Training and Certification

Rubel Khan's Blog

Do you have an idea for a book?

Posted by Rubel Khan on August 18, 2009


Greetings. Last week we pointed to our book survey so that you can tell us how we’re doing trying to create books that meet (and, we hope, exceed) your expectations. Today we’d like to point prospective authors—because without you, we’re nothing—to our “Propose a Book” page. As the page says,

Microsoft Press welcomes proposals for innovative, instructional books about Microsoft products and related technologies. Our books range from information on basic software skills to in-depth advanced subjects, and they cover certification preparation, best practices, general software engineering, and more. If you have an idea for an original book or would like to contribute to one of our established series, we want to hear from you.

You’ll find our proposal guidelines there, which contain information on the following:

  • Suggested book title
  • One-sentence pitch
  • Target audience description
  • Book description
  • Evaluation of competing titles
  • Table of Contents
  • Estimated writing schedule
  • Description of additional components (for example, sample files or code)
  • Author biography
  • Special marketing and sales opportunities
  • Resumé and contact information
  • Writing sample

Our title efficiency rating is the best in the business. Title efficiency is determined by comparing title share to unit market share (or, how many titles does a publisher release to achieve its share of the market?). Compared with the other major technical publishers, Microsoft Press achieves its market share with fewer titles. We do this by trying to make each title great.

Here’s the obvious turn to you, the obvious but crucial turn. Yes, we provide many services for our authors (developmental work, editing, technical review, peer review, desktop publishing, art creation, index creation, cover art and copy, marketing, reputation, and so on), but yours is easily the most important role in our mutual effort. This point can’t be overemphasized.

We’d also like to quickly emphasize that we thrive on working with authors who haven’t written books before. We’ll post more details about our services (that is, how we support you) later, but, heck, even Steve McConnell and Mark Russinovich were first-time book authors when they first published with Microsoft Press, McConnell with the first edition of Code Complete in 1993 and Russinovich with the third edition of Windows Internals (titled Inside Microsoft Windows 2000) in 2000. (Tellingly, we’re still working with both Steve and Mark. Microsoft Press has many long-term relationships with authors.)

Thanks in advance for getting in touch about your book ideas. We look forward to hearing from you!


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