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How To Write a Book for Waite Group Press

Jill Pisoni, Acquisitions Editor, Waite Group Press
Welcome to our book proposal section. My name is Jill Pisoni and my job at Waite Group Press is acquiring new titles. This guide will give you an overview of the preliminary stages involved in writing for Waite Group Press. If you have any questions please send me email by accessing the link on my name below.
Jill Pisoni, Acquisitions Editor
Waite Group Press, 200 Tamal Plaza, Corte Madera, CA 94925
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Writing for Waite
This guide will introduce you to Waite Group Press and give you an overview of the stages involved in writing your book. Waite Group Press is probably best understood as an innovative publishing company with a developmental orientation. Our books cover computer programming, digital graphics and other high-tech subjects, and are continually at the forefront of cutting edge topics such as the latest in Internet and Web programming, virtual reality, and other emerging technologies. We are constantly looking for new titles and for authors who can think logically, organize their thoughts, and produce easy-to-read, high quality manuscripts. If you possess these traits and are enthusiastic and dedicated, there's a good chance that we can work with you to produce one of the high quality titles that our company is known for. This guide is composed of several sections, each designed to assist you in understanding how Waite Group Press develops and produces books. If you decide that you would like to pursue a book idea with us, there is a section describing our proposal process, including information on how to fill out a proposal of your own. The sections in this guide include:
* A Little History to Set the Stage * What is Involved in the Writing Process? * Submitting a Proposal * Frequently Asked Questions * Sample Editorial Fact Sheet
If you have any questions after reading through this guide, or if you would like to write a book for Waite Group Press, please contact
Jill Pisoni Acquisitions Editor Waite Group Press 200 Tamal Plaza, Suite 101 Corte Madera, CA 94925 415/924-2575, ext. 111 415/924-7415 (fax)
A Little History to Set the Stage
Our publisher, Mitchell Waite, started out as a computer book author in 1973, when he wrote several best-selling titles on microcomputers for a publisher now known as SAMS. He slowly built up a development team of writers and authors, and packaged books for large book publishers, focusing particularly on computer languages and operating systems. Establishing a reputation for quality, clarity, and making abstract topics easy to understand, The Waite Group produced over 100 computer books between 1974 and 1990. Many of those books are still best-sellers today, including C Primer Plus (over 400,000 copies in print), Unix Primer Plus, and C Programming Using Turbo C++. In 1990 Mitch became interested in producing a kind of computer book that the publishers we were working with couldn't understand. He wanted to take advantage of the computer on the reader's desk, to add software to books and make that software the heart and soul of the learning experience. His goal was to produce innovative software-assisted books. He also wanted to move away from the crowded and obvious topics that publishers fought over (WordPerfect, 1-2-3, DOS) and apply his newfound innovation to subjects that are unique and on the cutting edge of technology. Waite Group Press' first title was Master C, a book/disk package based on a software teaching engine that turned the PC into a C language instructor. After reaching sales of over $400,000, Waite Group Press went on to publish several traditional language titles and a unique book called Fractal Creations. Written by fractal and graphics advocates Tim Wegner and Mark Peterson, this was the first book to show how to master fractals on your PC, without requiring any programming experience. Fractal Creations cost $34.95 and came with a special "freeware" program called Fractint written by a programming collective called the Stone Soup Group, a beautiful fold-out color poster, and a pair of red blue 3-D glasses. It immediately landed on the B. Dalton Computer Book Bestseller List, lived there for seven weeks, and went on to attain sales of over 50,000 copies. PC Magazine compared it to the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour." Waite Group Press published another solid best-seller in 1991, Object-Oriented Programming in Turbo C++ by Robert Lafore, one of our most popular authors. This book also landed on the B. Dalton Computer Book Bestseller List. Waite Group Press followed the OOP book with a score of programming titles including two on Visual Basic, Microsoft's intuitive Windows language. Visual Basic How-To offered a new question and solution format, and became an overnight success, landing on the Waldenbooks and WaldenSoftware Computer Book Bestseller List. Another best-selling experiment in book/disk entertainment was Virtual Reality Playhouse, an eccentric, eclectic, low-cost collection of programs, games, utilities, software toys, and a compact book that gives an interactive taste of what VR is like on your PC. Virtual Reality Playhouse debuted at Number 3 on the B. Dalton list, and remained there for many weeks. Other best-sellers have followed, including Image Lab, another graphics book packaged with tools; Windows API Bible, a comprehensive reference to the APIs; Visual Basic SuperBible; and Flights of Fantasy, the first book to lay bare the black art of writing computer video games.
What is Involved in the Writing Process?
The process of creating a book for Waite Group Press involves three distinct cycles: development, writing, and production. The development cycle begins with the initial presentation of a book topic and ends with a signed contract. The writing cycle starts with the turning in of first draft chapters and ends with the completion of a final version of the manuscript. The production cycle begins with the final manuscript and ends with a typeset version of the book, ready to go to the printer.
After discussing a potential title with Waite Group Press, we will ask you for a proposal which consists of an Editorial Fact Sheet (EFS), a detailed chapter outline, and a sample chapter. These are used by our acquisitions committee for evaluation of potential projects.
The EFS is a development document for the book; it includes a description of the book, the subject, the target audience, an assessment of the market and of competing books, and a list of chapters including a short one or two sentence description of each. Once a project is accepted, the EFS is used to generate catalog copy, backcover copy, fact sheets for sales reps, and other promotional materials. Therefore, it is very important that the EFS is compelling, and that it explains what your book is about, its key selling features, and how it is different from other books already on the market. For this reason, the EFS will usually go back and forth a couple of times between you and Waite Group's Acquisition Editor whos job it is to acquire the book. An example EFS is included later in these guidelines.
Detailed Chapter Outline
We place a great deal of emphasis on your detailed chapter outline. It is the framework on which your manuscript is built. The chapter outline shows how the major topics are distributed among the chapters. The subheadings in your chapter outline should closely approximate the subheadings that will appear in the final manuscript. Elements such as chapter summaries, review questions, and exercises, and so on, should appear in the chapter outline. Because the outline is so important, we'll go to great lengths later in this document explaining how you should go about putting one together.
