How we work on High Performance MySQL Second EditionPeter Zaitsev
Baron have been updating you a lot about chapter by chapter progress so I should not repeat it, instead I thought it would be a good idea to write a bit about how we work on the book.
Generally, quite similar to the previous book this is long process, which is probably what happens when busy people attempt to get time to write a book. I started working on book Outline with Andy Oram (our great editor) about a year ago.
I think I can do decent outlines and I often do my presentations as outline which help me to plan what I should write about. But I get stuck with explanatory writing as soon as it gets much larger than a blog post… Especially when it comes to explaining obvious stuff – I surely could not be the teacher for first graders. Also neither me not Vadim are native English speakers which expected to give Andy a lot of hard editorial work.
Due to these problems, to get better book and get the book out faster we wanted to expand the team and were talking to a few people. At this stage we were joined by Arjen Lentz who has great background for authoring a book being involved in MySQL Support, MySQL Consulting, Documentation, MySQL Training while working for MySQL and now on his own.
Finally we were joined by Baron who could also add value to the Book. I always liked Barons blog posts which were often very explanatory easy to understand and full with examples. They also were large, which means the must be not only good writer but also fast writer. Another strong point of Baron are having experience working with a lot of other database technologies as well as being author of very popular tools – Innotop and MySQL Toolkit.
Initially Andy proposed us to work on the book in classical way, meaning we distribute chapters among us and so each gets few chapters to write. This however did not work quite so well because the skills were a lot different – Arjen and Baron are great at writing. I’m good at finding out less than known facts and practical sides of things and Vadim is good with benchmarks examples and digging source code for answers.
So this is exactly how we ended up splitting out the work and which seems to be going quite well now – I write rather verbose plan for the aspects which need to be covered providing links to presentations blog posts etc. Baron or Arjen use it to write most of chapters which get further in depth review by me and examples benchmarks and further details added by Vadim.
Now we have good progress and getting close to technical review. This is another interesting part. Book needs good reviewers and reviewers with different backgrounds both to fix mistakes and explain things which are not clear enough. On the other hand we have to be selective with reviewers both because we need to be sure we have enough bandwidth to work with them and target all of their points and because there is only so much money in the book budget which is spent on review process.
Anyway it is exciting to book getting close and finally we see light in the end of the tunnel. Generally speaking working on the book proves to be significantly more demanding and time consuming than I anticipated.