Archive for February, 2006

Top 400 at Lulu.com

February 14, 2006

My book just crossed the 400 mark at Lulu.com. Thanks to all the readers that made it possible!

Code for Rapid C# Windows Development

February 14, 2006

Here is the code used in the book before the schema changes in Chapter 12.

Strongly-typed DataSet Article on 4GuysFromRolla.com

February 8, 2006

I have an article entitled Using Strongly-Typed Data Access in Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0 on the popular ASP.NET developer website 4GuysFromRolla.com. For people who are new to strongly-typing their data access layer, it explores some of the features of strongly-typed DataSets in Visual Studio 2005. This is a good introductory article for people who don’t know what an O/R Mapper is and why it will save them time and effort.

Most requested advanced features

February 4, 2006

Thanks to everyone who has sent feedback on my book. The most requested advanced features so far are inheritance, remoting, and XML web services. Keep the suggestions coming as I do read and respond to them all.

Top 750 at Lulu.com

February 4, 2006

In a little over a week on the market, I made it to #750 at Lulu.com, and #10 in best sales this week. Thanks to all my readers who have made this project successful! It has already led to writing opportunities and some new friends in the technical writing field.

The image of self-publishing

February 4, 2006

In the publishing world, self-publishing is pejoratively known as “vanity publishing”. In the past, a writer would only have a chance of being published if his/her book was commercially viable. Being chosen to be published was an honor, since a publisher was basically saying that it thought the work was good and would sell well. When those who weren’t chosen decided to pay to have their book published anyway, it was seen as vanity. I suspect that this stigma will disappear sometime in the future as more and more previously unknown writers produce quality material and become successful.

Self-publishing != print on demand

February 4, 2006

Many people are unfamiliar with the amazing tool that is Lulu.com and how it will really change the publishing industry. Lulu started from Bob Young from Redhad Linux. Apparently, he wrote a book that was published with a traditional publisher, and had a PILE of unsold books (enough to make a chair that he could sit on). He thought to himself, “there must be a better way” and founded Lulu.com.

Lulu is a print-on-demand publisher. POD publishers use the latest printing technology to manufacture books one-at-a-time. Instead of needing to purchase 1,000 books and having to eat the cost of any unsold items, a POD publisher will only manufacture them as they are ordered. New printing technology has made this more cost effective than ever before. Note: It’s still not as cheap per item as a traditional publisher would be able to produce, but it allows the other 95% of the writers in the world to actually have a chance to sell books without borrowing a huge sum of money.

Bob Young describes Lulu as “a cross between Ebay and Amazon.” Most self-publishers charge authors hefty fees to publish their work. They make money from the author instead of the readers. Lulu charges no up-front fees and only takes a small amount of each sale. I guess, technically, Lulu is a self-publisher, but not all self-publishers are print-on-demand publishers. I’ll talk more about self-publishing and the image of self-publishing in a future post.

Disadvantages of traditional publishing model

February 1, 2006

The traditional publishing model as it has existed for a long time has several disadvantages.

First, publishers have too much control of published content. There are many books that should be published and could be commercially successful, but for whatever reason are rejected by publishers.

Second, the large publisher model does not address the needs of smaller markets. If your book is only going to sell 1,000 copies, it’s simply not worth the time of a large publisher.

Third, in the end, the person who bears the most risk is the one who most profits, and in the large publisher model, this is the publisher–not the author. As I’ve learned more about business, I appreciate this and actually value this. Risk and reward are indivisible. I am excited to be living in a time when as a writer, I have a chance to bear the risk and reap the reward.