As someone who has written or contributed to 16 book projects, people often seek me out to solicit advice on writing a book. More often than not, the conversation begins “I think I would like to write a book about … (fill in your own obscure technology) because I really know a lot about it…” They then begin to describe how much they know about their obscure technology.
The problem is that people have never written a book have no idea of the timeline that is involved. Here is an example from my most recent book, Windows PowerShell 2.0 Best Practices:
- First draft of proposal was dated Jan. 31, 2008
- First chapter on Aug. 25, 2008
- Last chapter on Aug. 28, 2009
- Cover approval Nov. 13, 2009
This does not account for the fact that while in the writing phase, I generally have a deadline of some kind every week. This means I have to work every night, every weekend … for a year. Once I begin to explain this to people they generally change their mind. Over the last decade I have counseled more than two dozen prospective writers … to date … they are still prospective writers.