Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Biggest Publishing Mistakes

Question: What are four mistakes that I made in publishing my book, Teaching English, How To…. (Xlibris, 2004)?

> Publishing too quickly. As I was writing my book, the SAT made a change, substituting a writing sample and an objective “style” test for one of the vocabulary sections. The format was not set while I wrote. I assumed the format would be similar to another writing sample used by the College Board, one that was based on reading literature. I was wrong. The topic became personal and the length of the writing sample became 20 minutes instead of 15 minutes. The result? I prepared for something that did not happen. And I published it. I should have waited until the new section on writing in the SAT was firmly established. If I had, the whole section on preparing for the 20-minute writing sample would have been significantly different.

> Omitting a cover—or having a poorly designed one. I meant for my cover to contain in a block format a list of the topics that I covered in the book. Too detailed. No one read it.

> Impatience. The problem here was my desire to rush into publication. I stopped trying to correct my typos and grammar mistakes. Now when I reread my book, they glare out at me, magnified by the fact that I am supposed to be an accomplished writer. If you’re a baseball player, you’re supposed to be able to hit and field. If you’re an English teacher, you’re supposed to correct all typos and mistakes in grammar. After the first reading, the publisher planned to charge me for all future mistakes, and I chose not to. I’m paying the price now.

>Not doing research. I should have checked out what had already been published about the topics on which I was choosing to write. I didn’t.

Comment: Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest! RayS.

Title, based on the following article: “The 8 Biggest Mistakes E-Book Authors Make and How to Avoid Them.” Kelly James-Engler. The Writer (July 2012),30-31.

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