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RE: Technical Book Slump

free technical books
Yes.  That is what I am told as well by other authors.  In some cases, the
managing editors suspended support work (eg, technical editing) without
notification in the middle of a project.   Others paid up on work completed
to date and apologized.  How are authors being treated?  Considering how
much work is needed to do a thorough job, it must be painful to watch a
book project slide into the sandtrap of current events.  dot.bomb was painful
as any stock bubble is, but also, embarassing.  9/11 is just mammalian
hesitation.  It shouldn't have a long term effect on books and might even
spawn some new genre.   The "XML Homeland Defense for Dummies" should
be a big seller. :-)
I would have thought that 9/11 and the subsequent reductions in conference
attendance would have increased the need for books.  Perhaps the slack
is showing up on these technical lists (who is ready to reply to the fellow
who just spammed every member of this list plus the list itself with an
honest but misapplied request for help....).  I note that the traffic to the XSLT
Mulberry list remains consistent.
If you can say, are any of you that maintain pay-for-play training sites
seeing changes in traffic?  What about the free-for-play sites?
Actually, a reduction in the number of "will be doorstops before the
check to B&N cashes" books may be a good thing in one sense.   While this
is going on, some technologies will become a bit more solid
at the edges and that will improve the manuscript content.

From: AndrewWatt2000@a... [mailto:AndrewWatt2000@a...]
In a message dated 25/03/02 20:25:31 GMT Standard Time, clbullar@i... writes:

Anyone noticed that technical book publishing is in something
of a slump right now?  

Yes it is. One reason is that many/most/all technical publishers cancelled at least some books after the combination of dot.bomb and the events of 11th September. If income was down (which it was) then the reflex response from an accountant is to cut outgoings which attempts to balance the books in the short term but cancelling books is eating seed corn, in a sense.

Those cancellations from Autumn (Fall) 2001 are now feeding through in the beginning of a reduction of arrival of new titles.I suspect the knock-on effects could be there for maybe another 6 months or so. Some publishers are still pretty nervy.


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