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PDF, 94 pages

1. Doctor = Publisher

2. One hundred doctors

3. Train on the track

4. Behind the scenes

5. Home stretch

6. Playground

7. The seventh day

8. Appendix

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since 13 May 2005


5. The home stretch
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Keywords - Preliminary publication on the internet site - Final assembly - Citations - Caption - Contents - Index - PDF version - Advertising - Distribution - Ora et labora

Only one more step to go before you pre-publish the first chapter on your website: you have to define which words you want to include in the index. This is actually a job for the authors, but we prefer the publishers themselves to take on this task. The result is more homogeneous.

Edit the chapters as soon as you have them in their final version. Indexing is not a libidinous task; don't wait until hundreds of pages are piled up.

Creating index entries

Mark the word to be included in the index and press Shift-Alt-X (little finger on Shift, thumb on Alt, forefinger on X). After this three-fingered salute, the dialogue window "Define index entry" appears. The marked word is already in the line "Main entry". After possible changes - singular instead of plural; cross reference with "see" - press the return key. The index entry appears in the text between curly brackets: { XE "Index word" }. Work through the whole text in this way, and finally click on the following symbol in the menu bar (Fig. 5.1) to make the confusing Word control characters disappear:

Figure 5.1: Make Word control characters invisible

The index will later be compiled using the information given here. But before you combine the individual texts to make one document and compile the list of contents and the index, you can inaugurate your website.

Preliminary publication on the internet

There are three good reasons to publish a text on the internet before the book is printed:

  1. The texts don't just go mouldy. Some texts are finished earlier than others, which means that the first ones would spend weeks or even months waiting for the rest to be completed.
  2. The authors are pleased. People who have worked hard want their texts to be in the public eye.
  3. The appearance of the first text on the internet marks the beginning of the advertising campaign for your book. The texts announce a large project and prove that there is activity behind the scenes. This whets the appetite for more.

Do not expect your readers to be pushing past each other to visit your website on the first day of publication. Websites are available at all times - and the masterminds in the field of web marketing rave about 24-hour presence, 7 days a week. Unfortunately, that sounds more fantastic than it actually is. Websites which are unknown can have no better hiding place than the dark cold rooms of the planetary web.

To get out of there, open the Google site http://www.google.com/addurl.html and enter the address of your website. As soon as you have published half a dozen chapters, you have also fulfilled the conditions for admission to FreeBooks4Doctors (http://fb4d.com/fb/about.htm).

Inform your colleagues by e-mail and ask them for criticism and ideas. Kind colleagues will pass on your message to friends and colleagues in turn.

If something new appears in the world, it must be advertised by deeds. As we saw in the first chapter, the best possible advertising campaign for the website is the book, because on the book cover is your internet address (Fig. 5.2), discreet but impossible to miss.

Figure 5.2: Internet address - discreet, but impossible to miss

Therefore, back to the book.

Final assembly

Finished chapters are copied into the document textbook.doc (http://hivmedicine.com/textbook.doc). Please remember that these processes must always be performed in the so-called Normal View (Fig. 5.3)

Figure 5.3: A selection of different text views

In this way, you avoid deleting the section breaks of individual sections of text by mistake. The section breaks are the horizontal lines which go right across the whole width of the screen in normal view (Fig. 5.4).

These markers contain information for headers and footers and can easily be deleted in the layout view, because you don't see them there. You can adjust to standard view by means of the menu shown in Fig. 5.3 (View->Normal).

Figure 5.4: Ending marker of individual text sections



Editing the header is an unpleasant chapter in Word. You need to be very familiar with the individual functions before you can put the headings where you want them. If you work with larger documents and variable headings, you will quite often accidentally - and without noticing - adopt the heading of a previous chapter. And as if that weren't enough: the information for the headers is saved in the ending markers (see above, Fig. 5.4) and is accidentally deleted time after time.

