About a month ago, I was approached by Packt Publishing to write a book on SignalR. The idea was to write a book that would guide you through various SignalR components using some sort of real-world example. I was up for it and the publisher seemed very keen.
How It Went Downhill
All was going well. We agreed on the terms, I put together a detailed outline, which got reviewed and then eventually approved and then … then things went sour. It started with the schedule. It was based on the outline a consisted of a simple formula between days and pages. No questions asked about holidays, week ends apparently weren’t a thing anymore and nobody celebrates Christmas these days. At this point the alarm bells were ringing but after a bit of back-and-forward they were happy to accept my schedule.
The final straw was the contract. A complete one-sided, you cover all indemnity kind of style which I expected. However, I had a lawyer look at it and we decided to ask for few changes mainly around revisions, payment terms and the ability to terminate contract from my side. The answer was no, not even let’s talk about it – straight up take it or leave it. My advice is if you get approached by Packt … run!
Why Have I Decided To Self-Publish
Never before it was this easy to self-publish a book. The traditional publishers must be pooping themselves as we speak. I still have a lot of material, outline and lot of examples. Creating a book out of it has to be easy right? Here are just a few reasons why I chose to self-publish over going traditional.
Writing a book isn’t about the big bucks (unless you sell thousands) but still, 16% royalties is just taking the piss. When you self publish you know that the biggest piece of cake is going to the person who’s done most of the work. That works both ways, for authors and people who buy the book.
Having a complete control over your own schedule is a big win. You don’t have to worry about touch deadlines – missing them usually has an effect on your money.
Content and Revisions
The publisher usually has the right to change anything and in some cases let you iterate the content as many time as they see fit. When you self-publish, you can publish when you think it’s right.
Self-Publishing With Leanpub
I’ve heard about Leanpub a while back from Scott Hanselman. It lets you write a book using markdown and publish it in a agile way. It generates .epub, .mobi and .pdf formats for you and your readers have access to the latest iteration as soon as it’s published. You can get feedback as you go along and improve the content.
It seemed like a perfect fit for what I was trying to do. You can check out the book page by clicking on the link below. You can check out the content and the progress. Also, you can sign up to be notified once the book gets released.