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Finishing a Masterpiece and Getting it on the Shelves
(how to get a book published)
Writing a book is a monumental task in itself. The process is long, drawn out and grueling. Even if you thoroughly enjoy writing and writing on the same subject for an extended period of time, you will no doubt be exhausted by the writing of a book. Getting that book published, however, will take even more time and effort than producing the thing in the first place. Are you thinking about writing a book? Have you already written one and now are just wondering how to get a book published? If you are, read on. Here are a few tips on how to get from the starting line to triumphantly crossing the finish line.
Writing that Book
When starting out writing your book, before you are ready to consider how to get a book published, you may already feel daunted. To write a successful book you need to start out with some original thought. You probably have plenty of originality, but you may have trouble getting your ideas into a coherent flow of information that will be digestible by the general public. The first step is to create a book skeleton. You need to organize your thoughts into a progression of chapters.
If your book will be non-fiction, start with a table of contents. Write chapter headings and sub-headings. You will automatically know that you’ll need an introductory chapter, but you should probably leave the content of your introduction for the last step. Organize your chapters so that they build upon one another. The more headings that you can brainstorm to begin with, the easier it will be to fill in your book with a series of short articles that flow into one another.
If your writing will be fiction, you will need more of a storyboard. You will need to create cause and effect as well as character sketches. To make your story coherent your characters will need events to react to. Their reactions should become predictable as your readers get into the story. You may need to create some situations for your characters just for the purpose of introducing their traits to the reader.
These are very general guidelines about how to begin constructing your book. The actual process will be much more involved as you move closer to finding out how to get a book published. Even after you are finished with the bulk of the content, your goal is still a ways off into the future.
Getting to Print
The next step in how to get a book published is finding a publisher. There are resources at your local library that will let you know who will be the best candidate for publishing the kind of writing that you do. After a series of queries and correspondence with the potential publishers you may get an invitation to send your manuscript. Then the work begins.
A publisher is very experienced in finding books that are marketable. He knows what it will take to get your book to sell. Don’t be offended when his editors tears your writing apart. If they are doing that, you can enjoy the fact that you are on the road to a published book. Expect to enter into a close relationship of compromise and change with the editor as you rework and rework what you have already so painstakingly written. When you are finished you will have a readable and clean and correct manuscript ready for print.
The road to getting a book published is a long one, but well worth the effort. Trust yourself, and trust the publisher to create a beautiful masterpiece. Don’t be discouraged if several publishers are not interested in your book. You may have to just keep the first few for yourself, and then again, they may eventually get accepted. Good luck and enjoy the process.
Copyright Law Plagiarism Plagiarism Is Simply Unethical Anyone who is a writer is concerned with plagiarism. Copyright Plagiarism Laws protects copyright holders from having their works plagiarized. Many people think it is ironic that the word plagiarism derives from “kidnapper” in Latin. However, it is true. If a person uses another person’s words without permission, they have indeed stolen or kidnapped something that was owned by another and is in violation of copyright law. Plagiarism is a very bad word in the writing world. Crediting the author of the work will not keep someone immune from being in violation of copyright law. Plagiarism is plagiarism, even if the author is cited if the author did not give permission for the work to be used. One of the most common areas that copyright law plagiarism is violated is in the academic world. Many students will copy and paste the information they need for their research papers and essays straight off the Internet and turn it in to their professors. However, this type of cheating is easily detected now with special programs that professors can use. Plagiarism is unethical, not only in the writing world, but in the academic world, as well. Did you know that you could plagiarism a work but not be in violation of the copyright? Likewise, you can be in violation of a copyright and not have been plagiarizing. It is really not that hard to understand. Let’s say you are using Abraham Lincoln’s exact words in a paper and you did not cite him as the source or give him credit. Well, Lincoln’s words aren’t copyrighted because they are in the public domain. But, you did plagiarize because you tried to pass off his words as your own. Alternatively, if you use a picture in a book and you did not gain permission to use the book, you have violated copyright law because you did not source the artist and you did not get permission from the artist to use the picture. If you are in school, the best way you can get around committing plagiarism is to simply list your sources. If you use someone’s word, list it in an endnote or in a footnote. List the resource you found it in the bibliography. Another way around copyright law plagiarism violations is to take notes when you are reading. Take notes in your own words and put the resource away. Write your paper from your own words. No one wants to be singled out for plagiarism, especially a student who is concerned about their reputation at school and writers who need to keep their credibility in good standing. With today’s technological advances, it is not too hard to pinpoint plagiarized work. Even webmasters who run websites are on to the plagiarism crowd. They can run their entire sites through a special program to see if their content has been stolen and duplicated elsewhere on the Internet. If you are dealing in the written word, either academically or as a profession, it is a good idea that you only use your own words. It was probably easier to get away with plagiarism 100 years ago, but it is not that easy today. The changes are very high that if you are caught violating copyright law plagiarism laws you will be caught. Not only is it embarrassing, but it can cost you a bundle in a lawsuit.
