Messages Archive

Re: Are woodworking books obsolete?

Sgian Dubh
"Too many of the books today are only very lightly edited, more for paging and appearance than for grammar, style, or content."

Hi jesse, my manuscript is what I describe as 'lightly' academically formatted. It uses Harvard referencing, but not onerously so because I've tried to keep intrusive parentheses required for academic texts to a minimum - just enough within the parentheses usually to point a reader to source material, i.e., the author, date and page number with full information available within the references and the bibliography. Heavily academically formatted documents can be a challenging read because they are so heavily parenthesised the text no longer really flows.

Editing is essentially down to the publisher, and I was pleasantly surprised to find they're keen to retain the British spelling even though they are based in the USA. They are the ones looking for consistency in writing style, spelling (etc or et cetera?) grammar, typos that I've missed after countless proof reading efforts of my own and so on, as well as proposing/ suggesting overall appearance, a layout and page style, etc to be mutually agreed.

As to checking for factual errors in the text, it was peer reviewed by respected professionals in their field prior to the manuscript ever reaching a publisher. So, for example, a section on fungi was peer reviewed by a mycologist, a senior lecturer on the subject at a university. I guess I was lucky in being able call upon such people to peer review sections, but it's the sort of reciprocal courtesy extended between academics both within and between institutions. My luck I suppose was that as the leader of an undergraduate programme at a Higher Education teaching facility during the time of writing the manuscript I was recognised as a fellow academic, although I've never considered myself likely to be thought of as a stereotypical academic type being, I think, primarily a down to earth horny handed son of toil character, ha, ha. Slainte.

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