I've decided that, next time I write a book, I'm going to put everything on page one and make some obvious errors as well. I'm not convinced that it will actually do much to make the book any better, but it will save the reviewers a lot of headaches. And probably make it easier for the publisher too.
To understand why, let's explore the typical sequence of events for a work that's complete to first draft and ready for review. There are several things that you can almost guarantee will happen:
Finally, when all the writing, reviews, and edits are done, you sign it off and it disappears into the bowels of the production department. In theory you can wave goodbye to it and get on with the next one. Or maybe not. I was recently party to a series of meetings related to creating a detailed specification of the publishing process. The list of tasks that have to be accomplished was nearly as long as the book itself, and several seem to have ended up being allocated to me.
I suppose the saving grace is that I'm pretty hardened to all this after the years I've spent involved at both the input and output ends of the process. I even try to behave myself when I'm being a reviewer rather than a writer; and I tend to be fairly relaxed about seeing my finely crafted text come back with a review comment every third word and a plethora of Track Changes from the copy editor. I wonder how they managed all this in the days before word processors!
Still, now I've seen what the production people have to do, and experienced the joys of reviewing other people's work even more regularly, I've decided that I've actually got the easy job...
Good one. Writing the first paragraph of the book is the most difficult. You never know what to put in and what to not. "You'll also discover that somebody decided to change the name of the technology on the day after you finished slaving over a hot keyboard" - Is this true????
Thanks arun. I suppose my name change assertion was a little tongue in cheek, though it does happen. For example,"The Windows Azure Platform" is no longer the correct terminology - now it's just "Windows Azure". And the word "Virtual" disappeared from the names of a couple of services. It also doesn't help when the title of the book changes when you just finished writing it, which happens far more often...
Ha Ha.. Yes it happens in that way. "title of the book changes" does happen very often. In many books I have read the title changed coz the title looked too generic / the title does not match the subject / few other publishers too have the same title. Very good post. I liked it :)