At your request, Generic will communicate directly with your authorsfor
instance to improve a publishing schedule. We also communicate directly
with your authors when we act as your full-service provider or when
we are commissioned to help your author develop camera-ready copy.
These author-compositor communications mean that you have made us
your agent in dealing with an author. Please be reassured: the principals
of Generic have over sixty years of experience in working with authors.
We apply this experience to two principles of author relations: we will
present the truth clearly and honestly and we will make the effort to
educate authors as necessary about the publishing industry. These principles,
seen in the following steps for effective communication, are your best
guarantee of author satisfaction.
Tell authors what to expect
Generic first aims to gain a commitment from your author. To do this
we develop a time-and-task chart and clarify the effort involved at
each stage. We then work with the author to establish realistic schedules.
We have all seen situations where a schedule is proposed without the
commitment of the entire team; this is the surest way to anger an author
and lose a publication date. Instead, we explain the steps involved,
estimate realistically the amount of time each stage will take, and
gain commitment to a mutually developed plan.
When dealing with your author, we focus on process, not results. For
example, an author may become testy when a promise is broken (e.g.,
when the "final manuscript" turns out to need additional time-consuming
revision), so we emphasize the evolutionary nature of a schedule without
promising a specific publication date.
Enumerate and review the team's plans
Successful planning requires flexible review and revision as well as
the developing of a set of dates.
Once we have gained your author's commitment to a mutually developed
plan, we continue to review the project to keep both you and your author
informed of progress. This iterative review process is a safety net
that prevents items from falling through the slats and reinforces the
commitment to both the schedule and the plan.
Respond quickly to author calls
In years past, authors might have written to their publisher and been
delighted with a response before the next full moon. With modern technologies,
authors anticipate instant feedback ("I sent you a fax this morning
and haven't heard back yet."). With author expectations highand
author irritation high when a timely response is not forthcomingwe
quickly acknowledge all author communications. We choose the author's
preferred mediumphone, e-mail, fax, messenger, or postal servicebecause
it meets the author's perception of "timeliness" in a response.
Respond thoroughly to author calls
Generic responds to every author queryand the response ends with
"Does this answer your question?" In this way, we make sure
that we have answered the unspoken (as well as the spoken) question.
Many authors have some knowledge of the publishing process and of
what will be needed in terms of manuscript and proof reviewreplete
We have found that correcting these misconceptions as they become
apparent may take time, but this time is well spent and will eliminate
subsequent confusion. This type of professionalism helps to keep projects
Show authors you haven't forgotten them
An author who feels neglected may share this frustration with colleaguesan
unnecessary part of the publishing experience.
Neglect tends to occur during the less frantic months of manuscript
review, art rendering, or composition; it rarely occurs when manuscript
or proof is flying to and fro on a weekly basis.
We therefore communicate every few weeks with the authoreven
if only with an "all is well" note. In other words, we recognize
the fact that the author is not only integral to the publishing process,
but also human.
Review what we have done
We are proud of the quality of our reviews, editing, typography, and
art, and we want this quality recognized. Because authors may not understand
the nuances of these skills, we go out of our way to educate them and
make them as enthusiastic as we are. Generic wants customers that are
more than simply "satisfied."
If for some reason an author is dissatisfied, we naturally will commiseratethen
we will help the author identify acceptable solutions. In one recent
case, an author felt she was losing control of her project during the
production process, so we educated her about page layout. Once familiar
with the physical constraints of making pages, she became more understanding
and even revised material to make the page layout more effective.
For further information, please email us, including your name, affiliation, and areas of interest,
and we will get back to you quickly.
152 Starheim Road
Stamford, NY 12167
607 652-BOOK (2665)
815 346-5272 (fax)
Copyright © 2001 Generic Compositors, a Division
of Stonecrest Industries, Inc.
1/27/12 12:29 PM
Generic's Home Page
The Folks Behind Generic
Editing on Galleys
Editing and Copyediting
Editing on Screen (Electronic Editing)
Generic House Styles
Using Author Disks
Never a Charge for Author Alterations
PDF vs. Page
Generic's FTP site
Finding a Publisher