A note to self-published book authors…


Actually a few notes…


I found two interesting SharePoint 2013 search books at Amazon and ordered them. I just received them… and I'm going to return both of them. This will be the first time I have ever returned a printed book!


Self-publishing is easy, fun and very rewarding. But…

Note 1: All printed technology books must have an index! Indexes are easy to create in Microsoft Word. You can either create a busy looking, but not too useful, index using the automatic features, or invest a couple hours and manually create a very useful one. In any case be forewarned, I do not buy technical books that do not have an index!

Note 2: Do not tell me in the book's intro that all of the content in the book is straight from your blog articles. Especially don't tell me that I could have gotten it all for free from the blog. (Boy, do I feel dumb paying for that book.) Don't just copy your blog articles and call it a book. Books that build on your blog articles can really be useful. Creating the book is your opportunity to expand on the topic and rewrite the quickly written text into nice complete articles. Fix up the screen captures. Fill in the gaps. Rewrite the hastefully written text. You know… create what you would have done in the blog if you had time to do it right the first time.

Note 3: Do not fill the pages with giant screen captures so there's an average of one screen capture and only one or two sentences per page. That works for a kid's picture book, but does not deliver much value as a technical book. In any case, please, please size and crop the screen captures so they are always readable and to the point.

Note 4: Pay somebody, anybody, to proofread the book. They don't have to know the technology. They just have to know some basic English and know enough to ask if all the code really should be underlined! If you want to really do it right, find someone who has heard of the Chicago Manual of Style, At a minimum buy yourself a copy of the Microsoft Manual of Style, and give a copy to your proofreader.

Note 5: Look at some of the tech books from the big publishers. I mean, open them, look at the details, note what is there and what is not. Note the use of "front matter". Note that page numbers go on the outside edges of pages, not in the gutter. Note the use of font size and the limited use of bold and italics.





No comments:

Note to spammers!

Spammers, don't waste your time... all posts are moderated. If your comment includes unrelated links, is advertising, or just pure spam, it will never be seen.