How to Get Started

As you consider your publishing project, you may have several questions about the process. This page describes:


Who Can Use AgComm

Campus specialists and faculty can contact their AgComm editor to begin the publishing process (click here to find your AgComm contact). Purdue Extension county educators should contact their Extension specialist who will begin the publishing process.

Editors will meet with authors, consult with them about their audience and purpose, edit their copy, and arrange for designers and production.

Editors will ask authors to complete an ACS Form 1 early in the process so that the item can be entered into the database for tracking, distribution, and cataloging. The Form 1 also gives us an account number to pay for printing and related expenses. For more about the ACS Form 1, click here.

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Project Criteria

We use several criteria to determine how and when we can work with clients on their publishing projects. These criteria include:

  • Our current publishing schedule.
  • The order we receive publishing projects.
  • Scope and complexity of projects.
  • Degree to which publishing projects further the land-grant mission and strategic goals of the College of Agriculture.

The more complete the materials clients have ready at the onset of the production phase (e.g., a full manuscript draft, all necessary photos and technical graphics), the faster production will go, and the higher the quality of the finished project.

Book length materials, interactive CDs/DVDs, and Web sites may require additional time and resources.

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What AgComm Needs from You

Authors should provide double-spaced manuscripts to their editors. Text and image guidelines for print or multimedia products, are detailed in our AgComm Client Guidelines for Publishing Projects. It is important to remember that successful publishing projects require teamwork between authors and AgComm staff. So AgComm needs authors to be willing partners in the process.

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How Production Schedules Are Determined

Many factors influence how a project is produced and how long it takes - including the project's size, state of the original manuscript, and so on. There are many steps in the production process, but it can be broken into roughly three phases:

  1. Preparing the manuscript - During this phase, you will work with your AgComm editor to get the text into its final form and secure images and other materials. How long this stage takes depends on the project's size, the state of the manuscript, and other factors. It's safe to assume, however, that the larger the project, the more time editing will take.
  2. Laying out the publication - During this phase, the AgComm designer lays out the print publication, creates the interactive CD/DVD, etc. The time needed for this phase depends upon the project's size and complexity, and AgComm's current workload. For example, a two-page document that's part of an existing series may take no more than a week, a 16-page brochure might take three weeks, and an interactive CD/DVD with games and videos could take several months.
  3. Reproduction - During this phase, documents that are going to be printed (such as books or pamphlets) or reproduced (such as CDs) are created. Production can begin after a contract is awarded to a printer. Again, depending on the project's size, printers typically need three to four weeks to reproduce your document. This may be longer during holidays (such as Christmas) because printers take time off, too. In the case of Web-only publications, reproduction time is not required, but it may take a few days before online publications are posted to the Web.

Given these stages, your editor will determine how long it may take to complete your project.

For example, if you want a brochure in your hands on December 27, the editor will work backward from that date, allowing four weeks for printing, three weeks for layout, and two weeks for editing. In this example, the editor needs your manuscript on October 27 to meet the December 27 deadline.

Of course, AgComm strives to complete projects in as timely a fashion as possible, but your editor must make reasonable allowances for each phase of the project.

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How Materials Are Distributed

Completed publications can be put into inventory at the Media Distribution Center for distribution or sale. Those publications going into inventory at the MDC can also be distributed to Purdue Extension county offices and other locations.

The Purdue Extension Education Store is the home for all Purdue Extension publications. The store offers links to free publications and allows visitors to purchase any items that are for sale.

Extension publications produced by AgComm will be posted on the Web, unless the author requests otherwise.

For more about distribution options, refer to ACS Form 1A.

For additional requirements for Web-only publications, refer to AgComm Client Guidelines - Web Projects.

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