Write a Book and Publish itWriting and publishing a book
Nick Scheidies and I published a book about a small publisher last year entitled What it Takes to Make More Money than Your Parents.
Self-Publish, not writing for a publishers
I' m not a novelist. Since I am a designer and I am a freelance designer, I devote my free moment to evaluate the best solution. Two years ago, when I decided to start writing a volume, I was wondering whether I should either start my own publication or look for a publishers. I' ve been spending a great deal of my free day assessing my choices and choosing the path of self-publication.
Since I am often asked about it, I have chosen to summarise my reasoning in a diary, both to find out why self-publication is almost always the right choice for an incipient writer and to encourage the editors to persuade me that I am not. It is not often profitable to publish books. The majority of tech writers have full-time positions and sideline work.
There are a thousand authors for every Steve McConnell, Donald Knuth and Fred Brooks whose works have never again written or spoken about the subject of their work. I' ve chosen a very secure approach: publishing a few sections, seeing the interest, then see if I want to keep it up.
A number of award-winning self-publication sites allow writers to test the water before investing tens of millions of hours of time in a story. LeanPub was the right choice for me, and with just 3 sections and a few dozens of customers, turnover increased to over 7,000 books sold in less than a year.
Originally I had my sights set on 100-200 books. Proposed at $9. 99 min and $19. 99 (even without the comprehensive manual at that time), that between $1,500-3,500 (LeanPubs varying pricing rate and ultra generously levies rate are very good if you have ever compromised with other decks and especially publishers-! Prior to finishing my writings, I had already written over 2,000 paying books on LeanPub for over $25,000 in net income (ASP of $12.50) - that's after the small average of LeanPub.
I''published' the volume in October 2015 (i.e. I have released it in a first issue on Kindle, CreateSpace (for paperback) and iBooks) and have added another 5,000 since then. Here is a distribution of your sale by channel: lean pub sells are steady, but shallow as I ended about half of the product, while other handbook selling have mature over case, notably CreateSpace (paperback selling by Amazon) and Kindle. iBooks is probably not day couturier the labor - less than 100 selling in nearly a gathering - but at matter it's not relative quantity!
It was a great hit, based on my initial hopes for 200 top end sells! A few of the things that have made my textbook a lot better than I thought it would be: This does not mean that you have no controls - you must make your own fortune by placing yourself in the right place at the right moment, improving your abilities, setting up your own networks, etc.
It was a pleasure to start my work at a point when LeanPub and CreateSpace were still quite sophisticated publishers, and I was also fortunate to have one of the first comprehensive volumes on the softwares I wrote about. Easy update of the work. That is the primary cause that my work has been gaining speed over many heats.
Every other work on the open source web site will be created and released for a certain release of the program and will be obsolete after a few more years. I rewrote 20% of the whole manual from scratch, due to a big release update, and I re-tested and refined many samples again, due to enhancements in the underlyings.
The reader appreciates that they have been spending on a text that will improve over the years. Wishing to keep my work up to date. And I like to think of my work as' BaaS' (Book-as-a-Service). Like the SaaS I' m maintaining, I have a wish to keep the product pertinent and to keep all content well tried and working.
This is not only for the reader who has already bought the product (some great reader have already bought $50-100+ on LeanPub to help me keep up the good work!), but also to make sure that my product is always the best available product, from release 1.0 to whatever it is!
Though I don't like to use a page design program (Pages, Word, InDesign, etc.); I use a text editing program - currently Sublime Text-in Markdown. No publisher I have spoken to accepts work in a different file than Word or similar. Self-publication and working with versatile engineering writers who work with any suitable software means that I can carry out experiments and select the most effective one.
There was almost no rubbing when I wrote the script in LeanPub-flavored Markdown in Sublime Text, when I edited with some freelancers about Authorea and when I published on different media using LeanPub's award-winning script-tool. So I decided to buy the eBook at $9. 99 for the eBook and $19. 99 for the Pocket.
I would only get $1/eBook and $2/paperback at prime rate if I were using a conventional editor. And not only that, conventional editors raise the cost to make a big profit, so my product (a ~400 leaf pickup product) would sale for $30-40 (instead of $10-20) if I apportioned by a musician!
I have a good tech notebook at a good value (I have a few thousand bucks of tech notebooks on my shelves).... but if you see a well rated notebook at half the cost of all the other notebooks in its category, it's simpler to press the "Buy" tab and try it out.
The four major reason why an artist is attempted to enter a work into a series. On these grounds I confess that I was attempted to transfer the copyright to a publisher: Publishing houses can present your books at conferences, tens or even thousands of on-line and retailing outlets and advertise you as an writer.
