Getting published may or may not bring you what you consider a worthwhile article fee; it may not yield significant book royalties. But it will add an impressive credential to your rsum, build your reputation as an expert, lay your passionately held conviction about some IT issue before thousands of your peersand boost your ego. (There is something highly satisfying about turning the pages of a handsomely designed, influential IT magazine and coming upon your article. The psychic reward will probably be just as strong a year later, when, on rereading your piece, you still find your argument persuasiveeven powerful.)
Time and time again Ive seen a programmer become something of a name , based on his writing, notes Merrikay Lee, president of MC Press (the publisher of this book). The path usually starts with the writers submitting tips/techniques (300 to 800 words) to magazines. Often the writer doesnt get paid for them, or the payment is just a pittance. But if the tips/techniques are good, they will get the attention of an editor.
That often leads to writing articles for a magazine. The going rate at MC Press Online (which publishes MCMagOnline and MC RPG Developer ) is about 20 cents a word, although that certainly varies from publication to publication. Once a writer has proved that he can write and that he has important information to share, a book is a natural follow-on.
Asked about royalties, Merrikay says, They vary. A would-be author, in my opinion, should take on a book project for the prestige and career-building opportunities rather than for the royalty money. A frank discussion with the publisher after a book proposal has been made will usually give the author a good idea of what kind of royalties can be expected.
But the additional perks can be substantial. Sometimes, publishing articles can lead to speaking engagements at technical conferences or seminars . It also can turn into consulting engagements that can be very lucrative. Perhaps the best way to think about it is that a book can turn a programmer into the recognized expert in his or her field. Where he takes that advantage is up to him.