Writing Yet Another Book
by Thomas | June 15th, 2007
I will be posting pretty frequently this summer with snippets of the findings in the book and there are a lot of them. Some of my “discoveries” are down right surprising if you follow Ajax, others will seem to just put a finer point on things, and others maybe just explain it in an easier to consume fashion. Yet before getting to that I want to take the time to present some points on writing books in case you want to pursue one yourself.
- First off, if you want to write a book, think twice. Books are large efforts that last a long time and they won’t make you rich. They are not extended blog posts, they are all-consuming time vortexes that will chew up writers and spit them out. I should know, I have written a few now and each time I forget just how much work they are. The money you make on a book can be good; I have had a few successes myself but generally it is simply not that lucrative. You’ve been warned if that was your motivator.
- Third, don’t trust your sources. Now I will tell you I consume *everything* on a subject I can get my hands on when writing a book- this of course relates to the previous point. However, you will find that data often can’t be trusted. Many authors both online and off I’m sorry to say, simply copy each other in terms of ideas. Even more don’t even bother to test the ideas they are putting forward. Every tech book I have researched for I have seen examples of misinformation, but when prepping for this book I have reached an all time high in my experience. Ideas that are assumed gospel truth about Ajax are just plain wrong if you do the tests. Trust and verify really does have merit as an idea if you are going to write something of value.
- Finally, be reasonable with yourself. Your book will not be perfect, no book is. Cynical readers and authors alike can debunk any book by finding small mistakes. Your goal is to simply present as much factually correct information that you possibly can and be satisfied with your own efforts.
So a few basic points to consider before diving into a book project. Of course point zero probably ought to be you better like to write. Even if you are an avid blogger, if you’ve never written a book, you’ll likely under-appreciate just how much writing it is. Good blogging can be tough no doubt, but the effort is more like running sprints everyday. Writing a massive book well, to use a running analogy, it’s like the Badwater Ultra.
[photo under CC by flickr user tnarik]