This talk is essentially a consolidation of some reflections, confessions, and lessons learned in writing 5 “animal books” for O’Reilly over the course of the past 5 years.
Although it takes a special set of skills to bring any large project to completion, there are particular skills that you inevitably learn and can get better at along the way in writing a book. Unfortunately, most authors don’t write more than one book, so there are relatively few accounts of authors sharing what it’s like to author multiple books along with perspective about the learned skills that are improved and fine-tuned over time.
This talk is a (hopefully) somewhat humorous and enlightening account of my journey in writing 5 books that exposes some of the sacrifices (opportunity costs) involved and lessons learned. It also provides some perspective for anyone who is interested in knowing more about what it “really” takes to write a book…or five of them.
One of the key innovations I’ve recently discovered is the application of “learn startup” principles to the writing process, which is something that I’ll particularly focus on during the last third of the talk. (I wrote about limited aspects of applying “lean” at http://miningthesocialweb.com/2013/08/24/reflections-on-authoring-a-minimum-viable-book/)
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