With a solid EFS and sample chapter in hand, we will offer you an author contract that includes first and final draft due dates, and spells out your compensation and terms. After signing the contract, you and one of our editors will agree upon a chapter-by-chapter schedule.
Sample Chapter
For your proposal, we will also ask you to put together a sample chapter using the Word for Windows template. This is usually not Chapter 1, but a middle chapter that is representative of the bulk of the book. You can expect to go through a few drafts of this sample chapter. It is important during this stage that we create an appropriate model for the rest of the book and a list of elements you'll be using (sidebars, help boxes, tips, notes, etc.). This process allows us to become familiar with the bookÕs contents and with your writing style. It also provides you with a sample of our editing style and process. Developmental issues raised at this point include the logical flow of information, the overall progression, pedagogy, and the ratio of text to examples, figures, illustrations, sidebars, listings, screen dumps, and tables. With a solid EFS, chapter outline, and sample chapter in hand, we will discuss a first draft delivery schedule with you (we'll want to receive your chapters one at a time as you finish them), and we will offer you an author contract that includes first and final draft due dates, and spells out your compensation and terms. After signing the contract, you've gotten past the first hurdle and should pat yourself on the back. The proposal process involves a lot of work on your part, but getting the details straight before you dig into the writing will save everyone a lot of work later down the line.
The Writing And Production Process
1. Your team. The Editorial Director will assign a top notch Managing Editor who is responsible for keeping the entire project moving. The Managing Editor then assigns a Content Editor, who helps you keep on track as you write and a Technical Editor, who checks that all of your information is correct, and that your code and examples work properly. You will get to know these people well as you work on your book. 2. The Writing Cycle. For writing your manuscript, we will give you a template in Word for Windows format with built in "styles". By using the template and styling elements such as heads, program listings, paragraphs, tables and so on, we are easily able to convert your document into a desktop publishing format. In addition, we will send you software for creating screenshots. Our writing cycle uses a "pipelined" approach. Pipelining means that we are moving your chapters along as they are finished rather than waiting for an entire manuscript before passing it on to the next stage. The cycle of writing typically goes like this: You write a chapter and send the hard copy and floppy disk to us. Sending the disk allows us to make sure that the template is working and allows us to do editing on the file itself. It also allows us to use the Internet when necessary to send files back and forth. This speeds up the entire process. The Managing Editor (ME) makes sure all the elements of the manuscript are provided (complete chapter pages, figures, tables, etc.), and forwards a copy to the Content Editor. The ME also edits the manuscript, looking for big picture developmental issues including the flow of information, the ratio of text to examples and illustrations, the actual number of pages compared to the estimated number, and writing quality. After we look at the chapter and get it marked up by the various editors, we send it back to you with a letter explaining what it all means. You will read about impressions and corrections on Chapter 4, for example, while you are writing Chapter 5. The goal here is to help you hone in on the exact approach that gives our books such great quality. We won't want you to go back and revise chapters yet. We'll want you to continue forward writing first draft chapters. We will, however, want you to look over the content edits as they come back to you to make sure you correct anything that needs to be corrected in the next chapters you are writing. This process continues until all the chapters have been written once. When the last of the first draft is delivered, you have met your first draft delivery date. At this point you should experience a great feeling of accomplishment. The hardest part is over. Once you have finished your first draft and received all the marked-up chapters back from the editors, you will do one giant rewrite, responding to the editors' suggestions and corrections. When all the chapters have been rewritten, you have completed the second or final draft. Sometimes a book requires a third draft. 3. The Production Cycle. Production begins once we start receiving your final draft, and all illustrations, figures, program listings, and tables that go with it. You will send us your second, or final, draft chapters as you complete them. These are also sent to a copy editor, who will look them over for grammar, consistency, and clarity. You will need to review, approve, and correct the editors' changes, and return the manuscript quickly. This is the last time you will see your manuscript before it is published. Once production has the final, edited manuscript, they will transform the manuscript into what are called galley "proofs." Proofs are the desktop published pages that are very near to what the final book page will look like. At this point things are moving very fast at Waite Group Press. We are incurring our maximum costs and therefore we have proofs reviewed and turned around within a few days. At this stage, our editors and proofreaders are checking that all figures have been placed correctly and that program listings retain the correct line breaks and indentations. They're also giving the book one final straight read and creating the index. 4. The CD-ROM. Almost all of our books include a CD-ROM. The CDs include not only the program listings, sample projects, and all other files found in the text, but also value-added material such as code libraries, licensed software, freeware, and anything else that we can get permission to include that the reader will find useful. Part of your job as author is to gather and organize all of the program listings, etc., found in the text. We will need you to get this together for us after you have submitted your final draft. You are also responsible for contacting software vendors about including their software. We have a standard permissions form that we will send to you, but you are responsible for sending out the forms, getting them signed, and getting them to us. Once we have all of the software, files, etc. that are to go on the disk, we will put together a Master CD and test it. It might sound like a lot of work, but you'll be pleased with the results in sales.
The Birth of Your First Book: Printing and Reviews
1. Printing. Once production is completed the book is ready to be printed. First, however, we duplicate any software bundled with the book. Then the book is printed and bound, and the disk envelope is inserted into the book. The books are shipped to our warehouse for distribution to the bookstores in the US, and are also sent directly from the printer to our overseas distributors. 2. Review Copies. We automatically send out beautiful Reviewers' Packages to over 200 columnists, industry experts, and any people you feel should see your book. The package contains the book, color photos of the cover and any images in the book, a Press Release, catalog, and background on the company. We have been very effective in getting our books reviewed. For example, we have had our titles favorably reviewed in PC Magazine's Read Only book review section, and many detailed reviews in technical magazines such as PC Techniques, Dr. Dobbs, Computer Graphics World, and many others. As a published author, expect to be recognized in ritzy Italian restaurants and hear from relatives you never knew you had. Waite Group Press is very interested in finding authors that we can work with on a continuing basis, so if your authoring experience has been mutually gratifying, we may begin talking about your next book.
