1-9 Challenge Yourself: Author Services Exercises #1

Ready to Practice Your Skills Working with Authors?

You’ll boost your confidence by using the tools in this course along with manuscripts and other typical author materials to work practice the actual work you will be doing for authors.

Manuscript Creation Challenge Exercises (below)

These exercises are optional, but it is highly recommended that you take the time to do them. If you do, we are happy to look at what you’ve done, answer any questions that came up and give you feedback. Please send completed exercises to InstructionSmith at Support@InstructionSmith.com.

You can download the exercises for sections 1 through 8 on Manuscript Creation here or do them right from the screen below. Either way, you will need the source documents below each exercises and don’t forget to use the Toolbox (link also in sidebar) for any downloadable spreadsheets and other VAA tools you might need.

Manuscript Creation Challenge Exercises

1. Your author has asked you to fact check in the information in the first edition of his book since he is planning on doing an updated edition. This edition was published in 2004, so it is likely there will be some changes. Take the pages below, highlight the information which will need fact checking (hint: you should find 2 facts to check) and search the web to find out whether the facts are accurate, the facts are current and who owns the facts in case you need to get permission for using the fact later.

Note: It may not always possible to verify certain facts or statistics. When fact checking, if you are unable to confirm the fact or statistic or if you reach a dead end, let the author know your findings. Ultimately it is the author’s decision to approve and include or omit the information.

Download Fact Checking exercise source material here (you will also use this for #2 the permissions exercise)

2. This same author wasn’t aware that you needed to get permission for facts or quotes when he self published this book a few years ago. Now he is thinking of finding a major publisher and in taking courses to learn what he needs to do he was alerted to the fact that he needs to get written permissions. Lucky he has you, because you know what to do to determine which facts and quotes need permission and how to get them.

Using the same set of pages from the book in exercise #1, determine which facts/quotes you need permission for, find the owners of those quotes (hint: use the Internet to find the right sites and look for “permissions” or “legal”), and create an email/letter requesting those permissions.

3. Your author is working hard on a book proposal on his book, titled Business Planning for the Rest of Us. He has asked what you can do to help and you have responded that you can both help him find the right publishers and do the research for the competitive analysis. He is thrilled he doesn’t have to do this work alone and gives you the go ahead to start work.

Using Amazon (or if you are really ambitious go to your local bookstore)
a. Find and list 5 books which might be competitive (really similar in subject matter) with the author’s book. Write a competitive analysis on just one of these books.
b. While you are looking for those books, see if you can find publishers that publish a lot of books on this same type of subject matter (entrepreneurship, small business, business planning?). List 6 publishers that might be the right ones for your author’s book. Please note: If a publisher already has a book that is too similar, like a book specifically on how to do a business plan, this will not be a good publisher for your author’s book.
c. Because you are very clever, you know that if you find a book from one of these publishers and look up the acknowledgments pages, you can often find the name of an editor who would be the perfect person to whom to send your author’s proposal. The acknowledgments pages from that book are below. Search on Google to see if you can find an email for that editor (this may be a challenge, but keep scrolling through at least 10 Google pages if you need to to see if you can find it).

Download Acknowledgments Page

4. It is almost a year later (how time flies!) and your client has gotten a contract with a major mid-sized publisher, New World Library. He is excited to be almost finished writing his book and his deadline to submit the manuscript is coming up in 3 weeks. He needs your help getting it submitted in the format that the publisher is requiring. Luckily, he has the submission instructions and he’s asked if you could format just his first chapter right away (which he is happy to pay you for) so that both of you know what it will take to do the other 9 chapters of the same length. Using the specific instructions, format his chapter and keep track of the time it took to do it so you can give him an estimate of the time (and an estimate of the cost) for the entire book.

Download Business Planning for the Rest of Us – Chapter 1 here
Download NWL Submission Instructions here