Back to top

Some Research Before You Write That (Technical) Book

It appears that the costs of publishing have really fallen, otherwise how can I explain that there's a good chance I'm going to be writing a book that might actually get published. In the last week two referrals came my way and I'm sitting here thinking "Should I do it?"

The major questions in my mind are: Is it profitable on its own? If not, can I do it in a manner which will be profitable (i.e. write about a niche that somehow brings in future business)? Should I partner with a publisher? Write it myself? Or perhaps "dead-tree" books are just "dead" and I should make it an e-book?

Oh yeah, and will I maintain the motivation to get it done? And done to a level that doesn't suck?

John Resig Writes about Writing For a Publisher

In his post about Programming Book Profits (which, I'm not going to be writing about "programming" but it's probably a useful comparison to what I would be writing) John Resig lays out exactly what his profits were 1 year after publishing. He also lays out some of the pros and cons and surprises that he found. In short: the paycheck from the publisher doesn't seem like it will be worth it.

Note: he recommends pretty strongly against the e-book route.

Go It (mostly) On Your Own With Lulu.com or the Kindle

ProBlogger's How to Be a Rockstar eBook Seller [Interview] mentions the use of Lulu.com for sales of their book. It appears that they've made a decent profit. Sadly though, while he gives revenue numbers he doesn't give "books sold" numbers and the sales $ depends on several factors so you don't really know how many copies they sold.

Note: they love the e-book.

Amazon has a program for authors called the Digital Text Platform where authors can sell their books. Amazon keeps 65% of the revenue (for what they provide - that seems a little high).

The "Writing the Book" Part

An hour a day? I think I can do that. Good enough to be happy with it? Hmmm...

Category: 
People Involved: 

Comments

Publisher vs. self-publishing

Just a note on being published by a "proper" publisher over self-publishing:
By publishing the book with a "proper" publisher, you will also go through the regular distribution channels and end up in book stores and libraries - across the world! I've borrowed Drupal (and bunches of other technical) books from the Danish libraries before, and I doubt they would have gotten those books, if they hadn't been available by conventional means.

what a neat opportunity

Yo Greg,

Thought I would swing on over to Knaddison to see what's up. This looks like a really interesting opportunity--or at least a huge compliment. Think of all the nut-jobs out there wanting to get published,. Admittedly, most seek to publish fiction, but I think this is still a interesting idea...Congrats on the compliment : )

Glad you guys are home and safe.
libby

Pingback

[...] down - more to come as the deals solidify and get released to the world (astute readers have a hint of part of what I’ll be doing). If you’ve got a great project using Drupal, [...]

titling that book

Greg,

Welcome home! y Bienvenidos!

I have a good friend who just published his first book and is finishing his second now. He was able to negotiate a better deal on the second, as you might expect.

I think an important thing to consider is the title. You wouldn't think it would be that important for a tech book but take his book for example, it is about hand-drawn fonts. Not the most exciting topic to most people but give it the title "Hand Job" as he did (thanks to his girlfriend's creative mind) and you pick up other buyers. Of course, this is also an artistic book so people can enjoy it for reasons other than function. Not sure the same can be said for your topic, especially if it is Drupal related :) But if it is Drupal related, I think there is a lot of good name potential!

If you are interested:
Hand Job on Amazon

It seems to me that e-books

It seems to me that e-books are the way to go these days. It's sad really that so many traditional things that we grew up with are being replaced by internet related technologies. I think that traditional books are still popular but they are on their way out.

Add new comment