Writing a Technology Book

Technology Book Publisher Talks Publishing

P8tech is one of the world’s most forward thinking technology book publishers out there. The world of tech moves at breakneck speed, and we pride ourselves on trying to keep pace. We publish books across the technology space although we have historically focused on Java-related and Oracle Enterprise topics.

If you are interested in writing and being published, there are a number of things to be aware of.

Market size

Publishers, like ourselves, try to determine the market size for any book before commissioning it. Market size is normally a small subset of the headline numbers that get bandied around. I.e., if 1 million people are interested in technology X, a book could potentially convert 1-2% of that population into buyers of your book.

Things that affect market size and sales

  • Existing books (e., the amount of competition)
  • The direction of travel for the technology (growing, declining, about to be deprecated!)
  • What the book really accomplishes (see below)
  • Up-to-dateness
  • How focused the book is (200 pages of filler, and 100 pages of usefulness…)
  • Author following (If 9 million people follow you on Twitter, or you have a well-regarded blog, that’s a good sign for the book)

The technology is really new; the numbers for its popularity are probably weak

Fair enough but (and without contradicting the above) all tech started somewhere. Why not take a punt and make a pitch? An editor will be able to help you ascertain the size of the market and whether a book is viable.

Serves a purpose

Technology books need to serve a genuine market need. There is limited value in reproducing existing documentation or covering topics where the web has gazillions of how-tos. Rather, a technology book needs to offer valuable information which simply does not exist out there, or which is super hard to find, or which draws a lot of information together into one user-friendly tome (e.g. curated content).

I’m not sure I can write a technology book

You’ll never know unless you try. In our experience, very few people are incapable of writing a book. Sometimes, work and life can get in the way of writing but – hey – that is the nature of the beast.

What does a pitch look like?

Send an email with the working title of your book and a few lines about what it will accomplish. Add a bit of information about you, and that’s enough to get the ball rolling.

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