Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

The Angular Mini-Book The Angular Mini-Book is a guide to getting started with Angular. You'll learn how to develop a bare-bones application, test it, and deploy it. Then you'll move on to adding Bootstrap, Angular Material, continuous integration, and authentication.

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This book shows you how to build an app with JHipster, and guides you through the plethora of tools, techniques and options you can use. Furthermore, it explains the UI and API building blocks so you understand the underpinnings of your great application.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Scott Bain on Writing and Publishing a Book

Scott Bain has an interested blog entry called Writing and Publishing a Book:

I recently completed the process of getting a book published ("Emergent Design"). It was my first time doing this, and I thought it might be valuable to some of you if I shared some of the things I learned about writing a book, and about the publishing world.
Now, it turns out that I made a bit of a mistake, but got lucky.

The mistake? I wrote the book, then went to the publisher. This can lead to a real disaster. You may have written a beautiful, smart, compelling book for which there is no market whatsoever. Even a great book that nobody wants to read is worthless.

In my case, I knew there was a market because the market had asked me to write the book. Still, if I'd gotten involved with the publisher earlier, several things would have happened:

  1. They would have kept me on a writing schedule. From time to time I got lackadaisical about getting the book done, and the publisher would have held my feet to the fire a little. That would have been healthy for me.
  2. They would have reviewed chapters as I wrote them, which would give me early and frequent feedback. In other words, I would have gained all the benefits of using a Lean/Agile approach.
  3. They would have helped me write. I didn't realize that publishers have extensive support mechanisms to help their authors; access to peer-review, copy editors, technical editors, and so on.
In other words, they would have really smoothed the process. [Read More]

Good to know - thanks Scott! I've been thinking about writing a book again and was actually considering writing first and shopping for a publisher later. I guess that's the wrong approach eh?

Posted in General at Mar 12 2008, 04:12:29 PM MDT 3 Comments

I don't know that I would agree with Scott. His points 1 and 2 make some sense, although this has more to do with personal time management. With a book in hand, you have something the publishers really want, along with the ability to negotiate a better deal. Publishers are always weary when entering into the book writing contract because of the off-chance the author pulls out (which happens more frequently then they would like to admit). A book in hand offers a publisher the ability to go through a quick copy-edit and tech review, and get to marketing much much faster. It also cuts that "tech-delay" risk where tech moves faster than the book publisher (i.e. that happened to me with Professional Apache Geronimo where the release of the book - based on 1.X of Geronimo - coincided within 1-2 months of Geronimo 2.0). More importantly, it allows you to get into a bidding war with a group of publishers. If you are a "known name" in the industry, you should be able to get a higher "bonus" and royalty by shopping around and having the publishers bid on the product.

Posted by Jeff Genender on March 13, 2008 at 09:54 AM MDT #

Not only that, Jeff. When you start to write a book you have to be able to afford writing full time in order to have the time it needs to do the writing. One won't be able to work as a busy consultant or contract developer and write the book on a schedule on evenings and weekends. Your family needs you too as well.

So writing a book on your own schedule when the publisher doesn't pay you for writing is certainly a good idea. If the publishers is paying, then writing the book is the job. Either one.

Posted by Stephan Schwab on March 13, 2008 at 05:36 PM MDT #

Solid points.

One thing I often say when talking about testing and design applies here, I think.

"Anything is acceptable if the risk is acceptable"

So, the risk of writing the book beforehand and then contacting the publisher is twofold:

1) You may write a book that cannot be effectively marketed
2) You may encounter a lot of re-work once the publisher gets it.

If these risks can be mitigated to an acceptable degree (in your own case), then I suppose writing up-front is acceptable too.

I'll just add that I found the collaborative process with the publisher to be such a positive thing, that I would not mind doing it again, and more. I may be unique here...


Posted by Scott Bain on April 01, 2008 at 09:01 AM MDT #

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