Re: OT: Reasons to NOT write an Oracle book

  • From: Hans Forbrich <fuzzy.graybeard@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2014 13:39:53 -0600

There are 2 basic reasons TO write a book

1) Actually learn what is being discussed
2) Marketing value

Other than that, it is a pile of work, and few people set their own expectations correctly.

On 06/10/2014 10:59 AM, Iggy Fernandez wrote:
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 process.


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 <mailto:iggy_fernandez@xxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

    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,

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