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E-book edition of Technical Writing Process published

Technical Writing Process e-bookOops, I’m late to my own party – before I had a chance to announce the publication of the e-book edition of the Technical Writing Process, several copies have been sold without me even realising.

Here’s the link to Amazon: Technical Writing Process

How did this happen? Well, I pushed the ‘publish’ button on the e-book edition on Amazon several days ago, fully expecting that it would take that long to get through Amazon’s review process (they advise something like 12-72 hours). It was published within several hours, much to my amazement, and over the week I’ve been busy working on some urgent tender documents so haven’t had a chance to check how it’s going.

Three copies have now been sold:

March 05: 2 units
March 07: 1 unit

I am absolutely thrilled, but won’t be following up with a broader announcement till the paperback edition is published. Due to a couple of false starts with the graphic design, this has taken several months longer than I’d anticipated, but with the help of my wonderful designer Sanja Spajic I’m now back on track and close to publishing the paperback edition (we’re now up to Chapter 4).

Incidentally, I am impressed with how well Amazon’s default converter handled the MS Word document, and wonder if this had something to do with the speed it went through Amazon’s review. The best results (I tried a few test conversions) seem to come from keeping the MS Word stylesheet very simple and clean – sticking to the default heading and paragraph styles – and this seems to have resulted in a very clean-looking e-book (at least to my eyes – I might be slightly biased!).

When will the book be published?

Here’s a quick update on where the Technical Writing Process is up to. As you can see, I’m still ironing out a few bugs here and there in the website. Please let me know if you spot something that’s broken. I’ll be making the templates available for download soon in the next week or two. These will be available via Gumroad, until I set up proper payment facilities on the website.

Most importantly, the book isn’t published yet. It’s currently with the graphic designer, Adam Burns. I’m hoping that design will be finalised by the end of October, after which there’ll be a round of proofreading with my editors, Indigo Editing. This should allow me to publish in mid-November 2014 as originally planned.

The plan is to publish the book in eBook and paperback formats. The paperback version will be published through Amazon Createspace, a print-on-demand vendor that seems to be Amazon’s “plug and play” printing service. The eBook will be full colour, but the paperback will be black and white, at least initially, due to Createspace making it uneconomical to print books with a high page count in colour.

Here’s an illustration: a snapshot of the Createspace royalty calculator, with the price point set at $55. The kicker is the “Expanded Distribution” channel – if the price is any lower than $55, the numbers start to go negative (i.e. I’d be making a loss for every copy sold):

createspace-royalty-calculator-screenshot

If the book does end up selling enough copies, I’ll investigate a cheaper colour option through a different printer. I really hope it does, because I want to see it in colour! Even if it doesn’t sell enough copies I might do a small print run in colour at a local (i.e. Australian) printer.