I wrote a tech book several years ago for O'Reilly, which itself was a dream come true. I'm still amazed I got that deal done, and the fact that my name was on a title with a unique animal on the cover is SUPER cool.

Back then, their publishing system was based on Git with their own markup language, and it was sort of a chore to use. Easy and straightforward, but laborious. I spent 3 entire days just (re)formatting my drafts to their code. They've upgraded it since, I see, based on the same fundamental versioning idea and still using Git. Neat!

I've also done tech writing for .NET Magazine, which used Word's change tracking, and penned articles for other publications using Google Docs, or even drafts in WordPress.

Have all of you run into interesting systems used by publishers to manage content?

  • 5
    I'm curious, how much did you make from that O'Reilly book? And at what kind of pace? How did the publishing process start?
    I have some projects for technical/scientific books I'd like to write, but I have no idea how to publish them, nor whether or not it'd be worth the time and effort.
  • 4
    @CptFox That's a great question...and a devRant unto itself. My book was on Google Glass...no kidding. I spent 2.5 years researching and writing it - keep in mind this is during the Explorer phase when it was in limited release. When my book was published, Glass got cancelled 5 weeks later. by all accounting, it sold a couple hundred copies before the project was scuttled.

    That said, O'Reilly is a phenomenal company to work for. They're very professional and give you creative freedom. Best of all: you even get to pick the cover animal! :)

    Now, my experience was very unique because the product wasn't proven, so it wasn't even like an open source project or something in beta. The entire time it was up in the air whether it would see the mainstream light of day at all. But they took a chance on me...just minus the normal monetary advance authors normally get.

    I had a few contacts in the publishing game prior to writing, so I shopped it around a bit with some of the big-name companies.
Add Comment