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Author! Author!

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 hasn’t been written yet? You know how it is. You keep looking for information on a topic and simply can’t 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 proposal.

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.

Manuals—In 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 standards—how 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.

Monographs—ASTM 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 Series—The 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.

ASTM’s 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 wouldn’t prepare a speech without considering the audience and you shouldn’t 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. It’s really not that scary. You’ve already done half the work! Just tell us what you want to publish and who your audience is.

• 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. Can’t you envision yourself criss-crossing the globe on your book signing tour? //

Copyright 2000, ASTM

Kathy Dernoga,
New Publications,
Fax: 610/832-9623.

Sampling of ASTM Publications

Manual on Presentation of Data and Control Chart Analysis: 6th Edition

Paint and Coating Testing Manual: The 14th Edition of the Gardner/Sward Handbook, Joseph V. Koleske, editor

Corrosion Tests and Standards: Application and Interpretation, Robert Baboian, editor

AHP/Expert Choice for ASTM Building Evaluation, Robert E. Chapman, Harold E. Marshall, editors, Ernest H. Forman, software developer

Safe Use of Oxygen and Oxygen Systems: Guidelines for Oxygen System Design, Materials Selection, Operations, Storage, and Transportation, Harold D. Beeson, Walter F. Stewart, and Stephen S. Woods, editors

Technical Aspects of Phase I/II Environmental Site Assessments, Zdenek Hejzlar, author

Fracture and Fatigue Control in Structures: Applications of Fracture Mechanics: 3rd Edition, John M. Barsom, Stanley T. Rolfe, authors (A Solutions Manual is also available for professors only.)

Determination of Precision and Bias Data for Use in Test Methods for Petroleum Products and Lubricants, David M. G. Lawry, software developer

RCRA Waste Management: Planning, Implementation, and Assessment of Sampling Activities, William M. Cosgrove, Michael P. Neill, and Katharine H. Hastie, editors

Lead Hazard Evaluation and Control in Buildings, William M. Ewing, Eva M. Ewing, Christopher DePasquale, and Tod A. Dawson, authors

Guide to ASTM Test Methods for the Analysis of Petroleum Products and Lubricants, R.A. Kishore Nadkarni, author --
Publication Date: September 8, 2000

The Basics of Testing Plastics: Mechanical Properties, Flame Exposure, and General Guidelines, Stephen Burke Driscoll, editor