Write a book
Who should consider writing a book?
If you know a technology well, are good at teaching, and feel that the topic needs a book, we want to hear from you. Here's what's needed:
- An expert with deep knowledge of the subject, who is
- Good at teaching those who do not know it, plus has
- Time and writing skills, or at least the time and will to acquire them
For those interested in authoring a book, the first step in the process is to submit a proposal. You can download our proposal form here ManningBookProposal.doc . This form includes a biographical sketch focusing on your qualifications for writing, a one-sentence pitch summarizing the book, and a tentative Table of Contents, along with a few other essentials.
The table of contents
Building a good table of contents for a book is important. While it will keep changing as the book develops, it will become your book's backbone and should be reasonably stable before you start writing. The previously referenced ManningBookProposal.doc will aid you in structuring a good toc.
Our contact info
Please send proposals to email@example.com. In case you would like to discuss your ideas before submitting a proposal, let us know at the same address.
After we have had a chance to review your submission, we will send you feedback, both from us and from outside experts. As a rule, you can expect to revise your proposal several times during the discussions. Once we have a solid plan for the book, we can move to the terms of a publishing agreement and when a contract is signed, the writing begins!
A book is a big deal
For most of our authors, writing a book is the biggest project of their professional lives, the most challenging and the most rewarding. You'll truly master your domain, firmly establish your reputation as an expert, and help many readers become productive with the technology. Writing a book is a big deal, both in the effort and the reward.
Why write for us?
Pride in publishing
Manning takes pride in publishing the highest quality books written by some of the brightest minds in the computer business. Successfully becoming a Manning author demonstrates expertise and commitment to the community that sets you apart. To that end, we provide the authors of every book a team of editors, reviewers, project managers, and others to help them write, control the quality, and manage the process. Additionally when you write for Manning you benefit in these ways:
- The early release of your book in our well-known MEAP (Manning Early Access Program) puts your content in the readers' hands far quicker than traditional publishing processes.
- An editor, backed by an editorial team, helps you write, suggesting improvements on every draft of every chapter, including better examples, graphics, code annotations, and more.
- Three times in the development of the manuscript we do external reviews that provide technical feedback from outside experts and beginners, and we help authors identify valuable advice.
- Manning's marketing team begins promoting your book as soon as we release it in MEAP and continues to do so well after your book is published.
- Combined with traditional book distribution, our direct sales and promotions provide a large, global audience for your book.
- Both MEAPs and published books are available in PDF, mobile formats and, after publication, on Safari Books Online.
- We provide competitive royalties and advances.
The process at Manning
The process of writing a book at Manning is generally broken down into three stages after signing a contract.
Orientation and Sample
We start by introducing you to the details needed to write your book (our processes, content management systems, style guidelines, etc.) and answer any questions you have before you get going.
Once oriented you will meet with your Development Editor who will analyze your table of contents with you and introduce you to some writing techniques while working on a writing sample. We select authors to write our books because they have the technical chops for it. When we sign them, we don't know whether they have the writing chops. Both are required. One or two seven- to ten-page samples in the first three weeks help hone the author's writing (and teaching) abilities. (These pages are later reused in the book, so the effort is not wasted.)
We provide feedback on each new draft, and try to do so within two business days of its submission. You are then given the opportunity to revise the chapter based on the feedback and discussion. Once a chapter is in good shape you move on to the next.
When the first three or four chapters are sufficiently developed and are valuable to readers, we start your book's MEAP. As you write new drafts the MEAP is updated, giving your readers the information they need long before the book is published. A book forum provides an outlet for MEAP readers to give you comments and suggestions. Three times in the writing process we will send the manuscript out for external review. This gives us a fresh, often more technical, reading of your manuscript and often points out key ways that a book can be improved.
Finally, when the manuscript is done it goes into production where it is copy edited, tech proofed, and laid-out prior to going to the printer. During this time we will need your time and attention to help answer questions that arise as we polish your manuscript and turn it into a book. Upon completion you just need to sit back and wait for the final product to ship from the printer (usually preceded by final eBook versions).
liveVideo and other opportunities at Manning
We recently launched liveVideo courses and we're excited about growing our pool of instructors. If you've not done any video before, don't worry about it. What matters is that you are good at explaining complex topics with clarity, passion, and maybe a little humor. We can help you get up and running with video production.
We're looking for people who can produce at least 1 hour of video material, with accompanying code samples, exercises and any written supporting materials. You might want to create a whole course, or you may just want to contribute some shorter lessons. Either way, we're interested in hearing from you. The process is not very different from writing for Manning.
We are also working on producing suites of interactive exercises. If you have technical and teaching abilities but are too busy for a major commitment, let us know. There are many smaller projects we can use your help on and you might find some of them an interesting challenge.