cars, mothers and cooking, or young single women and fashion. Understanding your book’s natural areas of appeal is more “who is likely to want it” rather than “who do I want to like it.”
With an enhanced understanding of your book, its purposes, and its potential readers, you should be better able to make informed, more confident decisions about what is appropriate for your book.
Sometimes we are asked about copyrights and copyright registration. One of the more common misunderstandings about copyrights is that it is a privilege granted by government to an author. In fact, you own the copyright (literally the right to make copies of your book or allow others to do so) when you create it in a fixed form. On occasion, however, it can be useful to have documentation of the details of this ownership. The Library of Congress handles copyright registration and has streamlined its processes in recent years. To file your own copyright registration, go to www.copyright.gov and click on the Register a Copyright link to find information and explanations of procedures and fees. If you do not care to deal with this, we can handle it for you.
Once you are satisfied that your manuscript has something worthwhile to say, then it is time to present what you have created to others. There are several options for publishing your manuscript. Among them are traditional or trade publishers, vanity or subsidy publishers, and the various means of self-publishing. Trade publishers generally trade support and marketing of the author and the book, plus royalties on book sales, for ownership of copyrights in the book. Vanity publishers allow the author to pay for the privilege of having their book published, under terms that vary widely regarding ownership of rights and author options. Self-publishing is a bit like being your own contractor for a new addition to your home. You may already be familiar with some areas of production, and some can be learned without too much effort. Others are not worth the time investment to learn or may require skills you do not possess; these aspects can be subcontracted while you retain overall responsibility for the outcome of the project.
Editing Your Manuscript. When you decide to publish your book, you are making a commitment to put your ideas in a form that communicates with your readers. To do this involves the interaction of many sources in the various phases of manufacturing, distribution, and sales of your book. For all of these activities to function harmoniously to produce the hoped for result, various standards for the publishing industry have evolved over time. As in most situations, you can deviate from the established standards and methods if you like, but do not expect any of these sources to welcome any misuse of their time that results. Readers have expectations too, and neither do they appreciate having them ignored.
Unless you are an editor in addition to being an author, having your book edited by a professional is a must. This work needs to be be done by someone who is familiar with what is required to put a manuscript in proper condition for it to be worked on by others in the publishing process. Consider: Do you own a camera ... or a cellphone that takes pictures? Does that make you a photographer? Of course not. Neither does speaking and writing English make you an editor. No author can proofread their own work (let alone edit it). One of the reasons for this is that we know what we meant to write, what the words are supposed to be, so the brain sees what is supposed to be there, and corrects typographic errors to make it so. A new set of eyes is definitely called for. By all means, show your work to friends or the helpful English teacher who is willing to take a look at your book. They can be very helpful with questions about content or plot exposition or characters. But remember, they are not editors, either.
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied: “at least—at least I mean what I say—that’s the same thing,
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “Why, you might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!”
“You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!”
“You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!”
“It is the same thing with you,” said the Hatter, ...
Cover Selection. Choosing the cover for your book can be very simple or incredibly complicated, or both. Often just the title of the book is the primary cover element, and this can work well for recognition in many circumstances. Other simple choices are the author’s photograph or a photo that captures the feeling of the book. With print on demand technology, the initial cover choice is not something you have to live with forever, but of course, changing it may mean giving up any visual identification it may provide for the book. Remember that the cover’s primary purpose is to get attention for the book, not to tell the story inside the covers.
If you will be furnishing illustrations or photographs for your cover or for the interior pages, there are minimum quality standards which should be observed. Color artwork (photos, illustrations, drawings, charts and graphs) should be produced at a minimum of 300 pixels per inch resolution, and black and white artwork (line art plus the types listed for color artwork) should be produced at 600 pixels per inch.
Prepress Production. Broadly speaking, “prepress” involves the conversion of your manuscript into the cover and body pages files that will be used to print copies of your book as they are ordered. If you wish to participate in part of this phase of the work, please download the Manuscript Preparation Guide available on this site. These simple guidelines will help you produce a manuscript that may easily be translated into usable text for your book pages.
Again, we strongly recommend that all manuscripts be edited by RealityIsBooks. However, if you choose to edit your book yourself, or with the help of another, we will correct any obvious errors as we discover them, and mark and contact you regarding errors that require your input for resolution. This does not mean we will edit your manuscript if not contracted to do so, however, some typos will jump out from the page and refuse to be ignored.
Besides the more obvious considerations inherent in the physical production of books and other printed materials, the use of computer technology has introduced another aspect to this process, which is the understanding of the technology and its application to the work. While there are many specialized areas involved in producing the final form of the cover and page files, you do not necessarily need to spend time learning these things or how they are applied; we will take care of these aspects of the work for you.
One of the last phases of publication is to have the book file checked for suitability for production, which means the file is checked for errors that will prevent it from running properly on the equipment used for printing. This has nothing to do with style or taste or talent, it is a mechanical step that must be passed in order to publish the book. Any photographs and other linked files are also included in this check.