Monday, 16 June 2014

Book of blogs - contributors update

Wow, we've been blown away by the response to our call for contributors, please see our previous post for the background to this crowdsourced project. If you've already read that and are keen to get going then here are your next steps:
  • Step 1 - email us at: we will then send you a link to access the contributors spreadsheet.
  • Step 2 - complete the Google Doc spreadsheet with your basic information and any ideas or suggestions you have for the book, we can then send you a log in for the platform we'll be using to publish the book.
  • Step 3 - get writing!
  • Step 3a. - (optional) send it to us if you would like the editorial support group to provide some constructive feedback.
  • Step 4 -  upload it - you're done! 

Are we uploading content ourselves then? Ideally yes, it would be really helpful if, once you have written your blog, you could upload it yourself. We are a small team & the network is currently unfunded so we have chosen a process which reduces the administrative burden and encourages everyone to play a part in the publishing process.

We're using PressBook which is akin to a communal WordPress tool this allows people to upload their own content and then enables us to publish the content as an eBook for publication on ecommerce sites like Amazon and devices like Kindle etc. If you're used to using a blogging tool like WordPress or Blogger then you should find the process familiar.

If this is your first ever blog then congratulations, we think you'll find the WSIWYG format relatively simple, you can easily cut and paste text from any word-processing package. If you hit any problems then contact us and we'll provide support.

When you log into the PressBook site you will see the following screens, choose Text from the left-hand menu and then select Add new chapter - 


What content can I include in my blog? 

See our previous post for the general guidance on themes and topics. 
  • As an ebook you can include images, videos and web links. Please don’t link to any material that we don’t have rights for.  Videos will not routinely work in all ebook formats so consider this when selecting your content.  If you are putting video and pictures into the book please make sure you aren’t breaking the law when you are doing so! Please reference quotes and use appropriate web links or citations to credit the original creators.
  • You can be as provocative as you like, but anything offensive won’t make the cut.  
  • Please don’t attempt to sell or push a product or service – that is the one thing that won’t be acceptable. 
  • The book needs to be accessible so remember to write for a wide audience with varying levels of technical expertise and practical experience, if you are writing about complex methodologies or philosophy include links for less experienced readers to explore other resources on the subject
  • Please include a short bio (no longer than a paragraph) at the end of your chapter. You can include links to your blog, or website as you wish.
What about editing and quality control?

Anyone can contribute – there's no formal quality control – this is not a peer reviewed journal, if someone has taken the trouble to write it then we will take the time to publish it.  We want this to be packed full of different voices, some will be experienced, others not, that's fine.

We hope (and expect) that we won’t have a cut to make as we do want to publish everything that is submitted. We're assuming the average blog will be about 1000 words long – a bit longer or shorter is fine, but we won’t publish a paragraph or a long treatise – unless they are really good ;-). If we find do have to make a cut we'll talk to you all about a fair way of doing that, if we think your blog is too long or too short we will contact you about that individually.

We aren't planning on a protracted editing process but we are offering to review draft blogs and make suggestions, give constructive feedback, particularly for novice bloggers. We're looking for volunteers to form an editorial support group to provide informal feedback, so let us know if you'd be willing to play a part in that when you sign up on the spreadsheet.

What's the timescale, milestones and deadline?
  • By June 30th - everyone signed up on the spreadsheet and an editorial support group formed
  • By July 31st - we're aiming to have 60% of your content submitted
  • August 29th is the final deadline for contributors
  • End September is our provisional publication date *nervous laugh*

How can I help?
  • By being as self-sufficient as possible, try uploading yourself first before asking us to do it.
  • By sticking to the deadlines, if one person misses these everything gets held up.
  • By being an informal editorial mentor for others, this will involve reading early drafts and offering constructive feedback
  • By promoting the book of blogs to your network, we need to get the idea out to as many people as possible to both encourage contributions and to ensure wide readership come publication
  • Let us know if you have ideas about where and how we should publicise and promote the book
  • Please do suggest and pass on details to other potential authors and let us know possible people to write the forward to the book, it would be great to get the endorsement of someone well respected and well known - think big and outside of the box, who should we ask to introduce our work to the rest of the world?
Now is when it starts to get really interesting!

We're looking forward to hearing from you really soon.

Kandy & the #NSMNSS team


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