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Advice for writing your first tech book, from an O?Reilly author

Packt Publishing
Browser Networking

Andy Grove’s
Daniel Rosenwasser
Ben Horowitz


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Those are the sorts of things you can only learn through lots of research and practice, and that was sorely missing from the handful of relatively brief and practical TypeScript guides out there today.The rest of this post is a brief laundry list of tips for writing your own technical book.Make 'em fight for it. I’d actually been thinking about the idea for a few months, having sent a series of unreturned cold emails to an O’Reilly acquisitions editor pitching a handful of topics to write about (one that’s close to my heart, which I hope to revisit someday, is a book that teaches you functional programming in JavaScript, starting from basic middle school algebra). Like any other engineering project, the time you think it will take to write a book is going to end up being a fraction of the time it actually takes. Even if you’re a subject matter expert with an outline in hand, there are a lot of unknowns: the time it takes to do research; the time it takes to come up with good examples; the time it takes to derive reference implementations; the number of times you delete and re-write sections to get them right; the overhead of coordinating contributors, and so on. With an outline, it’s easy to know how far you’ve come, and how long you have left to go.Schedule regular time to write: every morning, every weekend, etc. Explore different ways to do a thing and run it by as many people as you can; then, pick an option – no one else can do that for you.If you’re just starting to write your technical book, or have been thinking about taking the leap, I hope this list helps you.

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