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Writing About Aviation — My Story

By Mike Davenport, EAA 89102, Langley, BC

Mike Davenport
The author

November 2021 – PART TWO – Last month, I wrote about how I got started in writing my first and so far, only book. This month Part Two will cover the editing and assembly process while next month, Part Three will cover the methods of selling your opus. I made mention of Jack Schofield and his business but what I forgot to do was put in a link to his company where you can get a taste of what it is he can do to help you organize and print your book. See www.coastdogpress.com for more detail.

I sent Jack some 25 or 30 columns to review with the idea of making a book out of some of them. He was encouraging and together we narrowed them down to 20, now called chapters. He asked for photographs to support each chapter which I promptly sent and he, just as promptly, sent them back. Garbage. Seems that small formatted photos taken with a pocket camera or cell phone that work very well for email newsletters don’t do the same for print. I had to reshoot most with a larger, higher resolution camera.

Life lesson number 1: learning and cameras cost money.

If you choose to write about something that took place in the past, old prints and 35 mm slides will likely be your only source for pictures. These must be scanned at 300 dpi or better. This necessitated buying a new scanner just for the slides. Number two of life’s lessons.

Through all of this I was starting to get together something that looked like it could be a book.

Then started the editing process — the dreaded, repeated, correcting over and over again editing process. By the way, a good form of editing is to close the office/bedroom door and read what you have written out loud. It is amazing what you find doing it this way.

I have learned yet another life lesson: When one edits one’s own copy, one often sees what one wants to see, not what is really there.

Example: Senior editor and junior author both reread the thing numerous times and thought all was well. A third party arm’s length friend read the same thing once and found more than 50 errors and omissions. How can that be? See the previous paragraph.

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