Learn how to take an idea and turn it into a published technical article or book with this authoritative guide. Chapter 8, "Revising for Perfection," is designed to help you understand what revision actually is and to provide some basic guidelines on how to revise a manuscript and polish your writing. It begins by telling you why revision is important and continues with some suggestions on how to turn a first draft into a second draft, a second draft into a third, a third into a fourth, and so on until you have a near-final draft that you are satisfied with. Then, it shows you how to polish your prose so that every sentence is written in the most powerful way possible. It continues by offering recommendations on how to develop and analyze the final draft, and it concludes with a discussion on revising as you write and on finding a way to revise that works best for you.
Roger E. Sanders — Roger E. Sanders is the president of Roger Sanders Enterprises, Inc., and the author of 22 books on relational database technology (21 on DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows; one on ODBC). He has worked with DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows--IBM's relational database management product for open systems—since it was first introduced on the IBM PC as part of OS/2 1.3 Extended Edition (1991), and he has been designing and developing databases and database applications for more than 20 years.
Roger authored a regular column ("Distributed DBA") in IBM Data Magazine (formerly DB2 Magazine) for 10 years, and he has written numerous tutorials and articles for IBM's developerWorks website as well as for publications such as Certification Magazine and IDUG Solutions Journal (the official magazine of the International DB2 User's Group). He has delivered a variety of educational seminars and presentations at DB2-related conferences and has participated in the development of 21 DB2 certification exams.
From 2008 to 2014, Roger has been recognized as an IBM Champion for his contributions to the IBM Data Management community; in 2010 he received recognition as an IBM developerWorks Contributing Author, in 2011 as an IBM developerWorks Professional Author, and in 2012 as an IBM developerWorks Master Author, Level 2 for his contributions to the IBM developerWorks community. (Only four individuals worldwide have received this last distinction.) Roger lives in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina.
CONTENTS About the Author Acknowledgments Foreword by Kim Moutsos Foreword by Jonathan Gennick Foreword by Susan Visser Preface Introduction
Chapter 1: Before You Begin Writing Is Hard Work Obstacles That Get in the Way of Writing How to Write a Lot Procrastination A Word About Writer's Block “Anything Worthwhile Is Never Easy”
Chapter 2: First Steps – Technical Articles The Process for Writing a Technical Article Analyzing Publications Obtaining Writer's Guidelines Writing an Effective Query Letter Following Up A Word About Rejection Next Steps
Chapter 3: First Steps – Technical Books The Process for Writing a Technical Book Finding a Publisher Obtaining Submission Guidelines Crafting a Book Proposal Writing an Effective Query Letter Responding to a Request for Your Proposal A Word About Simultaneous Submissions Following Up Handling Rejection A Word About Literary Agents How to Tell Good Agents from Bad Finding a Reputable Agent Next Steps
Chapter 4: The Publishing Agreement, the Author Questionnaire, and Working with an Editor The Publishing Agreement The Structure of a Typical Publishing Agreement for a Book The Structure of a Typical Publishing Agreement for an Article Negotiating the Terms of a Publishing Agreement The Author Questionnaire Structure of a Typical Author Questionnaire Working with an Editor Getting Started with the Writing
Chapter 5: Developing the First Draft Create a Working Outline and Write to It Craft a Strong Opening Use Headings and Subheadings Appropriately Adhere to the Basic Rules of Good Writing Find Your Voice and Set the Proper Tone Use Transitions Effectively Finish with a Strong Closing A Word About Publisher Templates A Word About Production Notes Your Work Doesn't End When the First Draft Is Done
Chapter 6: Using Tables, Artwork, and Sidebars Tables Creating Tables Table Titles and Numbers Referencing Tables Artwork Line Drawings Computer Screenshots Photographs Text Figures Figure Captions and Numbers Referencing Illustrations and Text Figures Storing Illustrations Final Comments on Using Illustrations Sidebars Always Consult with Your Editor or Publisher
Chapter 7: Staying Out of Trouble Bias-Free Text Guidelines for Writing Bias-Free Text Final Thoughts on Bias-Free Writing Defamation, Libel, and Slander Testing for Libel Statements Practical Ways to Reduce Liability for Defamation Plagiarism A Word About “Common Knowledge” Final Thoughts About Plagiarism Copyright Infringement What Exactly Is a Copyright? Who Owns a Copyright? How Long Does a Copyright Last? The Public Domain Things That Cannot Be Copyrighted The Fair Use Doctrine Obtaining Permission to Use Copyrighted Material A Word About Self-Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement If in Doubt, Ask
Chapter 8: Revising for Perfection The Purpose of Revision Early Revisions “Kill Your Darlings” Add What Is Essential Polish Your Prose The Final Draft Revising as You Develop the First Draft Final Thoughts on Revision Getting the Opinions of Others
Chapter 9: Soliciting Feedback Why Feedback Is Important Finding the Right Reviewers You May Be One of Your Best Reviewers When (and How) to Ask for Feedback What to Do with Feedback You Receive Human Nature and Getting Feedback Addressing Your Editor's Questions and Comments Rewarding Your Reviewers Making the Feedback Process Work Completing the Manuscript and Readying It for Publication
Chapter 10: Last Steps Preparing the Front Matter and Back Matter Front Matter Back Matter Obtaining Endorsements and Testimonials Submitting Your Manuscript for Publication Reviewing Copy Edits Reviewing Page Proofs (”Galleys”) Author's Alterations Handling Mistakes Found After Printing Responding to Readers Who Point Out Errors Promoting Your Work Final Thoughts
Appendix A: Sample Book Proposal Appendix B: Example of How to Rework Copyrighted Material to Make It Your Own Appendix C: Tools Every Technical Writer Should Have Index