Update On The Primer

For those who have been following my blog for a while you are aware of the evolution of my book The Automation Primer and some of the things I have been doing on the path to getting it published. Late last year with the manuscript about 90% complete I submitted it to several publishers for feedback. Many publishers simply don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts while others only do so through an agent. Despite this I got some positive feedback from Industrial Press, publisher of the Machinery Handbook. Unfortunately with all of the other tasks I have had to work on with leaving my old company and starting a new one, starting my small integrator network and even resurrecting the SmartBench concept, I have not pursued getting my book published as hard as I probably should have.

Industrial Press has said they are interested but they have quite a few projects ahead of mine that they are working on. Since I have not done much work on the manuscript over the last few months I have been trying to find a way to complete the book and move into the final phase of getting it into print. Early on in the process I advertised for some editing help and publishing advice and was not terribly impressed with the responses I received. If someone is going to edit a manuscript their e-mail at least should be grammatically correct and free of misspellings… it should also be succinct about what the editor has to offer in the way of experience and possible improvements. Since the responses I received were so disheartening I have gone it alone since almost a year ago.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before but an excellent resource was at my fingertips the whole time. My daughter Mariko is a reporter and does some editing work for several newspapers in San Diego. She is familiar with my business and field and has actually worked on some of my projects as a teenager…

Mariko and Joe with our Howmet/Alcoa conveyor in 2005

Since that time she has graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in International Relations and Communications, worked as an intern in Washington DC as a reporter, been around the world and added a couple of years experience with the newspapers in San Diego.

She has taken over the editing duties for the Primer, which I would say is now pretty complete as far as content. I am not really a writer, I am just an engineer with a deep interest in all things automation and manufacturing business related. I believe Mariko will be able to improve much of the presentation of my material and provide a more objective view of the book. She has even taken it upon herself to submit the manuscript to McGraw-Hill who has expressed some interest already.

As I mentioned before, I don’t know why I didn’t think of getting her involved earlier. It is great to be able to work with someone who knows something about what I do and can improve the wordsmithing part of my book. It also doesn’t hurt that she is my awesome daughter!


Electrical Engineer and business owner from the Nashville, Tennessee area. I also play music, Chess and Go.