Dick Johnson submitted these thoughts in response to Anthony Kim's query in last week's issue. -Editor I would like to encourage Anthony Kim to continue on his projected work on Oregon State Centennial Medals. He had asked in last week's E-Sylum for someone to furnish him information on other state centennial medals for a larger version of what he had in mind, not just limited to one state alone. Sorry - such a book is already in the works.
I have review copies of a manuscript by Jan Monroe of Overland Park, Kansas who has been working on State Anniversary Medals for more than 12 years. In fact I have two copies at different stages of development as his manuscript is nearing completion. He covers all states, and all anniversaries -- not just centennials -- but his scope is limited only to medals. He does not get into other exonumia or ephemera which may have been issued at the same events.
My best advice for Anthony Kim: Complete your manuscript on what you know best, if it is just the Oregon Centennial and all its numismatic issues, stick to just that. You can make a great contribution to numismatic literature with a thorough work on this subject alone. Don't try to add other areas with a superficial coverage. It is better to have a comprehensive coverage of a narrow subject than a narrow coverage of a wider subject.
Then, before you publish, have someone knowledgeable edit your manuscript. I am not volunteering, but this is the kind of work I do on American medallic subjects. I would, however, give it a quick read and point out suggestions. A comprehensive editing could be expensive (depending on time required) and may not be appropriate for the project you have in mind.
Also, unless you are a graphic artist, hire an artist to put some graphic style in your book. Use sharp photographs. Photograph all specimens on a light box to eliminate distracting backgrounds. Re-read what you have written. Is all the text accurate and easily understandable?
Self-publishing is not easy. But it is satisfying if you can create a good product. I want to encourage you to push ahead to publish the book you want to see in print. Good Luck - I will buy a copy of your book.
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