[erlang-questions] on writing [was: ANN: Designing for Scalability with Erlang/OTP by O'Reilly]

Miles Fidelman mfidelman@REDACTED
Tue Jul 8 23:10:54 CEST 2014

Joe Armstrong wrote:
> So how will you find a good editor?
> Your book one had "a Phenomenal Editor" and book two a "Horrible editor"
> I guess I would self-publish if I could find a phenomenal editor, and a
> phenomenal proof reader and marketer but if I could do all these
> things I guess I'd just start a publishing company.

Well... I'm in a funny position, in that I write pretty good prose, and 
get called on to edit a lot of stuff (I spend about half my work life 
writing proposals for a living).

But... having said that - my observation, from my limited sample of two 
books, and two publishers, is that if one signs with a publisher, you're 
stuck with whomever they assign - so it's a pretty good idea to 
interview and sign off on an editor before signing the book deal.  Not 
sure if that's practical or not unless you're a name author.  So... if 
O'Reilly routinely assigns good editors, that's a pretty good reason to 
sign with them.

Beyond that, an awful lot of people I know rely on peers to review and 
edit their writings - quid pro quo and all that.  Putting drafts online, 
and soliciting review and comment, seems like another model that has 
worked for some.

The other choice is to hire an editor - but that starts to get expensive.

As to marketing - my observation is that most publishers look to their 
authors to promote their works - maybe they'll arrange a book tour for 
you, and maybe they'll pick up some expenses, but probably not for small 
market items.  The value add of traditional publishers seems to go down 
> Just "writing the damn text" is only a part of the story ...
Well yeah, but ain't that always the case. :-)


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

More information about the erlang-questions mailing list