Community Charity work

A couple of weeks ago inspired by George and Chris's efforts I asked everyone some questions about writing a book and got a ton of good feedback. Man everyone was so nice... its always a boost to the ego that even though I let http://thezbuffer.com die a death a few years ago that so many folk still care enough to comment and email.

So while I've not made a decision I have to say you encouraged me to really think about it again. Watch this space in a week or so when I'll go over some ideas I have.

Some other feedback:

  1. Honestly I didn't mean to demean other authors, but I got the impression I probably did. Everyone has work they do for reasons other than money - lets call them our community charity projects. I've probably spent more time in the xna, and prior to that the msdn, forums than any of the authors have spent on a book and nobody paid me a penny. Its helped me get a few jobs for sure but the $ per hour is probably less than any author ever got. So yes I know you didn't write a book for money - you did it for the same reasons as I have blogged, answered questions and spoken at user groups. I understand why you did it, you do it and why you will continue to do it.
    The post was really more about *me*. Writing is not something that I do 'for fun' so it feels like a job and for that I want what seems to be a fair compensation. Fame and reputation are not enough when I feel like I already have a fair amount of that. The feeling of 'I wrote a book' is something I get and probably the reason its always at the back of my mind. I guess its just not as big a goal of mine as it is for others - that's fine everyone has different goals.
    Additionally my experience with some of the publishers makes me feel that there is a certain amount of exploitation going on and I don't like how that feels. I've also seen how books are rushed to market, often by no name authors with release date and buzz words being more important than technical correctness. Books become a risk management strategy for the publisher who has to make a profit so I understand that to. I just don't like it!
  2. Several folk suggested I go all web 2.0 publishing and either offer content for free, ad based or payment based. Right now I feel like I do plenty of free community work - ask my girlfriend who is not above pointing out when the forums are more important than her. Ad based sites are great but really the $$ are enough to cover your hosting, a few books and maybe a new hard drive once in a while. At peak I was lucky to clear $500 a year in ads and amazon associates on the ZBuffer. As for payment based content - that either means a commerce system and hackers/paypal woes, a DRM system and annoyed users or me trusting people to pay and sorry but I have little faith in the majority of the internet there. So while I love my blogging and one day I hope to find some time to update the ZBuffer once again that will continue to be what I consider my community charity work along with the forums. I can do this as and when I like without a commitment and without paying customers at my throat . It does get me an MVP award with a few benefits and the reputation to get jobs and most importantly I love doing it. So sorry - web content isn't going to happen. At least not just web content...
Things are a bit busy this week and next but whatever I decide to do there will be a post summarizing the questions (so if you have not given feedback then feel free to comment) and probably some more questions about how I might be able to make this work and stay happy.

 Oh and for those who have read this far someone sent me this link - a very inspiring read for wannbe authors http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2010/06/28/how_to_write_a_book.html

Published 08 July 2010 12:48 PM by zman
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