Submitting a Proposal
As we've mentioned, a proposal consists of an editorial fact sheet (EFS), a detailed chapter outline, and a sample chapter. When you prepare these materials be sure to always include headers that list the proposed title and your name and footers that list the date and page number. If you are submitting these files in electronic format (required for the EFS), please use your last name and a number as the file name. For instance, SMITH1.DOC rather than EFS.DOC. (If you are using Windows 95, you can be even more descriptive and call your file SMITH EFS, for instance.)
EFS Checklist
We've included an EFS at the end of this document that you should use as a model. When you are preparing your EFS, please keep in mind that once your proposal is accepted, we will use your EFS for creating catalog copy, fact sheets for sales reps, back cover copy, and a variety of other promotional material. Your job in the EFS is to give us as much information as you can to allow us to make a decision about your project. Following are things you should keep in mind as you fill in each section of the EFS. The Top, Two-Column Section Some of these items stay the same from book to book. Do not change these rows: Publisher, Address, Contact, First printing, Format, or Book size. The rows we are most interested in having you fill in are: Title Does this book fall into one of our series (discussed later in this document)? If it does, use the series name in the title. Subtitle A detailed, but still short, description of what the book contains. Cover notes Important information found in the book that sets it apart and will get the reader excited about buying it. Starburst A few meaningful words that will jump out at the reader. You should take a look at some of our catalogues and current books to get a better idea of what we are looking for in the above categories. Num pages When filling in the number of pages, please keep in mind the rate of growth from an 8 1/2 X 11-inch double-spaced manuscript with one figure every 3 to 5 pages to the final 7 x 9-inch book is 1.3. In other words, your book page count should be 30% more than your manuscript page count. For example, if you are writing a 1,000 page book, you will need to write 766 manuscript pages. Screen captures and Line drawings When estimating screen captures and line drawings, remember that we want a minimum of one figure every four pages. An estimate of line drawings is very important as we will need to plug this into the book's production budget. B&W; Photos We seldom include photographs, but please let us know if any are appropriate. Platform Is your book applicable to people using Windows 95, Windows NT, DOS, UNIX, MacIntosh, or some other platform or combination of the preceding? Shelving It's alright if you don't know this. We will fill it in. Disk If you think your book would benefit by coming with a disk (floppy or CD-ROM), please let us know and let us know what this disk would contain. Most of our books contain a CD-ROM. Remember, you will be responsible for collecting all of the files and securing permissions for everything that is included on the disk. Selling Points Once your proposal is accepted, we use the EFS to create a fact sheet for the sales representatives. These are the people who to the book buyers at the bookstores and try to convince them to stock your book. The sales reps find it very helpful to have a quick list of selling points they can mention to the book buyers. The things buyers are most interested in hearing about are the size of the installed base, why the subject of the book is a hot topic, and what sets your book apart from the competition. See the EFS at the end of this document for some examples. Editorial The purpose of this section of the EFS is to describe the book's subject in terms a non-expert can understand. Explain why your book idea is timely and the breadth of its audience. Continue with a detailed description of your book. Write this in the present tense as if the book were already written. We'll want to know what type of book you're writing, how your book is set up, what topics are covered, why these topics are important, and what kind of examples you're including. We don't need a chapter-by-chapter breakdown since you will be providing this for us in the table of contents, but by the time we finish reading the Editorial section, we should have a good idea of what your book is all about and why the topic is so important. You are trying to sell your book idea to us in the Editorial section. Your goal should be to get Waite Group excited about your book idea, draw us in, make us want to buy this book. In order to do this, you need to provide a lot of detail. Do not be vague. Also keep in mind that if your proposal is accepted, we will consider using your Editorial section as the basis for back cover copy. Key Features Restate the highlights. These are potential back cover bullets. Authors Give us a one paragraph biography as you would want it to appear in the frontmatter of the book. Your biography should include information on what makes you qualified to write this book. Prior Distribution Has this book been published in any form by anyone else? Competition This is a very important section. You are supposed to be the expert, so tell us about all the other books. Go to a large bookstore and browse them. You should also do some surfing on the Web if you are able. Describe what the competition is like and how your book will be different, better, complementary. Please note that we do not want you to list every book that covers the same subject. We only want you to list the titles you feel are most competitive in terms of style and audience level. Please fill in all of the information that we request for each competing book. Market This is another very important section. What segment of the population is going to buy your book and how many people fall into this category? What is the installed base of the product your book covers? Publicity and Promotion You are welcome to offer suggestions. Our Promotions department is always pleased to incorporate good suggestions from authors into promotions plans. Table of Contents This should include a short description of each chapter. Preparing a Detailed Chapter Outline Besides the table of contents in the EFS, we also require a detailed chapter outline. We place a great deal of emphasis on your chapter outline since it is the structure that determines how your ideas will be presented. Your chapter outline also provides us with a basis for judging both your progress and how fully your book fulfills its purpose. The outline:
* Breaks your subject matter into its constituent parts. You can more easily judge how many pages will be required to cover a particular topic. * Guides you as you write the manuscript. Some writers have a tendency to wander from the topic at hand because of the normal connections between topics. That's a natural tendency, but it weakens the impact of the book. * If the outline is well thought out, writing the manuscript is much easier. If the outline is weak, the result can be a great deal of unnecessary or repetitive work, both for you and for those who will turn your manuscript into a book.
Do Your Homework First
Worthy projects require preparation, and building an outline is no exception. Of course, you must think about the internal relationships between elements of your book: topics, subtopics, chapters, parts, etc. In a competitive market, you must also think about external relationships between your book and existing titles. Evaluating Competing Titles Examine competing titles, and ask yourself questions like these:
* What are the deficiencies in competing titles? * What can I tell my readers that other authors have not told them? * What are the unique strengths of my approach to the subject matter?