Sometimes this can charge your profile beyond what you can do on your own, but often, you might get to go to one or two special meetings, subscribe a few tens of copies of your work, and have your work sit in a pile on a desk crowded with all the other technical works from this publisher. What's more, you could get to go to one or two special meetings.
Publishing houses have a powerful processes and workflows, and one of their greatest assets is writers - individual people who are powerful engineering writers, making your typing from slimy to crisp. That skill varies greatly from publishers to editors, though the larger ones have much better, more committed publishers, while some of the bottom end use casual teies that get a free copy of your textbook and a credit only for their endeavors and nothing more.
I' ve learnt a lot about coding through O'Reilly, IDG, Pearson, etc. and it sounds interesting to have the notion of sharing my own work with others with the same mark. It is also a position where outside validating (a publishers has chosen my work, so I am not just a nobody) can be a motivation.
Publishing houses have official timetables, and since they string together editorial staff, reviews and starters, you are bound by these appointments (so you don't loose some of your deposit or the bookstore altogether). It may be an advantage, as some authors will never reach a "first edition" without prescribed times.
It'?s a tough job and it'?s taking a lot of work. While there are some big disadvantages to typing for a publishing house - some things you usually have to give up at some point: Your all your copyrights to the book: both national and international copyrights. It' no longer yours once you turn it over.
Lettering for fun: It' s a lot of work to make a good work.... making a good read as a pastime or for laughs goes out the windows when there are prescribed time limits, editing checks and arsenal. Ability to refresh your book: When your publication is very succesful and the publishers like you, you may get the opportunity to create a second issue.... which will require the entire publication workflow (deadlines, editing processes, editing utilities, etc.).
And all the small errors and typing errors that slipped through the editing processes (but were easily found/sent by readers!) are forever stamps in the text. Usually, you do not see your sale figures by channels, regions, etc.
They have to guess these figures from the few published dates available on pages like Amazon, such as booksheets. When your product is a gentle hit (3,000-7,000 sales), you will hardly make anything on your royalty upfront. When your product is a state happening (10-100,000 selling), you'll apt get a 10-15% writing.
Take 7,000 listings as an example: self-publishing will earn you ~$60k in license fees (without upfront payment). Publication will typically earn you ~$5k in license fees (with an upfront of $3k). It is unlikely that even if a publisher gets you enough imaging to sale 10x more copies out of the work ( "highly unlikely unless you do dead zero sponsorship on your own), the maths will not be in your favour.
The decision for self-publication is now even clearer for me than at the beginning of 2014 - the utilities and technologies are so advanced that there is hardly any redemptive value for a publishers to write. Difficult part of typing a textbook is... typing the work. There'?s not much a publishers can do to help.
A few single articles take three working day to research errors in up stream jobs I've written about or learn something completely new, and no one in a publisher will be sitting with me and finding out! It may not be a clear decision for you, especially if you feel uncomfortable, if you don't make self-portrayal (you have to have a little something of a prima donna inside you to be a succesful author....), and you can't be encouraged to finish a task as discouraging as a full-length work.
However, to write and release a work and then hold a copy of the work in my hand last October was one of the most exciting things I have done in the technical field. Are you a representative of a conventional publishers? I ask these kinds of question every times I receive an invitation for publication from one of the publishers:
May I keep the copyrights to the text? Do you need me to give you all the necessary permissions so that I have no influence over my work or its derivates? Is it possible to update my work at least every three months, if not more? Once released, technical publications are dying quickly as the technology and technology that is used every year changes.
Aware that most of my works will not become a blockbuster, the prepayment should be fleshy enough to at least a small part of my huge amount of my work. Unfortunately, every publishing house I have worked with has answered not just one or two, but all these issues with a clear no'. You want me to give my hobbies and my hobbies to my families for at least hundred or thousand lessons to write a textbook for you, you have to come to me at least half way.
It is not my intention to have the Council on its own two feet without advertising itself. I' m not making a prominent reference to the text in my diary either, firstly because I'm shocked when I see the mad amount of self-promotion that many self-published writers do, and secondly because the diary is only of relevance to a small part of my blog's population.
It' s All for DevOps, and I released three LeanPub chapter in February 2014 and then wrote the "first issue" in October 2015. I have since released another 14 editions of the volume (mostly fixes, but also some new parts and a completely new version of some chapters).
I have been blowed away from the hit of the script and think about another script, but I take my slack. Particularly since I just had a big operation (yay, because I had the chance to contribute like this!) and I have a newborn on my way! A few other good readings about tech books / writing: