wawannem writes: For the few of you that know me, you probably also know that I have been working on a book recently for a prestigious publisher. For the other 99.9999999% of you, I don't want to come off as making a last ditch effort to generate buzz for my book, so no links. Anyhow, as a developer on a popular open source project, I began working with a publisher to write a book about incorporating the project into real-world development projects. To be fair to the publishers, there is a narrow market for tech books in general, and this particular topic is not guaranteed to sell as many copies as a book on a more popular topic such as JQuery, Rails or PHP. My first motivation for writing the book had little to do with the money and more to do with the fact that there is often complaints about the available documentation. Since the economy is heading down the toilet, and it is a new year, I have heard that the publisher is considering dropping my project (as well as 30%-40% of their in-progress titles). I would like to think that I could do something to change that, but the reality is that the topic of the book may not be popular enough, regardless of the quality of the book. Another author that I have worked with thinks that we can probably do pretty well publishing the book on our own. There is also the possibility of trying to strike up a deal with another publisher. My gut feeling is to incorporate what I've written into the existing documentation for the project. At this point, nothing has been decided, so I am wondering if anyone on here has had experience self-publishing. Given the choice between titles from major publishers and self-published books, I would, personally, most likely choose the book from the major publisher. My thought is that if I make the content available freely, I could improve the popularity of the project (due to the better documentation) and work on maybe being published later. At the same time, if there is a chance at a decent profit, then I don't want to turn it down. One advantage to self-publishing would be the easing of deadlines which I could translate into better content. So, I'm sort of torn on what I should do if I find out tomorrow that I own some possibly valuable content without a publisher.
"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity
is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth.
-- Alfred North Whitehead