Answers to these questions can help you refine the structure of your outline and the finished manuscript. Evaluating Existing Waite Group Press Titles You should also become familiar with books we have already published. Some investigation on your part should help you to develop a manuscript that will fit in with our family of books. If your book is a reference, for example, you should check to see if it fits into our Bible series. All of our series are outlined later in this document. By this advice, we don't mean to imply that we have a formula; Waite Group Press books are not written to a prescribed outline. We encourage and appreciate originality. But we do expect that a Waite Group Press book should have clear and logical organization, plenty of useful information (often presented in figures, tables, etc.), and many concrete examples. Building Your Outline If you've done the work recommended in preceding sections, you're ready to begin. By now, you should have a sense of the general strategy or framework of concepts that provide the organizing principle of your manuscript. Keep this principle in mind as you organize your outline. You should start with a subject outline that lists the topics you intend to discuss. Indicate logical subordination with indentation. Use headings to describe the topics: the language can be rough, but the headings should clearly and unambiguously describe the sequence and logical subordination of the topics you intend to cover. In the end, you will convert this subject outline into a chapter outline which shows how the major topics are distributed among the chapters. Elements that are not part of the subject outline proper - such as chapter summaries, review questions, and exercises, etc.- should appear in the chapter outline. Organizing the Subject Outline: General Considerations As you begin creating the subject outline, consider questions like these:Many subjects have some elements that should be presented in a particular order and other elements that can be presented in an arbitrary order. For instance, a book about a programming language should probably first provide introductory programming information, then begin presenting instructions on how to perform certain tasks. On the other hand, it may make little difference (after the reader has learned enough about the basics) whether file management is presented before or after printing. Think about which things fall into which category, and arrange the topics accordingly. Even where order seems arbitrary, look for some way to be less arbitrary. Is it harder to learn file management than printing? If so, printing should probably come first. Strive to build a book that develops the reader's confidence even as it develops his or her skills. The same considerations apply at lower levels within the organization of the outline. When you write about system commands, for example, you will probably want to group the commands in some logical manner rather than discussing them in, say, alphabetical order. By choosing a suitable order of presentation, you can avoid potential problems that can emerge when you begin imposing a chapter structure on the subject outline. A Word about Pacing Pacing is another thing to consider, and it's closely related to organization. Many books present fewer ideas more slowly at the beginning, then gather speed toward the end. That's a desirable way for a book to "move," and it's easiest to achieve if the book is organized properly. When fundamentals are presented patiently at the outset, the discussion can move swiftly toward the end because discussion of fundamentals does not impede the book's progress. At some point in this process, begin estimating how many pages will be required to cover the topics named in your outline. You should begin making these estimates as soon as possible, so that you don't waste time outlining topics that you later discover will not fit within a manuscript of the length you have in mind. If your proposal is accepted, your contract will stipulate length for the manuscript. From Subject Outline to Chapter Outline Once the subject outline is completed, you're almost finished. If you've arranged subjects appropriately, you should have little trouble in dividing the topics into a chapter outline. The simplest way to begin is to divide the subject outline into chapter-sized chunks. (That's one reason for early consideration of page count.) Because some topics demand more discussion than others, you should not be concerned if the subject outline does not always divide cleanly into chapters. Sometimes, a chapter boundary will fall between lower-level subheadings in your subject outline. What this means is that two or more chapters will cover different lower-level aspects of a major top-level topic. Or you may find that two or more top-level sections fit comfortably into a single chapter. This is fine as well. If your outline has the subjects in proper sequence, the two subjects will probably combine to form a unified chapter. Having partitioned your subject outline into chapters, you can now begin thinking about the introductions, transitions, summaries, etc., that spell the difference between a list of ideas and a book. If you need to break a major topic among chapters, for instance, then you should think about adding a section that explains what is covered in the current chapter, what is covered in the next chapter, and how the two are related (and don't forget to outline the connective material). If a chapter combines two major topics, then you should think about adding an introduction that ties the two subjects together, and a transitional section to link the first major topic with the second. Finally, add subheadings for invariant elements of the book: chapter summaries, review sections, exercises, and the like. Preparing a Writing Sample Once you have finished your detailed chapter outline, you are ready to begin a writing sample. This is usually not Chapter 1, but a middle chapter that is representative of the bulk of the book. This is our chance to see what your writing is like, make sure you are using our template properly, and make sure you understand the series format. It's also your chance to see how long it takes to write a chapter and to see what the experience of writing for us will be like. Before you begin your sample, you will once again need to do a little homework. You will also need to get our Word template and our author guidelines. Review Existing Waite Group Press Books You should have already looked over some of our books when you started your outline, so you should be familiar with some of our series and know whether or not your book falls within one of our series formats. Most likely we will want this to be the case (though there are always exceptions). Before you begin your writing sample, you will need to look at other books in the series and become familiar with their format. For instance, if the series is set up to include a bullet list of key topics discussed in the chapter, summary, review questions, and exercises, your sample chapter will need these features as well. Write in our Word Template Part of the function of the writing sample is to make sure that you are using our template properly. This will ensure faster turn around in editorial and production, which in turn means we'll get your book on the shelf as soon as possible. Read our author guidelines In order to maintain consistency throughout our books, we have developed author guidelines. The guidelines are meant to answer questions that may arise over the course of your writing, like when to use italic rather than bold or where to place a figure caption. Our conventions are simple and take very little time to integrate into your manuscript. Since you will need to follow these conventions if we sign you up, we feel it's best to get you started on the right foot by using them in your writing sample. Conclusion to Preparing a Proposal Does this seem like a lot of work? It is! But writing a book is a lot of work too, and careful attention to these matters will actually reduce the amount of work required to turn your ideas into a manuscript.