The Making of a Book

In the spirit of reuse – the description for my summer course.

ENG 459: Editing and Publishing: The Making of a Book

Making a book takes work—and it’s not done when the writing’s done. Still to come, the queries, the subs, the pitches, the proposals. The rejection slips. The acceptance letter! Revisions. Cover art, layout, permissions. Galleys, copyediting, proofs and proofreading. Marketing. ARCs. The launch party. The book tour. Would you believe it’s actually kind of fun? (It’s your book.) (Whether you’re author or editor or designer or marketing intern—it’s yours.) (Also at key points there are wine and cheese.)

This course is designed with two sorts of student in mind. One, those who’d like, when the time is right, to see their own work in book form—knowing that books can take a gazillion forms, from mass market paperbacks to e-books to small–press run poetry volumes to one-of-a-kind artist’s books writ in oxblood on paper made of pond algae. (Wondering why the hyphen between “small” and “press” looks too long? It’s an en-dash. Wonder why it’s there? Take this course, you’ll find out.) Other, students interested in careers in the publishing industry. And here, while the book will be our focus, it won’t be our bound; knowledge you gain, skills you develop (e.g., copyediting, proofreading), will be useful in careers across the publishing industry.

Expect lots of hands-on exercises; in-class work on your peers’ drafts; student presentations on how books come to be; student-designed lessons on grammar and punctuation; and a final research project in which you explore a possible path for yourself, as author, editor, agent, designer, or TK, in editing and publishing. Likely texts: Suzanne Gilad, Copyediting and Proofreading for Dummies. Sarah Parsons Zackheim and Adrian Zackheim, Getting Your Book Published for Dummies.

Now I’ve got to design the damn thing.

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I write draw teach blog in and from the Pacific Northwest of America.

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