I suppose a lot of us think we'd like to write a book someday. Yes, I have that secret desire also, though realistically I know that I lack the discipline to focus in on one subject. My interests flit around all over the place and could never settle down long enough to grind out a whole book. That's me, just a flighty dilettante. I'd need someone with a whip standing over me to have any chance.
March 2011: A lot has changed since I wrote this. It is now very easy to publish e-books and even put them up for sale on Amazon.
If you, however, are the type that can keep that nose close to the grindstone, your aspirations may be more likely to become reality. Not only do you have the the next best selling technical book in your head, but you have blocked out the rough content, and even ground out a chapter or two. It's time to talk to a publisher, and my there are so many to choose from, aren't there?
Well, here's one more: Apress. An interesting thing about them is that you can look over their royalty contract right now - just follow the Write for Us link and download the PDF document that details it. I don't know if any other publishers give you this information up front, but if they do, they definitely don't seem to make it as easy to find.
In fact, with most publishers, their websites almost give me the impression that they really don't want to hear from prospective authors. Maybe it's because they get so many junk submissions, ideas from the obviously illiterate, etc. Apress didn't give me that impression - though I'm sure their rejections will come just as quickly if you do give them junk to consider. But at least they seem more approachable up-front.
Apress has an Alpha and Beta section where you can help review books still in the formative stage, and a Blog section where authors and other folks express opinions and talk about books and other things.
Hey, why are you wasting time reading this? You have another chapter to write, and it isn't going to write itself. Get back to work - NOW!
Got something to add? Send me email.
More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2011-03-12 Tony Lawrence
Computers have been taught to distrust each other and will reject attempted connections most of the time. Nowadays, most computers and firewalls are utterly rude about it: it would be like asking someone to dance and having them ignore you as though you were invisible and inaudible. (Tony Lawrence)