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From Idea to Print: How to Write a Technical Book or Article and Get It Published Paperback – Oct 25 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Mc Press (Oct. 25 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583470972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583470978
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 17.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #794,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Roger E. Sanders has been writing technical articles and books for more than 14 years. He is the author of several books on DB2 9 and the owner of his own database design company. He has had articles published in Certification Magazine and IDUG Solutions Journal, has authored tutorials for IBM’s developerWorks website, presented at numerous computer conferences, and taught classes on DB2 fundamentals and database administrations. He also writes a regular column in IBM Database Magazine. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa5438588) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53a15b8) out of 5 stars Becoming a writer isn't nearly as difficult as you think, but it does take work. Sept. 4 2012
By Susan Visser - Published on
Format: Paperback
I learned many valuable tips by reading Roger Sanders' book "From Idea to Print: How to Write a Technical Book or Article and Get It Published". This book covers everything that you need to know & do in order to get an article or book published. Becoming a writer isn't nearly as difficult as you think, but it does take work.

My job is an acquisitions editor for technical articles and books, so I've been through this process a few times myself. Even so, Roger taught me much. I think the most unique chapter in the book is about the author - publisher contract. There is much to know in this area, but not much written about it. The book is worth purchasing for this chapter alone.

Here are a few tips I learned from Roger about planning, writing, and editing a book / article:

1. Schedule time to write. If you wait until you're "in the mood to write", you'll never get anything done! Set goals for how much you want to accomplish and move to another section if one is causing you grief. Reward yourself as targets are reached.

2. Have a strong outline before you start to write. I know it sounds cliché, but the more up front planning you do, the easier the writing will be. Even for technical documents, you should "tell a story". Have a beginning, say a problem that needs to be solved; a middle, the search for a solution; and an end, a strong conclusion.

3. Let some personality show through in the writing. There are some cases where dry, factual writing is required, but where it's not, let the writing be conversational or slightly casual to be of interest to the reader. Always think of your reader. Even if the writing is just for a school paper, the last thing you want to do is to bore the reader so that the ending is never reached.

4. Diagrams and tables are useful, but ONLY if they are tied tightly with the text. Don't put them there just for filler because they'll never be looked at. The best idea is to add reference numbers to the diagrams and have text to lead the reader from one point to the next. If that sounds like too much work, maybe the diagram isn't really needed.

5. No one's writing is perfect... every author needs to review and revise their work many times. Most authors get quite tired of reading what they've written by the time it is "finished". Go through your draft many times, each time with a particular thing to fix such as typos or lists or passive tense.

6. For everyone, but especially if you are English-second language, consider reading the text out loud or have the computer read it to you. You may be able to hear problems in the wording easier than you can read them. Also, look at past comments you've received on writing assignments. Likely you often make the same errors every time you write, so pay close attention to how your previous errors were corrected, and go through your document to specifically focus on improving these problem areas. Learn from your mistakes!

7. If you're writing a technical document, your goal is not to make it "beautiful"... your goal is clarity. You want to ensure that anyone who reads what you've written understands your technical messages.

8. Get others to review your draft, but don't take feedback about your writing as an insult about you personally. If you do, you'll never be able to write. Not many people can write a first draft that is perfect... but with many revisions and attention to feedback you can get as close to perfection as possible.

9. Size matters. There are different ways to present your content. Is it an article (average 10 pages or fewer when printed), a tutorial (average 20 to 30 pages when printed), a white paper, a series of articles with a constant theme, or a book?

I read the book as it was being written and wrote a foreword for the book. I've worked with Roger on most of the 20 something books he's published and I'm glad that he wrote this book so I can have many authors to work with in the future who can hopefully come close to Roger's level of skill.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa50835ac) out of 5 stars What a treasure of knowledge! Nov. 4 2011
By Melanie D. Stopfer - Published on
Format: Paperback
What a treasure - an excellent resource for all "future" technical authors. Roger has included all the tips you need to get your articles written and published. Normally I pass books along after I'm finished reading them, but this excellent resource now has a permanent place on my technical bookshelf.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4f71e1c) out of 5 stars Fantastic guide book on how to write articles and books! July 24 2012
By Matthias Nicola - Published on
Format: Paperback
Writing good articles and books is not easy. In "From Idea to Print", Roger Sanders provides highly effective tips and recommendations for all stages of the writing and publication process. The completeness of this book is what impresses me most. Dealing with publishers, producing line arts and illustrations, handling copyright issues, avoiding plagiarism, overcoming writer's block, or conducting reviews of your writing - all of these topics and many more are addressed in this book. Clearly, this book could only have been written by someone with an extraordinary amount of writing experience, such as Roger Sanders. "From Idea to Print" is an invaluable guide for new authors and experienced writers alike!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4fefb64) out of 5 stars Thorough and packed with useful information July 16 2012
By Media Jones - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've been a professional editor in one form or another for 20 years, and I wish that this book had been around for all of that time so that I could have recommended it to aspiring tech writers. It's detailed, specific, and the information is solid. This is a reference work you'll keep around -- I know I will.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa50843fc) out of 5 stars A Must Have Resource for Technical Authors Aug. 3 2012
By R. Bond - Published on
Format: Paperback
Bridging the gap between the writer's mental image of the work and the published reality of that work is beyond challenging. Whether the author has years of experience or is attempting to publish their first technical article, this book provides a comprehensive source of relevant information that will help the writer avoid pitfalls, effectively create and polish their work and ensure that the output is effective and succinct.