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Several years ago, we were approached by a medical publisher to write a textbook of cardiology as part of a new undergraduate series. We were friends, colleagues and both research registrars in the same laboratory. We had no experience of writing a textbook, but had co-authored several papers and we were enthusiastic about a new challenge. We approached a senior author and a good friend of ours accepted. In hindsight, we should perhaps have reflected on a lack of willing volunteers!
We met with the editors who outlined the rationale, aims, objectives and plans for the book, along with plans for the chapters, word and page counts and suggested figures. Helpfully, a book in the same series had recently been published which we used as a guide. We wrote the first chapter together, to get the correct style and show the publishers we could produce what they were looking for. This took two attempts. We then divided the rest of the work between the …
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