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Write for Waite Group Press? There are a number of reasons to seriously consider writing for Waite Group Press. Our commitment to developing and publishing books of the highest quality has been answered with a loyal following of readers. Let's examine just a few of the reasons why you should be writing for Waite Group Press. Solid Reputation and Useful Assistance Our reputation in the computer publishing industry is very high. We are known for creating programming books of the highest caliber. That's because we are dedicated to the development process. Our editorial process includes a complete developmental edit between first and final draft chapters before a manuscript is sent to copyedit and technical review. This extra development step is what sets us apart from other publishers and earned us our reputation. Quality has historically been a strength of Waite Group Press books. We insist on content and quality, and this insistence has paid off Ñ for authors as well as for Waite Group Press. The shelf life of a quality book is much longer than one that has been rushed through. The longer the shelf life, the higher the sales. Careful Marketing Waite Group Press expends considerable effort determining a potential book's chances for success in the marketplace. We avoid producing marginal books. Careful targeting benefits the author as well as Waite Group Press. Our intent is to give the author a high return on the investment of time spent producing a book. Wide Distribution B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Ingram, Crown, and Software Etc. are among the many companies that sell Waite Group Press books. Waite Group Press sells to individuals, companies, retailers, wholesalers, computer stores, software stores, and college stores. Waite Group Press also has the most aggressive overseas sales program in the industry. We have worked to develop solid relationships with overseas distributors and translators. The result is an impressive number of our books are sold outside the United States. Continuing Relationships Waite Group Press establishes long-term relationships with authors. That philosophy works to the advantage of both author and publisher. Marketing a subsequent book by an author is much easier and more efficient than marketing the first book. "Repeat performances" enable us to build an author's credibility with the book-buying public by calling attention to that author's previous successes. (A second publisher is less inclined to remind book buyers that its new author had a successful book published by another company.) How long will I have to write my book? This can vary from project to project, but generally we set up schedules that have authors writing 30 to 35 pages a week. This may seem like plenty of time to those who have written books for other publishers who demand quicker writing schedules or for those who have not written a book before, but we have found that this is the most realistic schedule for getting a high quality manuscript. Demanding authors to write faster results in more mistakes, sloppier writing, and more time added to when we will actually be able to get the book to press because of the added development and rewriting that will have to be done. Occassionally, we will come across topics that need to be brought to market more quickly than our typical writing schedule allows. In these cases, we may request a faster writing schedule of 25 to 30 pages a week. This pace is unsustainable over a long period for all but very few authors and we try to avoid such schedules as much as possible. Our goal is to create a schedule that is realistic and manageable. No matter what the writing schedule, time is always more limited than you realize, and it is important to buckle down and get to work right away. As any experienced author will attest, writing a book is a test of knowledge, dedication, and determination. Those who procrastinate the hard parts or waste time at the beginning of the writing process will find themselves hard-pressed to complete an acceptable manuscript on time. Where will my name appear on a Waite Group Press book? We place the primary author's name on the lower portion of the book spine, as well as on the front cover. On the inside of the book, the author's name will prominently appear on the title page. The names of co-authors who contributed a significant amount to the book will also appear on the front cover and title page. Any authors who contributed a small percentage will have their contribution acknowledged in the front matter. What about financial considerations? Most Waite Group Press authors receive remuneration based upon royalties. The complete and legal description of how royalties are paid is contained within the contract. Royalties are paid based upon our selling price for the book (the monies we receive from our customers-mostly bookstores), which is generally about 1/2 the cover price. Thus, if a book has a list price of $36.00, your royalty (for estimation purposes) is calculated as a percentage of approximately $18. Again, all of this is explained in detail in your contract. We provide an advance against royalties during the development of the book. This advance is typically paid in four installments; contract signing, completion of an acceptable first draft manuscript, completion of the final draft manuscript, and publication. Occassionally, when we are looking for authors to contribute only a chapter or two to a large project, we will pay a one time fee based on the number of final book pages. Which word processor should I use? We require that you use Microsoft Word for Windows or Microsoft Word for the Mac. We have developed Word templates that we will send to you. Writing into these templates helps to keep our production cycle brief and promote timely publication of each title. It also minimizes the possibility of misrepresenting program listings, variable names, and other elements and allows us to maintain consistency between authors and books. More information about manuscript formatting is provided when you begin your writing sample. How do I determine the audience for my book? Your target audience varies, depending upon your topic and the level of potential readers' expertise. If you are writing a beginning guide, your audience may be novice users. If you are writing an advanced or reference book, your audience may be technically sophisticated. Before you begin your book proposal, you should have a firm sense of your target audience and of what they will be seeking in your book. Many times it helps to put in writing who your audience is. How long should my manuscript be? For most subjects, Waite Group Press publishes books from 500 to 800 pages, which means approximately 350 to 600 manuscript pages. You may find, however, that your book topic cannot be adequately developed in a book of this size. As you are