The Adventures of Book Writing, Part 2

This is a continuation of The Adventures of Book Writing.

So how long did it take to write the book?

I wrote my parts from October 2010 through February 2011.  There were some weeks where I would write 2-3 hours/day for 2-3 days/week.  But then there were also some weeks when I wouldn’t write (like when I was at CodeMash in January 2011).  There were a few weekends in there where I would put 6-8 hour days in writing/editing/taking screenshots/working on layout.

What was the thing you liked the least about the process?

I didn’t like feeling like a newbie to the process.  There were some times when I didn’t understand how things worked and would get frustrated that they weren’t how I imagined.  But despite those minor hurdles, it was a fairly smooth going process for me.

What was the thing you liked the best about the process?

I was privileged to work with a great co-author and an awesome team of editors.  Matt had written a book before for Sybex, so he knew a bit of what we were dealing with.  He warned me of what I might get into, but at the same time, he didn’t try to scare me out of it.  Jay Wren served as my tech editor, as Jay is into programming languages much like me and has a “tell it like it is” attitude that I really appreciated.  The other editors included an acquisitions editor, developmental editor, managing editor, production editor, and probably some other editors I don’t even know about.  There were many eyes that looked on this book, with many decades of experience. It was great to have them shepherd us through the whole writing/publishing process.

Did you prefer tech editing or writing?

I honestly spent more time tech editing than writing, but there’s no way to say that I prefer one over the other.  I enjoyed tech editing the main chapters of the book, as it forced me to keep my IT roots fresh and really had me trying things out.  Tech editing required me to tap into all of my technical background – including correcting a complex example to something much shorter thanks to my Unix/Linux familiarity.

As for writing, I enjoyed writing on the appendices. Because I knew that the audience for our book included IT professionals who may not have as much developer experience, I tried to keep the developer sections simple enough so that even they could follow them.

The important question… would you do it again?

I would definitely write again, and I would definitely tech edit again.  However, it’d take a bit to get me to do both on the same book.  I wouldn’t tech edit and write at the same time as much as I did on this book.  I’d write or tech edit, but the only way I’d do both on a book is if my writing obligation was smaller or if my tech editing obligation was smaller.

And because I’m hearing this already…

I pre-ordered your book.  Can I get your autograph?

Absolutely!  If I’m at a local user group or community event, I’ll sign your copy of Automating Windows Server 2008 R2 with Windows PowerShell 2.0!


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