RE: OT: Reasons to NOT write an Oracle book

  • From: Iggy Fernandez <iggy_fernandez@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "oracledbaquestions@xxxxxxxxx" <oracledbaquestions@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 09:59:38 -0700

re: write because they like it. More like they did not realize how much effort 
was involved, how few copies would sell, how extensively their book would be 
pirated, how little they would earn in royalties, how hurtful the reviews can 
be, that the schedule is what matters most to the publisher, etc. At least 
that's what I did not realize. My advice to all those who ask me how to become 
an author is "don't."
But if there's anybody who have read all my advice and are still want to write 
a technical book, feel free to contact me and I'll guide you through the 

Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 11:58:18 -0400
Subject: Re: OT: Reasons to NOT write an Oracle book
From: oracledbaquestions@xxxxxxxxx
To: iggy_fernandez@xxxxxxxxxxx
CC: oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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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