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39 Resources for Technical Book Authors – From Proposals, Contracts, Publishing and Marketing

39 Resources for Technical Book Authors – From Proposals, Contracts, Publishing and Marketing
It seems like everyone at some point in their lives wants to be a writer. You have things to say and you need a way to say them to a large audience. That’s why blog writers are so abundant today. And some of you also have probably thought that you should write a book. Many of you have at least one book in you, so why not dream of writing it. Like software, a technical book covers so many aspects that you have to talk to as much people as you can to get the big picture as well as all those small details that make the difference. In the other hand, technical book publishers may include full-length manuals, textbooks, schematics, scientific reports, industry standards, and instructional publications.

In this compilation, you’ll find resources from various areas of technical writing, including tips, book proposals, how to handle contracts, royalties, hiring editors, approaching publishers, self-publishing, marketing, writing workflows and other stories. The process for normal and best selling authors is the same, so we hope this list will help you to get your first or next book out.

Must Reads

  1. Scott Meyers’ Advice to Prospective Book Authors
  2. Writing A Technical Book: Is It Worthwhile?

Book Proposals

  1. Author Interviews – Discover how these authors got where they are, and learn what advice they have for you on your own journey.
  2. Drafting a Proposal – Que Publishing
  3. The Proposal – O’Reilly: So You Want to Write a Book?

Book Proposals

  1. Apress Standard Contract
  2. Book Contract: What’s Negotiable and What’s Not
  3. No Starch Press Standard Contract
  4. Scott Meyers’ Advice on Contracts
  5. The Contract – O’Reilly: So You Want to Write a Book?

Royalties, Advances, and Other Money Stuff

  1. How Book Advances Work – A Simple Explanation for Writers
  2. Royalties and Advances (O’Reilly: So You Want to Write a Book?)
  3. Scott Meyers on Royalties, Advances, and Other Money Stuff – The benefits for writing a technical book, and the basics of how book advances work.
  4. Typical O’Reilly Advance Structure
  5. Writing A Technical Book: Is It Worthwhile?


  1. Scott Meyers on the Importance of a Good Editor
  2. Writing and Editing – O’Reilly: So You Want to Write a Book?


  1. Scott Meyers’ Advice on Finding a Publisher


  1. Marketing Your Book – O’Reilly: So You Want to Write a Book?


  1. Ask HN: Considerations when asked to write a book?
  2. Scott Meyers on Advance Sales, and How They Are Impacted by The Delivery Schedule – A discussion on Hacker News where many authors discuss their experience.

List of Publishers

  1. Apress
  2. Manning Publications
  3. No Starch Press
  4. O’Reilly
  5. Packt Publishing
  6. Pearson – Parent company for Addison-Wesley, Prentice Hall Professional, Que, Sams, and more.
  7. The Pragmatic Programmers
  8. Wrox

Self Publishing

  1. Self vs Professional Publishing – The pros and cons of each, plus a look at many of the options available for self publishing.

Writing Workflows and Tooling

  1. Living the Future of Technical Writing – Scott Chacon shares his workflow and tools for writing “Pro Git” in Asciidoc.

Personal Experiences, Post Mortems and Campfire Stories

  1. The ASP.NET 2.0 Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks – by Scott Allen, Jeff Atwood, Jon Galloway and Phil Haack
  2. Tips for Writing a Programming Book – Jeff Atwood’s warning to potential writers.
  3. Writing a Programming Book: FAQs after Writing Learning React Native – Adam Tornhill shares experience gained writing his three books (two of them self published).
  4. Writing a Technical Book – Michael Foord shares his experience publishing with Apress.
  5. Writing a Technical Book – Motivation, Publishing and how to stay focused without ruining your Life.