Unofficial Vista Blog Tour, Day 4 - The Other Side of Book Reviews
Earlier this year, I reviewed The Unofficial Guide to Windows XP. Derek Torres and Stuart Mudie have just finished up the Unofficial Guide to Windows Vista, which is a warts-and-all look at the new Windows operating system, due out in February by Wiley.
Over to Derek!
Unofficial Vista Blog Tour, Day 4: The Other Side of Book Reviews
I want to thank my gracious host, Duffbert, for letting me squat some valuable screen real estate to talk about the other side of the book review - writing the book!
At long last, I’ve just finished up The Unofficial Guide to Windows Vista with my good friend Stuart Mudie. Duffbert was kind enough to write a review for The Unofficial Guide to Windows XP that I had helped co-write earlier in the year.
If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, my advice is to go for it! The two things you will need most are a good agent (which we definitely have) and something to say (which we hope we have). It can be an uphill task getting any major publisher to look at your idea without a seasoned agent to push things along. If you get your foot in the door, it may be in very large part to your agent’s persuasive skills.
The second requirement is to have something to say and to be timely. Fortunately, every major release from a software or operating system editor means that there’s more work for authors looking to write about these releases. Of course, computer books are hardly limited to Microsoft technologies, so try to write about something that is both relevant and of interest to you!
Once all the paperwork is out of the way, let the juices flow! If you are writing for a series, you may be asked to respect certain writing requirements - notably tone, voice, first versus third person, etc. - but you have full creative control over the actual content. Typically, you can submit by chapter and then your work goes through a grammar/content review and then a technical review. Once the review cycle is complete, you can accept or veto suggested changes and then it’s off to production where the book is put together before printing.
If you manage to produce a book that holds to schedule and establish a good working relationship with your editors, you can almost be sure that they’ll come back to you and ask *you* about writing for them instead of the other way around!
If you’re interested in finding out more about our book, please feel free to visit our companion web site at www.unofficialvista.com!
Derek Torres, co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Windows Vista.