Re: OT: Reasons to NOT write an Oracle book

  • From: Dba DBA <oracledbaquestions@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: iggy_fernandez@xxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 11:58:18 -0400

I think most authors are consultants. The returns come from the marketing
people get for writing the books. I have been reading alot of novelist
author blogs the last few years for fun. Authors in general don't make much
money. Most work full time and write because they like it. I get the vibe
that many if not the majority may earn less than minimum wage on their
publishing. One interesting tidbit from some author blogs is that there
were number of cases of 'business type' books shooting to the top of the
New York Times bestseller list than disappearing. Apparently consultants
would pay a service to buy their books so they could use it for marketing.
NYT bestseller list had to change how they calculate these kinds of
bestsellers. It worked with niche books like this due to the low volume of
sales. Too bad there isn't a technical book bestseller list... if there
were we could team up, copy and paste stuff from the docs, pay service to
get us to #1 and then raise our rates?

My understanding is that the top 3 books on the NY Times bestseller list
earn more than the rest of the bestseller list combined and the bestseller
list out earns the next 3 million books combined.

On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM, Iggy Fernandez <iggy_fernandez@xxxxxxxxxxx>

> Dear list,
> I've revising my beginner DBA book for 12c and can' t help thinking about
> the reasons to NOT write a book. Here are a few.
>    - It's not worth the effort. The market is saturated with books; so
>    much information is available online that nobody buys many books nowadays;
>    your book will be pirated on the day it is published; it will be obsolete
>    very quickly; prices are low unlike college textbooks and much lower in
>    emerging markets; the royalty is 10% of the wholesale price--not the list
>    price--and has to be shared by all the co-authors. You'll be lucky if your
>    book sells 5000 copies over a five-year period. Assuming that the list
>    price is $40 and the wholesale price is $20 and that you have one
>    co-author, and that you spent 500 hours writing and researching, you are
>    literally getting paid minimum wage for your effort. Writer beware.
>    - You will make terrible mistakes that will haunt you for ever. In my
>    case, I made a horrible mistake on page 22 of my book that was soon
>    discovered by a beginner who was testing every line of code for himself.
>    - Some of the reviews will make you cringe. You will wish that you had
>    reviewers BEFORE you finished the book, not after the book was printed.
>    - To you work and family commitments come first but, to the publisher,
>    the book comes first. To you quality is everything but, to the
>    publisher, the schedule is more important and I quote *"**It is better
>    to go to market first with a good enough book than to be months late with a
>    perfect book. A successful good enough book can be improved in a second
>    edition. A failed perfect book is simply a failure. Schedule matters to
>    your publisher. Variable pay is the norm. Missed quarterly and yearly
>    targets can cost your editor and others whom you work with hundreds, even a
>    few thousands of dollars. Those same missed targets hurt the business 
> too."*
> On the plus side, you can send a copy to your mom and she will show it to
> all her friends.
> That off my chest, I would appreciate any help in reviewing the first
> drafts so that I can put out a better book. Comments on accuracy as well as
> clarity and readability would be very welcome. I will post the finished
> chapters to Google Docs so that anybody can make comments inline. I will be
> very grateful for help and will acknowledge all those who helped in the
> preface. Please let me know if you can help.
> Kindest regards,
> Iggy

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