Thursday, November 13, 2008
Becoming a Book Author
Way too frequently, I run across authors whom after the fact solicit my opinions regarding working with Manning Publications. At some level, they are a successful publisher in which there are many authors I know that have had great experiences while I run across an equal amount who have gotten burnt by them.
The common pattern seems to be one individual named Marjan Bace who has figured out how to exploit the naivety of IT folks who simply want to contribute back to their craft. On the Computer Book Authors Yahoo Group, you will find many well meaning authors who have spent nights and weekends writing their manuscripts, spending time working on their passion only to watch Marjan at the absolute last minute pull the rug out from under them.
Writing a book is a sign of character that unless you have done it before, you won't understand. Do you know what it is like to spend hundreds if not thousands of hours away from your friends and family only to know that some IT cheese whiz head is going to complain that a book is too expensive or to post negative reviews on Amazon?
Not that I am against feedback, but it is rare to receive constructive feedback. For example, if you look at many of the reviews on Amazon they all fall into a pattern. For any single author book, the usual complaint tends to gravitate towards the amount of depth covered. Of course this can be solved by purchasing multiple author books, but then another pattern emerges where folks complain that the book feels like it was written in different voices.
For the record, I think that consumers of IT books need to understand that books will not be written that can benefit you if you don't do a better job of supporting authors that spend their time writing. More importantly, I think that consumers should also avoid book publishers such as Manning that don't treat the authors with the respect they truly deserve...
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