Re: OT: Reasons to NOT write an Oracle book

  • From: Ethan Post <post.ethan@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fuzzy.graybeard@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 15:59:06 -0500

Tom Woods (not Kyte :) had an excellence discussion lately on the economics
of writing books. No interest here in writing a book but the discussion was
very interesting to me. Google Tom Woods Show Archives to find it.

On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 2:39 PM, Hans Forbrich <fuzzy.graybeard@xxxxxxxxx>

>  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.
> /Hans
> 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.
>  Iggy
>  ------------------------------
> 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> 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,
> Iggy

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