However, there is a function for headers and footers which can be very helpful and which is not documented in many manuals: automatic adoption of chapter headings in the header. Go into the header with "View->Header and footer", position the cursor anywhere in this space and press Ctrl-F9. The cursor appears in a grey background between two curly brackets { | }. Now enter the following text:

StyleRef "Heading 1"

Make sure there is a space after the first and before the last curly bracket, and that the name of the template is written correctly (here, with a space between "Heading" and "1", i.e.:

{ StyleRef "Heading 1" }

Now click on this code with the right-hand mouse key - a select menu appears. Click on field functions "on/off". Immediately, the last heading which was defined as template "Heading 1" appears.

If you do not want the name of the chapter but the titles of the subsections to appear, then type in { StyleRef "Heading 2" } or { StyleRef "Heading 3" } accordingly.

In textbook.doc (http://HIVMedicine.com/textbook.doc), the title and page number are already entered in the header. If you would like to design the header differently, you should refer to the detailed information in standard textbooks on Microsoft Word.

The home stretch, countdown

Once all the texts are in one single document, you are on the home stretch, and the countdown can begin. Contents and index are updated in a matter of seconds:

  • Update Contents: Click anywhere in the contents with the right-hand mouse key. From the menu which appears, select "update fields" and in the next window "create new folder".
  • Update the index: Click anywhere in the index with the right-hand mouse key. From the menu which appears, select "update fields".

However quick the creation of an index on the computer is, checking the individual pages is much more tedious. Print out the index and check it carefully. There are always details which have to be changed. With your first edition, you should schedule a whole working day for this task. For the subsequent editions, you will need half an hour.

Finally, create a PDF file and send it by e-mail to your printing shop. But before hundreds of pages are printed a thousand times, you would be well-advised to print out the complete version on your own printer and leaf through it slowly one page at a time. You will see that suddenly, a table is spread over two pages; a new chapter doesn't begin at the top of the page, but for some inexplicable reason has slipped back onto the previous page; yes, you will even notice some spelling mistakes. And, you should take this final opportunity before the printing process to check the dosage details one last time. A book is more durable than a website. You can still be reproached in 20 years for something that is written down in black and white - and there is nothing more dramatic than incorrect dosage details for medications.

But finally the time has come: you transform your Word document into a PDF file. To this end, you need software by the name of "Acrobat Distiller" - I am sure one of your colleagues will be able to help you out here. You should discuss how you prepare the PDF document with the printing office. Some printing shops require the PDF file to be manufactured with particular print drivers (e.g. Linotronic 330). In addition, the print quality can be improved with certain pre-adjustments in Acrobat-Distiller.

As soon as the PDF file is at the printer's, the clock begins to tick. The book will be printed in 3 to 4 weeks. In the meantime, you don't have much to do but plan advertising and marketing.


Good things assert themselves all alone, without advertising - such as penicillin or the triple therapy of HIV infection. Good word-of-mouth advertising is better than any book review - reviews are forgotten faster than small flies die, while word of mouth continues publishing for the whole year. Advertising agencies don't like to hear this, but it's true. If you are better than the competition you can do the same as Google and not spend any money on advertising or marketing.

All the same: even homespun advertising can speed up the kick-off of a project, and a bit of ballyhoo can help you get off your marks all the faster. This is what you have achieved already:

  1. Your book is available free of charge on the internet. That is the best possible advertising nowadays.
  2. You have registered your website with Google, FreeBooks4Doctors, etc.:

What is there left to do? Not much. Grant yourself the luxury of offering your students the book for half-price at a class or lecture. Call the medical bookstores (see below). But whatever you do: your best advertising medium is your website. So think about what you could improve. You should also start a new folder with the heading "2nd Edition", where you can collect the ideas and thoughts which your readers will enjoy next year.


There are three distribution channels for medical textbooks: bookstores, direct shipping to the reader and the sale of part editions to foundations or pharmaceutical companies.


Theoretically, you could supply bookshops through middlemen - if they were not so averse to doing business with small-scale manufacturers. This would be a tragedy if we wanted to market poems or fiction, but fortunately we are producing medical textbooks, 90% of which are sold in specialist bookstores. This means that to cover the market as broadly as possible, it is sufficient to place your books in the 20 to 50 most important medical bookstores in your country.

Call them and take 30 seconds to explain what you have to offer. If you are asked about your terms and conditions, offer them 40% discount for the first order, 30% for subsequent orders. You will always cover postage and packaging.

