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Re: Technical Book Slump

technical books sales
In a message dated 25/03/02 21:27:53 GMT Standard Time, clbullar@i... writes:

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. 

I have heard stories of anything from cancellation (I had one of those after chapters were beginning to be turned in), through postponement, books going through to publication without tech editing. I guess all of those things are due to trying to reduce short term outgoings as you suggest.

Worst scenario at the moment seems to be authors who wrote for Coriolis which is rumoured to be in big financial trouble and apparently isn't paying out royalties. That has hit a few people really hard. I am not sure if XML people are involved in that one.

I would have thought that 9/11 and the subsequent reductions in conference
attendance would have increased the need for books. 

Apparently computer book sales were down anything from about 15% to 50%, depending on publisher at the bottom of the dip.

There are signs that sales are beginning to pick up again now. It wouldn't surprise me if some authors who were hit by the slump don't take on any more authoring - it is much simpler to just do regular consultancy, or even take a job. :) You know what work you are doing for what return.

Andrew Watt


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