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Is Writing Becoming Feasible Again?

Tim O’Reilly [http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2006/07/state_of_the_computer_book_mar_4.html] states that the C# book market is up 78%, ASP.NET up 61% and Javascript 171% thanks to AJAX. SQL Server books have also boosted sales recently thanks to the release of Yukon. While this is undeniably good and indicates that development budgets are stretching a bit further these days, I wonder exactly how sales still compare to the heyday of mid 2000. For those unaware of it, this is when the dotCom bubble burst, book sales halved in three months and companies like Apress [http://www.apress.com]and Wrox [http://www.wrox.com]were forced to either shelter under the cover of a new owner or go bust. It does feel like there is a new optimism to it all at the moment though. Unless you propose to write five or six books on using your iPod however, there’s still very little money in the writing business as an author or reviewer; it is still a matter of passion rather than money. That’s been true of writing across the board though.

What has been lacking recently is a way into tech book writing for those who are interested. Subject areas have been fixed for a while and there are only so many different ways to  However, the new influx of nascent technology - notably from Microsoft - and the introduction of CTP schemes does mean that there is a lot of scope for new authors to flex their literary muscles.

In looking back at my experiences though, a few words of warning to those entering the dark waters of writing.

Book writing is a bit like cramming for an exam in some ways. The best way to produce cogent text is to be on top of the subject you’re covering and let it flow - in a structured way. Braindumping everything you know on a subject into a splurge and calling it a chapter isn’t as good.

Posted on August 18, 2006   #Writing  

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