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Writing a book about Maatkit

I’ve decided to start writing a book about Maatkit. The working title is Using Maatkit. The goal is to provide another angle onto the tools; the docs are quite good in my opinion, but they only say what the tools do. The book will tell you how to use the toolkit to accomplish tasks.

I have no clue when it’ll be done. There is no schedule. At the current rate, it’ll take a while. I posted an outline to the Maatkit mailing list.

I have a few goals for the project. I want it to be printable-quality material (with an index and professional copyediting, which I have already figured out will cost me a pretty penny), but I also want to be able to update it quickly. I’ve had a number of discussions about this idea over the last year with folks in the publishing business, and although there’s potential for printing and selling it like a normal book, or doing a print-on-demand model, I think I’d like to take a slightly different approach.

Here’s what I think I’m going to do for the time being: You’d be able to buy it as a PDF online. After I release a new edition, I’ll post the old edition online for free, along with the TOC and some front matter, etc from the new edition.

My initial thought is that this would be a one-person perpetual license. I might also consider a company-wide license. Future editions would be a free upgrade. I’m not set on that path, though.

I wouldn’t encrypt the PDF; I’d just trust buyers with the honor system. I take it as a given that there’s no way to prevent unauthorized redistribution of the book. It did not take long for High Performance MySQL to be downloadable from all sorts of unethical sites as a PDF and in .chm format, so I think it’s futile to fight it.

On another note, I’m having fun with the project so far, and falling in love with LaTeX all over again. It is such a joy to work with after writing a huge book in a word processor without real version control.

Posted on Thu, Jun 4, 2009. Approximately 400 Words.

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