“Hey, weren’t you, like, writing a book or something?”
I was and, critically, still am, yes! Though you’d be forgiven for thinking the book was never going to appear, considering how long it’s been since I started.
First things got delayed by a job hunt followed by the resulting job. I took care of that problem nearly a year ago, and remain pleased by the choice I made to do so. After a bit of decompression time, I started writing in earnest only to trip over the first monkey wrench thrown into the works: my editor (whom I adore) had to step away from the project, right after I’d finished the first of three sections of the book. This was saddening, but it was the right move. I miss his guidance, but we’re friends so I still get to speak with him all the time.
This caused a delay as a new editor joined the project at the start of 2023. After that I wrote the next seven chapters, comprising the content for the second of those three sections. Enter the second monkey wrench, and exit the second editor. Again, this was the right move. She had some major life stuff going on and I’m grateful that leaving the project gave her the space to handle that and remain healthy. It was inconvenient for me, but there’s more to life than my convenience.
Still, the subsequent delay lasted a few months as my final editor became available. The waiting wasn’t ideal, but I was willing to press pause for her. When you’re as good as Adaobi is, you’re worth the wait, a fact to which I can and will gladly attest.
Since she joined the project, things have been zipping along smoothly. She’s edited the new chapters, we’ve done a bunch of planning, and the book has been through pub review. This is one of the steps leading up to a beta release. The publisher, Dave, has a look at the book at this later stage to confirm that it is, in fact, still the good fit for Prag that they thought it was. Eep! Judging! Illogical or not, this had me on edge while I tried to patiently await the review. It was a relief when it arrived, and more of a relief when I read it. A sample of what y’all can expect from the book, summarised by Dave:
But beyond simply being fun to read, Vicky did an excellent job showing readers how to use the information she was sharing. Rather than just delivering a bunch of observations from her 20+ years in tech, Vicky shared her knowledge and taught me how to make my own use of it. And that’s exactly what we aim for across the Bookshelf, whether in our programming books or our business ones.
Little known fact: when you work with a publisher you don’t really get to choose the title of your book. You can have a lot of say in it, but the final decision is theirs. This decision (or in my case, a choice between two options; thanks, Dave! 😘) is part of Prag’s pub review, meaning after years of being known only as “FOSS + biz,” the book finally has a title! This next book is called…🥁…
Business Success with Open Source: Strengthen Your Business with Free and Open Source Software
Ta da! 🥳
Continuing the exciting Adaobi-fueled progress, today the first ⅔ of the book went to tech review. Approximately 16 people or so agreed to receive an early copy of the book and provide feedback. It’s the first time that someone outside of the Prag world will see the book, so it’s a little nerve wracking for me. Despite that, I’m very much looking forward to all of their comments. The tech reviewers for Forge Your Future with Open Source found so many ways to improve the work, and I expect the same will happen with this one.
Once I’ve received and integrated their feedback, the book will go to beta! Everyone will be able to get their hands on it at this point, receiving updates as the final few chapters complete.
After so long and so many understandable delays, it’s such a relief to see this progress. I’m grateful to Adaobi and everyone at Pragmatic Bookshelf. This is a great partnership, and one that’s going to result in a truly useful book for all y’all real soon now.