Getting on a best of book list is always cool. Although being the last on the list isn’t quite as cool, especially when at least 2 of those books are, oh, about 18 months out of date. Not to mention that some very good books didn’t make it on the list either.
Congrats, though, to Victoria Bampton making the top ten. Why? Well because Victoria is self published. Self publishing is a very much a 2 edged sword. You can bring a book to market as an E-Book quickly, without dealing with the process of dealing with a publishing firm. You can choose the editor and the tech editors from people you know and trust. You take a lot more money from the final product, and are not stuck dealing with 6 monthly accounting sequences while your money sits in someone else’s bank account. You can produce the book to a known cost and are directly involved with the design and layout. Victoria tells me her book maker settles quarterly, for the paperback version.
Of course the other edge is that you also need to do a lot of self promotion. You need to absorb the costs upfront, especially for a printed book, as Victoria has done. As you don’t have a fixed deadline, you need to be brutal with yourself on timing, probably even more so that with a publisher. If the book fails, then you have to take the entire hit for it.
Going down the e-book only route allows you to have a constantly up to date product, something not possible in the Print world. Lead time from final edit to a printed advance book can be 6 months. That’s a long time in the life of a software product, with an average product cycle of 18 months.
I’d like to congratulate all of the friends and acquaintances I’ve made that are on that list along with Victoria: Mikkel Aaland, Rob Sylvan, Martin Evening, Scott Kelby, Uwe Steinmueller, David duChemin & Chris Orwig. I did tech edit Chris’s book and a lot of my suggestions went into it, so I’m glad to see it make the list. Congrats folks and well deserved.