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Writing IT books for the public sector

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Indo77, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Indo77

    Indo77 Nibble Poster

    I am not sure I am in the right forum for posting this but as it is an idea to pursue an extra career I think it belongs here. Does anyone have any experience of writing books aimed at the UK public sector. For example (Windows Server 2003, .NET development etc.) I think I have found a niche on a topic I know a substantial amount about and was wondering how to apply or sell my idea to this sector. I am not much of a business head or marketer. What publishing companies would pursue the area?
    Certifications: BSc (Hons) HNC
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    I'm curious, how does one target a book at the public sector? Surely If its a book on windows then the techies that want to read it will do so regardless of the sector they work in? :blink
  3. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    A niche on a topic may not be a bestseller.

    The best books tend to be well rounded and focus on an objective, curriculum or job role.

    If it is a single topic, you could try writing a paper on it. MSDN and TechNet often publish technical articles without you having to market a book.

    Have you given any thought to the demand your book would generate?

    Anyway, Trip's the man for you.
    He'll be round soon.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Not sure what you mean by the "public sector" but both BosonMichael and I are published authors of IT related books. Are you asking how to get published, how to write a book, or what?
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. Indo77

    Indo77 Nibble Poster

    Not how to write the book, but how to go about finding a publisher.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons) HNC
  6. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    I'm not a published author of IT books, but I am someone who has looked into getting published in the fiction market.

    I'm not sure if it operates exactly the same way, but unless you know someone at the publishing house or in the industry, I would have thought it would be difficult to get 'in' without an agent.

    If you've already got material written, I'd send it to agencies specialising in the area you've written for. A publication such as the Writer's Handbook might be able to point out good places. They have full listings of UK agents and publishers, what kind of work they are currently accepting, and what kind of fees you would expect to pay.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  7. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    You could also way look up a publisher's site, go to the Contact Us page and look for something that says "write for us" or "Authors" such as the one at Sybex:


    You'll have to download their author's proposal document, fill it out, and send it to them. Of course, there's no promise that they'll actually like your book or want to publish it.

    How this all happened for me is a little unusual. I was doing some freelance writing for an outfit (now sadly defunct) called LANWrites. They located freelance authors and matched them up with publishers. They also had a relationship with an publishing agent outfit called Waterside and the editors at LANWrites talked to one of the agents at Waterside about me. The agent called me asking to represent me.

    My agent's job is to find me jobs. She knows the IT publishing industry inside and out including all of the major editors in the game. She knows the rules and policies each company has about what they publish and how they compensate authors. The "value added" piece is that she can make a good match between an author's skill sets and the needs of a publisher. She can negotiate the best price for the author and help set realistic benchmarks for what work has to be done when.

    Often, she'll send out an "all points bulletin" to her authors saying that such-and-thus publishers need the following books written. Of course, you have to that the skill sets and experience to do the writing and you still have to write the proposal and have it approved. The agent can take a look at the proposal and make suggestions that will make it more likely to fly.

    Of course, she gets 15% of the take which is the industry standard, but for book-length projects, she's deffo worth it. I hate looking at contracts and trying to decide what they mean. She's also saved my arse more than once, helping me avoid a situation that sounded good but would have been bad for me and my career.

    I think BosonMichael arrived at being published through a different route, but he has connections to the publishing industry I didn't have when I was starting out.

    Hope some of this was illuminating.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Yep - James Chellis needed someone to write the 70-620 Vista book for Sybex. One of James' friends knew me from the forums, so he forwarded my contact info to James, and James asked me if I'd be interested. Another of my friends (Will Schmied / DontPanic) had written for James in the past, so I asked Will if James was good to work for. Ultimately, I recruited BosonJosh to assist me, and we accepted James' offer to write the book for Sybex.

    This is major proof that you can find employment from participation on the forums... so always be respectful and professional while posting - you never know who's reading them! :thumbleft

    It certainly didn't hurt that I had been writing practice exam materials for several years for industry-leading companies. But writing a book is quite a bit different from writing practice tests.

    I'm about to write another IT book, but this one not focused on certification exams. Thus, I don't have a publisher lined up for this one. I will probably give Sybex first shot at it, and if they don't bite, I'll probably ask some of my writer friends to throw me some good contacts. :)

    In any case, you're in a good place, here on these forums... several people here who can help you make the appropriate connections if you need them. :)
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!

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