Cookbook progress

The Exchange Server Cookbook
(final title) is still on schedule for a June release. We finished the
final author hands-on review stage a week or two back and got to see
our cover this week. (Yes, it’s a baboon; our editor Robbie told us that this was what the art department came up with from his description of the three of us, to which Paul manfully replied that I’m too bald and Missy is too good looking, so it must have been him.)

Those of you reading this from my site can see that I’ve added a
link to Amazon for the book (if you’re reading on the LJ feed or via
RSS, please come to the site and take a quick look). If this is a book
you think you’d like, consider ordering it from the link on my site;
you get the standard Amazon experience while I might get a small
kickback. (John Scalzi’s recent post about the economics of writing,
combined with my observations about the effect of my growing writing
self-employment income on my tax situation, made me do some thinking.

This is an experiment. Like a lot of bloggers, I’m going to make
judicious use of my shiny new Amazon associate status and see how it
works out. It cost me nothing and I see nothing morally or ethically
objectionable in promoting a book I helped write, so I have nothing to
lose. Since 3Sharp was kind
enough to take the contract for the book in its name, we got the
benefit of getting paid our regular salary to write the book instead of
receiving the advance and then having to factor it out into all the
hours we spent on the book. What this also means is that Paul, Missy,
and I (as the three authors initially assigned to the project; Tom
Meunier was in the trenches with us for a good part of it) got to give
up a lot of nights and weekends without even the dubious distinction of
the miniscule per-word rate we would have received the other way, after
all the work was done. (I’ve learned that you don’t go into writing
technical books to get rich. For the comparitive effort involved, the
money in magazine articles is astoundingly higher.)

Don’t get the wrong idea; I jumped at the chance to do this book and
would have no matter how they offered the terms. It was a valuable
learning experience in itself, as well as giving me a much-needed dose
of confidence and look into some of the darker corners of Exchange.
More importantly, I now have a baseline — and I know that I want to
keep writing. Good thing, too; I’ve got a few freelance projects coming
up that will be fun and profitable. More on those later.