Web Hosting - Databases, What Are They and Do You Need One? 'Database' is one of the most commonly used terms that one encounters in web site design. Yet, what they really are and whether they're essential is often not clear to novices. A database is a collection of organized data, stored in files that have a specific structure. It's that organization and structure that allows for easy and rapid storage and retrieval. The need for a database generally only arises when you have a certain amount of information and that information needs to have some structure. If you have a half-dozen names and addresses to store, a database is usually overkill. If you have a blob of data with no relationships between any of the items in that blob, maintaining a database is usually more trouble than it's worth. Maintain a database? Yes, like other complex systems a database, to be effective, needs to be designed properly at the outset then kept 'tuned' for good performance. The alternative is to gradually allow the database to become more and more disorganized. That leads to difficulty in use, poor speed of retrieval and more frequent failures. With MySQL, Access or MS SQL Server, the three most common choices of database product for web sites today, setting up a database is relatively simple. Even those with limited technical skill can get one up and running just by following some simple instructions. But some thought should be given to how you want the information organized, and to maintaining the system during its lifetime. Suppose you have a set of names, addresses, email addresses, products purchased, date purchased and amount. If you have only a few dozen records it matters very little how these pieces are arranged and related. A database usually isn't even warranted in this scenario. Once you have several thousand or more records, it matters a lot. Speed, the ease of expanding the set of attributes (like adding, say, product category), and other issues come into play. Even those with little technical expertise, but a willingness to exert logical thought and invest some time, can build a very robust database. Think about how you would organize a set of data (called 'tables'). Should Name, Address, and Product be in the same table? Or should the personal information be stored in one table and any product information (product, price, ...) in another? Some experimentation may be needed to get it right, but the choices have an impact on how easy the tables are to maintain. It also affects the speed with which programs can fetch old data and store the new. Having a database also introduces new maintenance issues for the server administrator, since backups usually need to be done differently. Recovering a failed database is usually more complicated than simply re-copying files from yesterday. Ask your hosting company what tools and skills they have for dealing with any database system you consider. It's true that introducing a database creates more complexity and the need for additional thought and administrative effort. At a certain level, professional expertise will be needed. But clearly the advantages outweigh the costs in many cases. Companies large and small eventually use databases to store and organize data. At some point, you may be fortunate enough to be one of them.
What Career Coaching Can Do to Help Land a Better Job A career coach is something many people have heard of but few actually understand what they do. Career coaching has become more popular in recent years, and they are actually used by many people who already are employed to help them stay on the right track in their career. If you are looking for a job, however, and especially if your job search is proving difficult and painful, a career coach might be just what you need to get your search on track. Career coaches get a lot of flack by trade. Some people laugh them off as the latest in the line of self help gurus that people spend a lot of money to see, often with mixed results. To some people, career coaches are up there with psychoanalysts and personal trainers – accessories of the rich but not very relevant to your every day kind of person. This assessment of career coaches might not be entirely fair, however. Career coaches can, and have, helped tons of people get on the right track in their job searches and have helped even more people not only find a job, but find a career that they love. So, just what can a career coach do for you? If you are job hunting within a certain industry, a career coach can help you narrow down your choices while simultaneously making sure you are putting your best foot forward when you go out there on the hunt. Sometimes, especially if you have been in a field for a long time, the skills you are highlighting on your resume are stale or the language you use to talk about your work history is outdated. In addition, a career coach can help you make sure that when you go into a job interview you can present yourself as on top of the latest developments in the field and as a person who could jump right into the job without needing a lot of training or guidance. The same goes for someone who is trying to get a job in a new field. A career coach will give you pointers about that field and the companies in the field as well as giving you general advice about the typical culture of that business – what kind of lingo is used, where the industry is centered, who the big players are, and even how to dress for your interview so that you look the part. Career coaches can also make sure your resume is in order and showing off your skills in the best light possible. This help a career coach provides when you know what kind of job you are looking for is all well and good, but they can do even more when you know you need a job, but you just don’t know what you want to do. If you have been frustrated in your career goals in the past, a career coach will work with you to decide exactly what kind of job you really want to have. They can help you figure out which industries are best suited to your interests, your skills and your personality. If you want to start your own business, they can walk you through the process from start to finish. A good career coach could be the key to finding the career of your dreams instead of just one more job. Last but not least, a career coach can let you know what you are doing wrong in your career. Do you have a problem with your interpersonal working relationships, or are you bad at delegating so you always end up doing all of the work? A career coach will work with your to set these problems right. When you need a better job, a career coach can clear the path for job improvement.