Friday, September 05, 2008

Book stuff..

My latest book has shown up on Amazon. It's the OCP prep guide for Oracle Database 11g. I'm pretty excited about it, and I think it's going to be a bang up book!

My old friend and co-author from back in the Coriolis days, Charles Pack (who is also author of an Oracle Press book), is co-authoring this book with me. Charles is a great writer and fantastic Oracle guy. I'm looking forward to his work on this project.

Writing books is a love hate affair for me. Sometimes I love the work, sometimes I hate the work. For 3-4 months it's deadline, schedule, write, deadline, write, deadline, etc... then, there are the edits.

Every chapter you write goes to a technical editor and then a copy editor. These folks take your hard work and turn it on its ear. In the end, it makes a much better product, but it also tends to make authors sick (at least it does me sometimes). Once these daemons of the dark have done their work, you have to go back through, review their changes and questions and fix any mistakes. There is more to the process, but maybe I'll comment on later processes as we get on down the line.

Book writing is an amazing process, and it's a wonder but mistakes do still get though, sometimes big ones. Nothing makes me sicker than to pull a brand spanking new book out of the box, open it up and then find the first mistake. Ackkkkkk!!!!

Then, there are the reviews. Oh man, maybe that's a whole different post too. Suffice to say, your first sweet review makes for a great day. The first sour review makes you swear you will never write another word. They can be painful.

For those of you who think that those of us who write get rich off of the deal, please think again. I've written 13 books now (I think).... for the first 4 I didn't see any royalties. Yes, I did get some advances, but if you figure out how many hours you write and divide it by the advances... well I just calculated it out and it comes to maybe 15 to 20 dollars an hour (and thats being very liberal with how much time I spend per chapter). I can tell you that if you have a popular book, you can make more than that, but you don't sell books in the millions like Steven King. Royalty checks are nice, but there is never any guarentee.

So, why do I write? One, I like it. Two, I have to admit that the emails I get on a regular basis about my RMAN book in particualr are very motivating. I've had people tell me that my book pulled their database from certain death. That is very motivating. I also find it keeps me up on the latest and greatest. I think it's too easy to be complaciant in our DBA jobs. Doing what we do, the normal way we do it. Well, the technology and the job is a-changin'... I want to be there as it does and be a part of it.

Finally, lest you think writing is easy work, I can probably find a writing project for you if you are glutting for punishment and can write. :-) You will hate me after six months probably.

Hail Oracle!!

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