preparing your outline, think about the number of pages required to cover each topic. By the time your outline is completed, you should have a fairly accurate "ballpark" page count in mind. Your acquisitions editor may also have a particular page count in mind that's based on our assessment of the market. Manuscript page counts differ from finished book page counts. To estimate the size of your final book, figure that each manuscript page written in our template equals approximately 1.3 typeset pages. Thus, 10 manuscript pages equal 13 typeset pages. This approximation also takes into account figures and illustrations. We usually estimate at least one piece of art every 4 pages. A good detailed chapter outline that includes page counts is necessary to manage the project as it progresses. What kind of books is Waite Group Press looking for? As mentioned earlier, Waite Group Press focuses on books that cover computer programming, digital graphics and other high-tech subjects. Our titles cover a broad range of topics, from C++, Windows APIs, Visual Basic and Delphi to more cutting edge topics such as the latest in Internet and Web programming, virtual reality, and other emerging technologies. We're always interested in broadening our range of topics and we'll be happy to hear your ideas for new titles. We mean it when we say Waite Group Press books are not written to a prescribed outline. However, our book series are recognized and well-received by book buyers. Marketing a title in an established series is much easier and more efficient than marketing a book that has no series identification. Book buyers feel safe and comfortable buying books in series that are known to sell well. Following are descriptions of our current series: Primers assume no previous experience with the subject matter. They are easy-to-use, friendly guides that emphasize hands-on learning. They include plenty of examples that develop the readers' understanding a concept or two at a time; clarify concepts with illustrations; and provide exercises at the end of every chapter so the reader can test their understanding. Primers are suitable for self-learning. They present the fundamentals and illustrate them with short, to-the-point programs that are easy to copy and to experiment with, and then gradually build to more complicated and sophisticated concepts. Each book in the Interactive series presents introductory level concepts through chapters that are subdivided into individual sessions. Each session is designed to teach a single topic in about an hour. At the end of each session is a 5 question multiple choice quiz and 2 exercises. These quizzes are available both in the book and online at the Waite Group Press Web site. Also online are a midterm and final exam not found in the book. A Certificate of Achievement is available for download to every user who successfully completes the quizzes, midterm, and final exam. Our Certified Course books are self-paced, self-evaluation tutorials that offer certification from real universities and colleges. Each lesson features an introduction to the lesson and a list of the topics that are covered; clear, detailed explanations of each topic, including step-by-step instructions, sample code, and numerous figures and illustrations to help the reader on his or her way; a summary that quickly reviews what they've just learned; a quiz to test their knowledge and evaluate progress; suggested activities to exercise, enhance, and solidify their understanding. The sample code used throughout, including all form, make, and module files, is included on the disk that accompanies the book. Users who complete the final exam that comes with the book, mail it to the College or University sponsoring the book (University of Phoenix in current titles), and receive a passing grade also receive a certificate. The user also has the option of completing the sponsor's next level exam. If this exam is passed, the user receives actual college credit. Construction Kits provide an exhaustive resource of information on interconnected software programs and tools. They present the information in a lesson format, explaining each tool in detail and explaining how the different parts are brought together to achieve the desired result. The bundled CD-ROM provides not only the software talked about in the book, but a resource of other tools, libraries, and useful files. Our Black Art books are hands-on, step-by-step guides that cover all essential game-writing techniques and then take programmers into realms they never thought possible. They're the definitive books for game programmers, covering everything they've ever wanted to know and things they hadn't even thought about on their own. Besides the sample code presented throughout the text, the CD-ROMs also contain fully functional games that make use of the techniques discussed. How-Tos follow a format that has proven very popular. They're problem-solvers. Chapters are arranged by topic. Within each topic is a series of problems, or "how-tos." Each how-to starts with a clear definition of the question or task to be tackled in that section. This is followed by an overview of how the task will be accomplished, then the actual step-by-step process of solving the problem, finishing with an explanation of the techniques used. At the end of each how-to, comments are provided about how to accomplish variations on the task performed. All of the code, media files, and other miscellaneous files are provided on an accompanying CD-ROM. Our SuperBibles are definitive references. Chapters are organized by functional categories. Each chapter begins with an overview of the topics covered and the functions needed to provide that particular feature. Chapters then continue with a detailed description of each function, including sample code so that programmers can see how the functions really work. Chapters end with a sample project that incorporates many of the functions introduced in the chapter. The project begins with a short overview, continues with numbered steps, and ends with an explanation of how it works. All of the code and sample projects are provided on an accompanying CD-ROM.
If you have any questions or comments about our approach we would be happy to hear them and try to answer what we can. As you can see writing a book is not so simple as most people tend to assume. When you look at a finished book you will have a greater appreciation for all that goes into it and hopefully feel proud to have made this major accomplishment.
The Sample Editorial Fact Sheet
Date:November 30, 1995
Season:Spring '96
Publisher:Waite Group Press
Address:200 Tamal Plaza, Corte Madera CA 94925
Contact:Lisa Anderson Mann (415) 924-2575
Title:OpenGL SuperBible
Subtitle:The Complete guide to OpenGL programming for Windows NT and Windows 95.
Banner:Everything you need to know about Microsoft's implementation of OpenGL.
Starburst:Includes OpenGL VRML Viewer
2nd Starburst:Includes source code for Intel, MIPS, ALPHA, and PowerPC
Author:Richard S. Wright Jr, James Jay Goss
Author Home Town:Lake Mary, FL and Pasadena, CA
Ship Date:May
First printing:10,000
Book Size:7 x 9
Format:Trade Paper
Pg. count:900
Line drawings:30
Screen dumps:200
Platform:Windows 95 and Windows NT
Disk:CD ROM with source and binaries for all examples.
  1. The number of computers equipped to run OpenGL applications will be in the tens of millions next year.
  2. Developers seeking an advanced, capable, and free 3D graphics API will look to OpenGL in greater numbers than ever before.
