by Kathy Dernoga
You may be one of the many professionals with a desire to publish
in your field of expertise. ASTM staffer Kathy Dernoga has the
information you need to publish through ASTM.
So you want to be an author? ASTM has several vehicles for your
publication aspirations. You may be very familiar with our standards
program, but did you know we also have a very extensive publications
program for technical books and software? (See the sidebar opposite
for a sampling.)
How Do I Get Started?
First, decide what you want to publish and why. Is there a book
missing from your library because it hasnt been written yet?
You know how it is. You keep looking for information on a topic
and simply cant find it. Well, there are probably others working
in your industry with similar needs. So write that book. Research
the topic, line up chapter authors to help you, and prepare a
Can I Get Help?
You can write the whole book as a single author. Some people work
best that way. You can also act as the project editor and solicit
others to contribute chapters in their niche areas of expertise.
Editors develop the idea, solicit chapter authors, help locate
reviewers, and review each chapter to make sure the authors understood
your intent. Did they truly write the chapter you had in mind?
Communication with the authors is critical and you gain a lot
by being able to tap into some of the best minds on niche topics.
What Is the Best Format?
ASTM offers several attractive publication options. We publish
manuals, data collections, and monographs.
ManualsIn our How to
series of manuals, the books are very
practical and offer the reader hands-on information. They are
heavily illustrated, have lots of useful advice, and good references
for more theoretical or background information. Some manuals offer
background information on ASTM standardshow the standards were
developed and why. They illustrate tips for conducting tests,
and other practical advice.
A manual planned for publication this fall, Guide to ASTM Test
Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Products and Lubricants,
summarizes over 350 ASTM test methods listing the essential elements
of the analytical tests so decisions can be made regarding the
application of the test methods.
Some of our manuals have also been adopted for classroom use and
many are used in ASTM training courses. Our manual, Fracture and Fatigue Control in Structures has a Solutions Manual that professors can use as a supplement.
MonographsASTM publishes monographs on very technical topics.
These are usually narrower in scope and directed to a smaller
audience. They may offer more theory or focus on very specific
aspects of a larger topic.
Data SeriesThe ASTM series of data collections is very successful.
If you have compiled data that you know is valuable and yet inaccessible,
ASTM may want to publish it. We have one data book that gives
state-by-state cleanup criteria for contaminated soil and groundwater.
The ASTM Handbook of Comparative World Steel Standards compares
chemical composition and mechanical properties for steel standards
and specifications used throughout the world.
ASTMs Determination of Precision and Bias Data for Use in Test
Methods for Petroleum Products and Lubricants. This Windows version
is intended to facilitate processing interlaboratory study data
into the equations that form part of a precision statement.
So decide what you need to communicate and we will find a publication
format to fit your needs and reach your audience.
Who Is the Audience?
You wouldnt prepare a speech without considering the audience
and you shouldnt write a book without clearly defining your primary
audience. Are you addressing PhDs and experienced, highly educated
specialists? They may be looking for a monograph written in a
very sophisticated manner. Another audience may need to educate
themselves quickly on how to perform some test methods quickly
and effectively. Is your audience looking for the data and just
the data? You must determine this up front or your writing style,
scope, and focus will flounder.
How Do I Submit a Proposal?
Now that you know what you want to say, how, and to whom, you
can begin. But first ASTM, and any publisher will want a book
proposal. Its really not that scary. Youve already done half
the work! Just tell us what you want to publish and who your audience
Who are you?
What do you plan to write?
Who is the audience?
What need does the book fulfill?
What makes this book unique?
When do you plan to begin?
Do They Really Pay for This?
Yes, ASTM pays their authors competitive royalty rates. Each book
is unique and royalty rates are negotiated on a case-by-case basis
based on the cost of the book, unique features, and size of the
audience. We publish high-quality books and treat our authors
fairly and professionally.
We hope this inspires you to write that book you always wanted
and we look forward to adding you to our list of prestigious authors.
Cant you envision yourself criss-crossing the globe on your book
signing tour? //
Copyright 2000, ASTM