CodeMash 2015 Recap, Part 1: Pre-Compiler on Self-Publishing

This week, I had the joys of speaking at CodeMash v2.0.1.5.  I also managed to catch a few sessions while around.  The next 3 posts are some of the highlights from my latest CodeMash experience.

How to Write and Self-Publish a Financially Successful Tech Book with W. Jason Gilmore

In May 2011, I had the privilege to have a book published – Automating Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Windows PowerShell 2.0. Throughout that adventure, I learned what it’s like to work with a publisher, copy editor, and technical editor.  I wore double hats – technical editor for Matt Hester‘s main chapters on the IT side and then author of the developer parts in the appendix.  We had the distinguished Dick Margulis as our copy editor, and he worked well with the wicked sense of humor that Matt and I share.  Jay Wren was my tech editor, and I’m glad I had him on my team.  Our acquisition editor at Sybex was helpful as well throughout the publishing process.

However, there were some things that took the fun out of it.  There was the math behind royalties and advances. (I can do math, but just because I’m good at numbers doesn’t necessarily mean I like them.)  The Kindle layout of the book is atrocious from what my readers are telling me – I have no control over that, unfortunately.  We had to estimate page counts and then stick to those estimates – as someone who writes from her heart and her experiences, I despise page count estimates.  I either felt like I was adding fluff or trimming material to make page count estimates.

Jason’s pre-compiler on self-publishing gave me another perspective of publishing.  He shared his own experiences as well as some case studies that have been wildly successful.  It got me thinking a bit, and when I write my next book, it will be self-published.  While royalty math is still screwy, it’s a little less complicated.  Those page count estimates that I didn’t like – I don’t need those in self-publishing!  When self-publishing, I’ll have more control over the Kindle layout, which makes me happy.  There are a lot more options and things open to me.  One of the biggest advantages to self-publishing is having more control over the book and its publishing process.  While that means more work on my part, it’ll be good to reap those rewards.

My goal is to have my first self-published book come out by the end of 2015.  Jason gave us a bunch of tips and tricks for how to have a successful tech book, and I look forward to employing those techniques for this next book.

If there’s anything that Jason’s pre-compiler taught me, it’s that… “There’s no money in writing tech books.” is truly a myth.  Now to tackle that statement, add some personal truth to it, and maybe reap other rewards (such as the experience overall).

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