  3. No other books contain information on OpenGL programming for beginning to intermediate level users. Market is ripe.
  4. Only book to date that covers how to program OpenGL with the Win32 Graphical Device Interface (GDI).
  5. Assumes only a remedial knowledge of Windows programming and no knowledge of 3D graphics.
  6. Complete API reference.
  7. Suitable for experienced OpenGL programmers moving to the Windows environment.
EDITORIAL At last a comprehensive how-to hands-on source for OpenGL programming for Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 95. OpenGL is the Cadillac API for three dimensional graphics programming and is the undisputed king in the entertainment and special effects industry. With the advent of faster PC microprocessors, cheap accelerated video, and Microsoft's support of OpenGL on Windows NT and the Windows 95 operating systems, the number of machines equipped to run OpenGL applications will number in the tens of millions within the next year. Developers seeking an advanced and capable (as well as free) 3D graphics API will look to OpenGL in greater numbers than ever before. Until now, there has been little to no material describing how to use OpenGL under Windows. The OpenGL SuperBible changes this. It shows the Windows developer the basics of OpenGL programming, how OpenGL works with the Windows operating systems, and provides a comprehensive reference to all the OpenGL functions and commands supported under Microsoft Windows. The book is organized from least complex introductory material to more complex topics, building on the previous chapters. This makes the book suitable as a learning aid when read front to back, as well as a comprehensive reference work. Each chapter discusses a specific OpenGL programming task or group of related tasks, and describes the purpose and use of related functions. The discussion material is presented as a tutorial that builds on the previous chapters, and several example programs will be presented and enhanced throughout the book. The first part of this four part book introduces OpenGL programming using the standard auxiliary learning library. This can easily serve as a tutorial that quickly gets the programmer new to 3D graphics programming up to speed with OpenGL. Part One ends with a discussion of OpenGL on the Windows platform. The new Win32 API functions added for OpenGL support are covered in detail. Part Two covers the meat of OpenGL programming: 3D drawing and coordinate transformations, polygons, color, shading, display lists, fonts and texture mapping, and more. All topics are discussed within the context of the Windows operating system, with Windows-based sample programs. These samples will include such programs as: a rubiks cube simulation, terrain and architectural modeling, animated physical models, and more. Part Three covers more advanced topics and special effects. These include effects such as blending, sharpening, fog, advanced buffer use, curves and surfaces that are based on analytical formulas, and more. Samples will demonstrate such things as image mixing, contour surfaces, and atmospheric effects. Finally, Part Four topics are rich with tips and examples of OpenGL programming under Microsoft Windows. These include the use of OpenGL with MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes), OWL (Object Windows Library), Visual Basic and other 4GL's, and Direct Draw. Also included will be an explanation of the latest Web phenomenon, VRML, which is based on OpenGL. The Appendixes include performance tips and hints, and a glossary. In addition, to providing a comprehensive and thorough reference that the developer can turn to again and again, OpenGL SuperBible encourages experimentation. Chapter and topic samples include complete working programs that demonstrate the concepts coveredÑno code fragments that do nothing by themselves. Besides being the first book on the market to cover OpenGL programming for Windows, OpenGL SuperBible promises to become and remain the standard that all others strive to meet for years to come. KEY FEATURESAUTHORS Richard S. Wright Jr. works for Atlanta based HBO & Company in Longwood Florida, developing workstation products for the healthcare industry. Richard first learned to program in the eighth grade in 1978 on a paper terminal. At age 16, his parents let him buy a computer instead of a car, and he sold his first computer program less than a year later. When he graduated from high school, his first job was teaching programming and computer literacy for a local consumer education company. He studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Louisville's Speed Scientific School and was a Senior before his career got the best of him. When not programming, Richard is an amateur astronomer and enjoys going to the beach with his wife and three children. Jame Jay Goss lives in the too hot suburb of Los Angeles called Pasadena. He completed his M.S. degree with a major in computer graphics from University of Oregon/Marylhurst College and went on to complete his residency requirements for his PhD at University of Oregon in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. There he studied computer graphics, theoretical bases of knowledge systems, and related areas. He also worked for a short while on a PhD in Engineering Management at Portland State University. While providing support in Los Angeles for Intel's Supercomputer Systems Division, Jay happened to live close enough to Caltech to make some deals with admissions and the professors to take some classes without registering as a student. Jay's interests include computer graphics, knowledge systems, software engineering, parallel processing, computer architecture, and many outdoor activities. COMPETITION There are two books available, both of which are by the OpenGL Architecture Review Board. They cover the published OpenGL standard, not individual implementations and they tend to focus on X-windows based environments.
Title:OpenGL Programming Guide, The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL Release 1
Author:OpenGL Architecture Review Board, Jackie Neider, Tom Davis, and Mason Woo
Publisher:Addison Wesley Publishing
Publication Date:August-95
Page Count:516
Spine width:1 inch
The only guide to learning OpenGL in existence. The third printing was in 1995. This book has come to be known as the "Red book" due to the color of the cover, and is the accepted authority on OpenGL programming. This book often assumes an above average understanding of computer graphics and linear algebra.
Title:OpenGL Reference Manual, The Official Reference Document for OpenGL Release 1
Author:OpenGL Architecture Review Board
Publisher:Addison Wesley Publishing
Publication Date:June-95
Page Count:388
Spine width:3/4 inch
This book contains the entire OpenGL specification, all the commands, options, constants, etc. This book is not for beginners.
Title:3D Graphics Programming with OpenGL
Author:Clayton Walnum
Publication Date:July-95
Page count:480
Spine width:3/4 inch
The first introductory text on OpenGL, but it spends too much time dealing with Visual C++ tools, prodding the reader along with step-by-step instructions on how to build classes and such with VC++ rather than digging in to OpenGL. It doesn't show what OpenGL is really capable of, but instead shows only basic results using OpenGL. OpenGL SuperBible will provide a much broader breadth of topics and also provide much greater depth.
OpenGL SuperBible will prove to be the single source of information for OpenGL programming as it relates to the Win32 environment. MARKET There is virtually no competition for this topic, yet great demand. The bookstores are crowded with books on 3D graphics programming, but few (three) cover the industry standard OpenGL API. With the growing dominance of Microsoft Windows, OpenGL capable machines will number in the tens of millions within the next year. This book is intended for individuals who want to learn 3D graphics programming in the Windows environment using OpenGL, as well as those who already know OpenGL, but need to know how to take advantage of it on the Windows platform. A rudimentary knowledge of C and Windows programming will be assumed, but no prior knowledge of three dimensional graphics will be required. This book will be targeted at beginning to intermediate skill levels. Anyone who can read and use a compiler can start creating their own 3D images in one afternoon. The unique combination of reference, tutorial, and technique material make this the only book any OpenGL programmer will ever need. PUBLICITY AND PROMOTIONTABLE OF CONTENTS​Introduction Introduces the book, describes its scope, and audience. Lists each chapter and what the reader can expect to learn from each. Covers the use and organization of the sample CD and how to install the OpenGL DLL's on Windows 95. Explains the different approaches to OpenGL, and any hardware and software requirements or recommendations.
