My book hits Amazon top 100 in Technology
The rankings change frequently, but yesterday, the day before My First MS Press Book was officially released, it broke the Top 100 on Amazon's rankings for Computer and Internet. It's sitting at 2,537 overall which is very cool but we have a long way to go.
In short, I've been working with the wonderful folks at Grandmasters and Microsoft Learning on a few of the training guides for the new certification exams.
Here's the background on MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Application Development Foundation (Pro - Developer) (Paperback) . And here's the Official link for the book at Microsoft.
I'm working on a few more now and man, it's been very interesting. For the past few months, I've done little else other than write. I didn't really understand how much work writing can be but more importantly, I didn't realize how much I was going to learn. Working with Lisa Kreissler at Grandmasters and Maureen, Laura and Ken at Microsoft was one of the best experiences I've had. Working with Shawn Wildermuth and Tony Northrup was also great. Just being able to say I co-authored a book with Shawn Wildermuth is pretty darned cool.
So I'm finishing up my next book which is MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exams 70-529): Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Distributed Application Development (Pro Certification) (Paperback) and it will be out soon. I'm working with some great folks on it too.
Finally, my Speech Server book with APress will be out in November and I'm equally excited about it. After all, it's going to be the first book out there on Microsoft Speech Server and having Marshall Harrison as my tech editor is going to be great.
One thing I can say with absolute certainty - if you are an aspiring author, you simply can not beat working with Microsoft Press/Microsoft Learning and/or Apress. They are a joy to work with in most every respect (and although I haven't worked with Addison-Wesley yet as an author, I've done a lot of reviewing for them and they are a real class act as well).
Getting into writing has been intersting indeed. I got to work with Wally McClure and a bunch of other great guys on my first two books, but i had a minor roll doing about 5 chapters with two books. I got in really late into the project so I didn't really get the full experience. Just like software, doing the full life cycle on a book teaches you quite a bit about the process. I learned more about Microsoft Word and templates in a few months than I did hereto for. When you first start, things can be frustrating. There's a lot you don't think about that becomes a major issue when you're publishing. Screen shots, consistency of styles, structuring your document and too many more to mention are major issues so when you first are stumbling around, it can be frustrating to say the least. but like everything else, after you start learning the ropes, you make a lot more progress and things get easier. And more fun. Now that I'm familiar with the process, I can write things in about 1/3 the time it took me when I first started. I'm not sure if anyone is interested in me writing about writing, but if you are, lemme know b/c I'll be glad to share a lot of what I've learned and discuss what the process is like.
Up until a year ago, I had always wanted to be an author but wasn't sure if it would ever happen or not. I'd get very excited about it but it was also fairly intimidating so I never moved on it. My buddy Wally helped get me started and I'm eternally grateful for it. Being able to get started with just a few chapters was great b/c it allowed me to get familiar with the process without making the full fledged committment of writing an entire book. It's been about a year since I first started writing books professionally and now I'm on my 6th! What a difference a year can make. It can be stressful and frustrating at times, but I wouldn't change it for the world - I wish all my decisions turned out as well.
I'm going to go now b/c I've been neurotically watching the Amazon rankings (just what I needed, another neurotic obsession to fill my time with )