I’m An Author, Sorta

I’ve been working with three fellow developmental editors on creating a medical terminology textbook for Big Publisher for the last couple of years. It’s been invented, developed, reinvented, and redeveloped more times that I can count.

The Publisher first had us aiming to compete with books A, B, and C. Then the Publisher decided it would be better if we went after the market share currenly held by books X, Y, and Z. Back to the drawing board, if you see what I mean.

First there were three coauthors (we three dev. eds.), then four: We brought in an expert instructor in the subject matter. She sucked. She couldn’t work her computer. It’s fucking MS Word, for chrissakes! She couldn’t keep an idea in her head for more than 20 minutes. We fired her.

Then we brought in another expert in the subject matter: a professor who teaches at a California State School and who has already published a book in this area. He is charming, efficient, intelligent, hard working, respectful, and a good collaborator. We love him. It’s a dreamy match.

The four of us have been working steadily since the middle of December 2006 on our latest development plan. In February of 07, the writing began in earnest. I was out of it for a couple of months because of Asher’s birth and my health crisis, but have since been working full steam on creating chapters. We actually had a completed first draft at the end of June. We have a book design.

We have been getting our chapters reviewed by teachers of this subject and incorporating their suggestions wherever they are valid changes. By the middle of August all the chapters will be revised and nearly ready for production—that’s where the chapters go to compositors for layout. So there is a seriously bright light at the end of the tunnel!

I have a contract in my hands that I have to sign and pass on to the next coauthor. I’ll be getting a tiny percentage of the royalties, which might just end up being a handsome chunk of change over the life of the edition. (Cross your fingers!) If it sells well, we’ll revise the text in three to four years. And, theoretically, royalty payments will continue to roll in. Some textbooks live for 20 years or more. Who knows if we’ll be that lucky? I’m just so excited to be able to report real, actual, hold-it-in-your-hand, hot-damn-it’s-a-manuscript progress!

9 Responses to “I’m An Author, Sorta”

  • terragjax
    August 1, 2007 at 1:09 am

    Congratulations on finishing such a huge project. Seems like a great accomplishment.

    Being published should look really good for selling your editing skills to new clients as well right?


  • mrplanet4
    August 1, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Super sweet and congrats!


  • dakini_grl
    August 1, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Wooo! I will want my own signed copy, I hope you don’t mind. Even if I have no idea what the book is saying.

    So exciting!!!

    I hope it rains $100 bills for the next 20 years.


  • sarabellae
    August 1, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you. There’s still a ways to go, but it’s so gratifying to finally be able to say we have this much done. And yes, I think this will be a stepping stone to other work.


  • sarabellae
    August 1, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you very much. It’s not the great American novel. It’s not even that interesting. But it’s a terrific opportunity that seems to be coming to fruition. Keep your fingers crossed for me. xoxo


  • sarabellae
    August 1, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Now what in the world are you gonna do with a 3-pound, 650-page med term textbook on your shelf? Yes it is exciting. I finally feel safe enough to mention it. It’s not just a pipe dream anymore.


  • pirategrrl
    August 1, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    You know I get a little cranky about textbook prices, being a student, but it’s great to hear someone cool and worthy (i.e. you) is benefitting from them. Congradulations!


  • sundayhangover
    August 1, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    *Woot* and Congradulations – I hope your name gets burned into the minds of many students for decades to come!


  • dakini_grl
    August 2, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Why, you didn’t know? I’ve been looking for something to complement my Janson. I’m a huge fan of symmetry.

    (That’s not true, of course. I’m a huge fan of you. That’s why.)


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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