Part I - Introduction to OpenGL
Chapter 1. What is OpenGL, an introduction to 3D graphics. This chapter describes the purpose of OpenGL and its history. Includes a discussion of 3D graphics systems challenges and presents some examples along with an overview of OpenGL as a whole. Chapter 2. 3D Graphics Fundamentals. Introduces 3D graphics to the reader without overly complex geometry or matrix manipulations. Uses many line drawings to introduce the 3D coordinate system, as if for the first time. Describes common problems of drawing 3D objects on a 2D screen (e.g. hidden surface removal, perspective, etc.), as well as lighting models (e.g. what color is a blue ball when a yellow light shines on it). Chapter 3. Learning OpenGL with the AUX Library. The auxiliary library is a learning tool that is totally independent of the host environment. This chapter introduces this library of functions, shows the reader how to write simple short programs that create an OpenGL window and draw in it. There are several complex objects (spheres, torus, etc) that are pre-built in this library. Generally the reader will learn to clear the screen, set colors, and draw some simple shapes. Chapter 4. OpenGL for Windows: OpenGL + Win32 = Wiggle. Introduces extensions to the Win32 API that support OpenGL (the graphical device interface (GDI) and "wiggle" functions). Demonstrates the fundamental requirements of OpenGL Windows programs without using the aux toolkit library. Explains which Windows messages should be processed and how. Chapter 5. Error Handling with OpenGL. Explains how OpenGL handles errors and return values. All error codes are enumerated and a brief description is supplied for each.
Part II - Using OpenGL
Chapter 6. Drawing in 3D, lines, points, and polygons. The polygon is introduced as the fundamental drawing element of all OpenGL drawings. All the drawing primitives supported by the Windows implementation of OpenGL are covered and demonstrated in 3D space. Chapter 7. Manipulating 3D Space, coordinates and transformations. This chapter focuses on coordinates, rotations, and transformations. The reader will learn to manipulate the viewers' perspective and the coordinate system. Some larger composite objects are drawn and the reader learns how to rotate and scale them. Chapter 8. OpenGL and Color. The two palette modes supported by OpenGL are introduced: Color Index mode and RGBA mode. The reader learns to judge, depending on the application, when each mode is most appropriate. The color cube and various color models are discussed and demonstrated. Windows palettes are discussed and methods of palette construction demonstrated. Chapter 9. Lighting and Shading. The reader learns about Ambient light and its affect on the appearance of colored objects. The reader learns to use the OpenGL lamps, how to set the various lighting components (ambient, diffuse, and specular), and the reflective properties of objects. Chapter 10. 3D Object Composition and Manipulation. Display lists optimize the drawing of complex objects. The performance gains are demonstrated by a sample. Modelview transformation techniques are presented to demonstrate object movement and translation relative to other objects, rather than the camera. Chapter 11. Raster Graphics in OpenGL. The reader learns how to draw pixels, bitmaps, fonts and images in an OpenGL scene. Techniques for using Windows bitmaps and fonts are presented as well as how to use GDI drawing functions with an OpenGL scene. Chapter 12. Texture Mapping. This chapter covers how to apply textures to OpenGL objects. It demonstrates texture mapping using a Windows bitmap, and the reader discovers how to use these techniques to produce reflective and contoured surfaces. Chapter 13. Quadrics - Spheres, Cylinders, and Disks. The glu utility library contains utility functions to simplify the drawing of spheres, cylinders, and disks. This chapter describes and demonstrates the use of these functions.
Part III: Advanced Topics and Special Effects.
Chapter 14. The OpenGL State Machine Many OpenGL commands or features are implemented as State Variables. These are covered individually throughout the discussion sections of the other reference chapters. Here, all the individual commands are listed and explained along with the functions used to access them. Chapter 15. Buffers, not just for animation. The reader learns to use the Color buffers, Depth buffer, Stencil buffer, and Accumulation buffer. The uses and special effects possible with these buffers are demonstrated. These include Alpha blending for combining images and shadows. Complex clipping problems are also addressed. Chapter 16. Visual Effects - blending, sharpening, and fog. The reader learns how to make objects translucent, sharpen jaggies, and add realistic atmospheric effects. Chapter 17. Curves and Surfaces, what the #%@!&* are NURBS? The reader learns to draw smooth curves and surfaces using B-splines, NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline), Beziers, and Hermite splines. The use of Evaluators for other analytic surfaces are also explained. This will be the most difficult chapter to explain to beginners, or readers without a mathematics background. Several useful and reproducible examples are provided for readers to reuse without having to understand completely how they were generated. Chapter 18. Polygon Tessellation. Demonstrates techniques and functions for breaking a portion of an analytic surface into a mesh of polygons, or a portion of an analytic curve into a sequence of lines. Chapter 19. Selection and Feedback. The reader learns how to select and manipulate objects in an OpenGL scene with the mouse. Examples include selecting and rearranging objects in a scene with the mouse. Chapter 20 - VRML, Cyberspace in 3D. On the World Wide Web, there are many sites supporting VRML documents. This stands for Virtual Reality Modeling Language and it's based on OpenGL. This appendix explains how to use the viewer, which is supplied on the CD along with some sample files, and gives a hot list of web sites that support VRML documents.
Part IV: OpenGL with....
Chapter 21- OpenGL with C++/MFC. Special requirements of MFC based applications that use OpenGL are described and demonstrated. Chapter 22 - OpenGL with C++/OWL. Special requirements of OWL based applications that use OpenGL are described and demonstrated. Chapter 23 - OpenGL with Visual Basic and other 4GLs. Any 4GL that can call Win32 API or DLL functions directly can theoretically use OpenGL. The possibilities and difficulties for some popular 4GL's are demonstrated. Chapter 24 - OpenGL with Direct Draw. Direct Draw is a new Win32 extension to make faster screen updates possible. This chapter discusses mixing OpenGL API calls with those of Direct Draw.
Appendix A -Performance Tuning OpenGL. Some tips and tricks for squeezing the most performance from OpenGL for Windows. Appendix B - Further Reading. Bibliography and suggested reading on OpenGL and 3D graphics topics. Appendix C - Glossary. A glossary of three dimensional graphics and Windows terminology.
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