Effective July 7, 2016
Publishing in Context
Information for Prospective Clients
If you are a subject expert with practical knowledge that you believe could be of value to others, it is very likely that you have thought about publishing an article or a book. There are many benefits of publication in addition to the central one of sharing important ideas with people who can make use of them. It can promote your work by helping people better understand what you do, and it can market your work by establishing your authority and describing your specific services. It can even become one of the ways that you accomplish your work. But publishing offers many challenges. It takes time and effort, it’s emotionally daunting, and it can be confusing.
Publishing in Context can help you meet these challenges by showing you how publishing fits into your specific situation and the world at large, and by facilitating publication processes, all at a reasonable and predictable cost.
For example, to publish an article or book, regardless of the length or the venue, you must do two things.
First, you must develop a plan that specifies the basic components of audience, purpose, and authority. It defines how long the piece will be and where it will be published in light of an evaluation of the requirements for and abilities of potential venues. It also projects how you will promote the publication. Helping you with this is publication consulting.
Second, you must implement your plan. We can help you with the basic content development that this requires, with the writing, and with the various levels of editing necessary to produce a final manuscript.
Basic content development transforms your knowledge for use by defined audiences. We have found that an efficient way to do this is through the creation of a website that captures your personal expert framework, which can be accomplished by setting up a new website or by building the framework into an already existing site. This work sets the stage for a more traditional editorial process, spanning publication development and production, which in our experience can be accomplished through three drafts.
The purpose of a first draft is to get all of your material together in one place, in a written text contained in a set of computer files. You don’t have to worry about editorial fine points, especially about saying too much. You just have to make sure that there is text for everything that you want to say.
It’s likely that you already have text for much of what needs to go into this draft, so a good part of what you will be doing at this stage is probably going to be reviewing what you have on hand, getting it into files, and labeling the files. For the things that require new writing, don’t worry about how it will fit in. Just get them down.
You will send your files to us and we’ll review the material, asking you to add to or clarify text if necessary, and compiling it all into a book file, probably combining and renaming files as appropriate. And we’ll put the book into its overall form.
If you haven’t had time to get all your ideas written down, and aren’t likely to have the time in the future, or if you find this task to be particularly difficult, we can facilitate the first-draft process by interviewing you and writing what we call a correctable text. This is text that you will react to—correcting, augmenting, and eventually taking on as your own. All of the activity related to the first draft is developmental editing, which is the editorial assistance provided to an author before there is a manuscript.
Once there is a complete first draft, we can help you by doing substantive editing on the text. Substantive editing involves creating a second draft by putting the manuscript into essential shape—focusing it, harmonizing the material, making sure the terminology is consistent, often moving things around, and making sure it all works. The manuscript will usually be passed back and forth at this stage, giving you more opportunities to correct, augment, and make decisions.
When you are satisfied with the second draft we then move on to producing the third and final draft. At this point we would do line editing, which involves checking the manuscript for readability and for details of format, accuracy, and completeness. Then you’re ready to go ahead with publication either by submitting your work to a publisher or by self-publishing.
We’ve found that the best way to charge for our service is to do it in segments. There is a rate for publication consulting ($85 per hour); for website content development ($75 per hour); for each type of editing (developmental, $75 per hour; substantive, $65 per hour; line editing, $45 per hour; and copy editing, $45 per hour); and for interviewing and writing correctable text ($80 per hour).
The way we proceed is to agree on an estimated number of hours it would take for all the activities of a project. Then we bill you for half of the estimated fee at the beginning and the remainder at monthly intervals, the monthly amount determined by our view of how much time the life of the project will take (we might be doing 60 hours of work but carrying it out over the course of eight weeks). Of course, if at any point it looks as if our estimate is really off, either too much time or too little, we can adjust the agreement.
Publishing has six interrelated but distinct stages: knowledge verification, content development, publication development, production, marketing and promotion, and sales and distribution. The first three have been relatively neglected in recent years, and those are the stages we concentrate on, as described in the following chart of services and fees. We can come into a publication project at any stage, or only do those parts of the process that you require.
We also do publication-program management for organizations that want to self-publish (assisting in setting strategy; handling all communications with authors, freelancers, and vendors; and serving as outsourced director of publishing for the organization), as well as project management (coordinating all stages of publication; supervising other contractors; facilitating communication between all parties; and monitoring production costs). Contact us for details.
If desired, we can set up a retainer arrangement, where you pay a set monthly fee for a defined number of months and hours per month. The retainer offers all services at a discounted rate.
We can invoice you in an email or through PayPal. We don’t charge for preliminary discussions and getting to know each other.
Publishing in Context
Services and Fees
|Knowledge Verification. This initial stage of publishing involves defining your area of expertise, where it fits into knowledge overall, and how it can benefit various audiences. It requires perspective-taking and articulating the relationships among ideas.|
|Consultation||$85 / hr||Initial conversations, examination of resource materials already available, and strategy suggestions.|
|Content Development. This is the process through which your knowledge is transformed into content that is accessible and useable by defined audiences both inside and outside the expert community. It requires the development of organizing concepts and terminology that can be understood by non-experts.|
|Website content development||$75 / hr||Create map of web pages, defining main concepts and terminology, and facilitate writing of text.|
|Manuscript evaluation||3 – 6 ms pgs / hr
Note: manuscript page is figured at 250 words.
|$50 / hr||Review unpublished manuscript to determine work needed. Address competitiveness in market, timeliness, and other client concerns.|
|Publication Development. This involves developing specific publications for defined audiences. It requires strategizing, planning, and evaluation of writing skills, plus efficient creation of text.|
|Developmental editing||1 – 5 ms pgs / hr||$75 / hr||Develop a manuscript from initial concept through first draft. Suggest content and organization based on competing works, reviewers’ comments, and publisher preferences. May involve moderate research and writing sample introductions for author to react to.|
|Research||$75 – $ 100 / hr||Conduct interviews, gather information from online and library sources.|
|Writing correctable text||1 – 4 ms pgs / hr||$80 / hr||Write text, ranging from blog pieces, to full-scale articles, to book-length manuscripts.|
|Substantive editing||1 – 6 ms pgs / hr||$65 / hr||Assure clarity, organization, and presentation of information in an already existing manuscript. Minimal rewriting.|
|Line editing||2 – 10 ms pgs / hr||$45 / hr||Make sure piece is coherent, complete, and reads well.|
|Production. This is the process by which an effective product is created. It requires final editing, plus generating a design and layout that facilitate sharing the content. It also requires putting the product into a format that makes wide distribution possible.|
|Copy editing||2 – 10 ms pgs / hr||$45 / hr||Make final check of grammar and word usage. Assure consistent style as defined by publisher. Confirm completeness. Note permissions needed. Check illustrations and tables for consistency.|
|Proofreading||9 – 13 ms pgs / hr||$35/ hr||Check for typographical errors, misspellings, incorrect formatting, and missing or repeated text.|