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Writing a book, Finding a publisher etc..

 
Ranch Hand
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What are the minimum qualifications required to write a book on a programming language like Java.
I'm a SCJP. Will that be helpful.
Let's put it this way. How do I convince the publisher that I'm very good at the topic on which i'm writing the book.
 
mister krabs
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You need to do a book proposal with a few sample chapters. The book proposal should stress why the world is waiting for the opportunity to read a book on your topic.
The outline should include:
who is the intended audience
detailed description of the topic (what will you cover - what won't you cover)
why is this book needed
what other books already cover this topic (why will this book be better, different, etc than them)
 
High Plains Drifter
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Technical publishers do not often concern themselves with credentials or reputation. If they did, no one would ever get their first book published. Your proposal will say everything about you that a publisher wants to know.
 
Leverager of our synergies
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Don, you might want to check "Java Writers" forum.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Don, you might want to check "Java Writers" forum.


3 messages in all of November. Less than 75 for the year. Not exactly a booming group.
 
Ranch Hand
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Technical publishers do not often concern themselves with credentials or reputation. If they did, no one would ever get their first book published. Your proposal will say everything about you that a publisher wants to know.



No wonder so many bad books out there. Now it is time for both publisher and buyer to pay attention to credentials and reputation. If it has not been that way already.
 
Mapraputa Is
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Don, first two links in your signature do not work. You need to change www.javaranch.com to saloon.javaranch.com
[ December 09, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Don Liu:
No wonder so many bad books out there. Now it is time for both publisher and buyer to pay attention to credentials and reputation. If it has not been that way already.

I don't buy that. Too many bad books are written by people with great credentials. Many good books are written by people with no credentials.
 
Ranch Hand
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Originally posted by Don Liu:
No wonder so many bad books out there. Now it is time for both publisher and buyer to pay attention to credentials and reputation.


As Michael said, if only people with good credentials and excellent reputations as writers were considered then no new people would ever write books. Then after all the current writers retired or died there would be no more books.
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I don't buy that. Too many bad books are written by people with great credentials. Many good books are written by people with no credentials.


Hear hear. The proof a good book is in the quality of the writing, not the quality of the writer. It's demonstrated all the time that people known for their technical knowledge and skills don't necessarily put good books together.
It's rarely the case that a poor technician will write a great technical book -- publishers rarely know or care about the difference -- but a person with no reputation, a solid grasp of their material, and an ability to convey that grasp in writing can easily write something we can all use.
Publishing isn't about merit; it's about what books will sell. If you find an acquisitions editor recruiting technical talent through anything other than word of mouth, pinch yourself: you're having a dream.
Most technology books, I would venture, are written by a) key people on a techonology development team; b) key people on a technology pilot project; or c) people fed up because no one from a) or b) stepped forward to tell the rest of us what's going on. And there's d) people upset with the piss-poor stuff that came from a) or b) 'cause those guys couldn't write.
With how-to guides and certification books, you get a lot of trainers turned to writing a book for extra income, and maybe, maybe a little notoriety. Many of these come from so-called in-house writers who can crank the words out.
 
John Lee
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Hey guys:
What I mean by credential is not just PhD from stanford, I always think a book is like a teacher. You have to deliver your idea in a good way. If you only list all the equations, then it is not even a thesis.
So my point is credential includes writing, teaching, and of course, the most important, you have to have the knowledge.
It is like finding a job. You will never have experience until you find your first job. Usually your first job need experience as well.
I heard some Chinese write novel in English and get published in the US, after living in the US for just a couple of years. Now I think that is something harder than writing a technology book.
 
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