Another scheme is that of graded discounts for more than 10 copies. This only makes sense if your book becomes a bestseller. At a retail price of 40 Euro, for example, you could offer a base price of 28 Euro and reduce it to 25 Euro if 10 or more books are taken (with price increments according to country if shipping abroad). As always, you pay for shipment.

Direct shipment of books to the readers

The direct shipment of books to the readers is the most troublesome distribution channel. Each book has to be packaged individually and taken to the post office. The profit margin may be higher, but that is no great comfort.

In the case of domestic shipment, you should charge the normal retail price; for shipment abroad add 2 or 3 Euro for additional postage and packaging, because you have to cover these extra costs.

You could provide the following information on your website:

Shipment by post only after payment in advance to the publisher XXY by means of a crossed cheque or bank transfer to account no. <No> at the (Bank) (bank code 000 000 00); IBAN (International Bank Account No.): <your IBAN number>, BIC (Bank Identification Code): <the BIC code> or ABA (American Bankers' Association) number.

IMPORTANT: It is essential that the sender details on the paying-in slip are complete and clearly written!

In the case of direct ordering from the above address, the mailing costs are included in the price.

Foundations or pharmaceutical companies

Both foundations and pharmaceutical companies can be considered as possible sponsors for your book. Medical textbooks are of interest for pharmaceutical companies if their products are assessed positively. As we mentioned earlier, this cannot be used as an excuse to practise fair-weather journalism along the lines of: I give your product a positive assessment and you buy my books (see the section "Leprosy", Page *). Less harmful, but a lot more embarrassing, are attitudes such as "well, you know I can just as well use the products of your competitors" in order to get rid of your own books. These colleagues should lose their licences.

The number of books which a pharmaceutical company can buy up ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand - depending on the subject and the involvement of the company in the field about which you are writing. If a company asks you if they can have the part edition exclusively (i.e. excluding other companies), you should give a lot of thought to whether you can agree to this and under what conditions.

Ora et labora

The time has come: you are holding the first copy of the book in your hands. Enjoy it. It is one of the moments in life which cannot be repeated endlessly.

As soon as a book is out in the world, it develops a life of its own. Books are like children: they only belong to you up to a certain point. What happens now is no longer in your power. Putting a book out into the word is like starting a consensus. On the ballot paper is the question "Is book X good?" You don't have much influence on the vote. The zeitgeist can sometimes be unpredictable.

What do you do in the meantime, as long as you don't know what will become of your baby? It is best to carry on tinkering: pocket version, upgrading the website, removal of the copyright and - why not? - blogs.



  • Publish the first chapters on the internet before the book is printed.
  • Before you include a chapter in the document as a whole, you have to define entries for the index.
  • Print the whole document and check it one page at a time.
  • Make a PDF file from the whole document in just a few minutes. Then send this per e-mail to your printing shop.
  • The printing process takes 3 to 4 weeks.
  • The best possible advertising medium for your book is your website.
  • You have three possible distribution channels: bookstores, direct shipment to the readers and sponsors (foundations, pharmaceutical companies).
  • Start a new folder: "Ideas for the second edition".


  • Promote the project you are working on among your colleagues.
  • If you have good connections to potential sponsors (foundations, the pharmaceutical industry), you should speak to the publishers about it.
  • Together with the publishers, consider whether you can offer the book to your students at reduced rates.


  • Use Flying Publisher projects to your own advantage. If you only need selected information, help yourself via the free websites. If you want to read several chapters, you won't want to do that at your computer. Buy the book in a bookshop or directly from the publishers.


  • You cannot own every book in which you want to read one chapter or another. With Flying Publisher books, make use of the free access via the internet. Inform your fellow students about new, freely available medical textbooks.


  • What is written in this book about medical textbooks can theoretically be applied to all texts: you can make them into a book and publish them free of charge on the internet at the same time. Whatever you do, the internet version provides cheap and effective advertising for the book version. But do not forget that the marketing of non-medical texts can be more difficult than is described here. You may not be able to find any sponsors for your project. Also, your target group may be more broadly scattered and 20 to 50 specialist bookstores - as in medicine - are not enough to organise distribution.





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