Publishing for Technical People
As of June 2021, the first draft is done! I’m starting on the editing process.
I’m writing a book! Are you?
I’ve written or co-written five books already, and I’m working on a new book to help technical people with the publishing of their own books. I’m mostly thinking of authors working on non-fiction, but the advice should largely work for fiction (more on that soon). My book doesn’t have a title yet, but I’ve got a full outline and thousands of words already written. If you’re interested in the project, sign up for my newsletter below:
What makes this book interesting?
I felt compelled to write this book. I’m a sixth of the way into writing a new fantasy series that I’m excited about, and I still needed to write this book. Why?
Because I realized that I could take the lessons I’ve learned publishing indie fiction and make them more accessible to technical people writing non-fiction. Why “technical people”? Because I can save you time by not getting into the weeds of using a fairly easy to use website or GUI tool. I can take things like example code into account. And I can try to dissuade you from spending too much time building your own tools :)
I think traditional technical publishers are actually pretty good when compared to many of their fiction counterparts. My book will have some useful information for people who plan to go the traditional route, but much of it will be focused on helping you independently publish.
You might be thinking that people have been self-publishing their tech books for years, and you’d be right. People would put a PDF up on Gumroad and call it a day. That still works!
I see the indie publishing ethos as being a bit different from this approach, though, and indie fiction publishers have tended to go a lot farther than what I’ve seen in the tech space. I’ve written and published four novels (they’re middle grade fantasy, and you’ll find them if you search for Barnaby Quirk). These novels:
- Are available in ebook form everywhere. Amazon isn’t the only game in town.
- Can be ordered in paperback from your local bookstore. I even had a hardcover version of one book.
- Can be ordered by libraries to add to their print or ebook collections.
My novels have sold in eight countries across four ebook stores. My local library still has copies of one of my books, and people have ordered them from bookstores. That said, I don’t want to make it sound like I’ve sold tons of novels. Selling middle grade books is hard (twelve-year-olds don’t have their own credit cards, after all).
Essentially, my books are as available as any traditionally published book, modulo the work traditional publishers do to get books into the regular stock of stores.
Choose how far you want to go
I’m taking as practical an approach as I can think of in this book. I try to make it easy for you to implement whichever steps you want and ignore the rest. The audiobook format doesn’t fit what you’re doing? No problem. You can just skip that chapter. But if you want to create an audiobook, the chapter will give you a set of choices that I think will help you get the job done well and quickly, with the tradeoffs between the choices laid out for you.
Do you only want to sell on Amazon? No problem. But if you want to sell elsewhere as well, I’ll give you tips on how to do it and how to minimize the work so you can spend more time creating.
…is to help you package up your book in the way you want, get it out into the channels you want and, I hope, make a decent profit along the way.
If you’ve got any questions on your mind about publishing, feel free to email me (my email address is my first name at kevindangoor.com) or ping me on Twitter (@dangoor).
- Ed2592 Press has a mini-book online So You Want to Write a Book that covers their Publishing process. It’s nice that they provide this sort of documentation for their authors. My Publishing For Tech book touches a bit on the difference between working with a traditional publisher and being an indie.