That long-worked-on manuscript is now one step closer to becoming a book! I delivered the full, completed manuscript package—text, photos, permissions, etc.—to McFarland Publishing last week.
There was one minor hiccup: one photo was of too low a resolution for print, so I had to locate an alternative—or leave that one out. Since the subject was a South Carolinian and to leave him out would be an affront to all South Carolinians, and since that would be the only cabinet member not represented photographically, I decided to extend my search for a replacement photo. My contact in the Photo Acq Department at BJU Press suggested a National Park Service web site. I visited the site and saw an engraving taken from one of my research sources, a public-domain book published in 1893. I located the book in the library, had the library staff scan it for me at 600 dpi, and sent that off. It will work!
Now the McFarland staff will begin the editorial process. Their marketing department has already contacted me with an author survey concerning my online presence, features of the book, and back-cover copy, which I’ve supplied to them. They say that the typical manuscript takes anywhere from eight to twelve (possibly even fifteen) months to get from bare manuscript to marketable book, so I wait. Until the next step is complete. Then I’ll take the next step, and the next, and the next. Meanwhile, I must get started on that next writing project! I’m reminded of the words of Ecclesiastes: “of making many books there is no end.”