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Editor’s Note: ‘Book of Audacity’ is Here!

by Carla Schroder
Managing Editor

At last, after two years of toil, my latest book “The Book of
Audacity: Record, Edit, Mix, and Master with the Free Audio Editor”
is hot off the presses. The digital edition is available now, and
the dead-tree version is scheduled to be out March 15th. Please
enjoy the free sample chapter Transferring Vinyl LPs (and
Other Legacy Media) to CD
.

I get a fair bit of mail from folks who want to write books, or
think they do. There is a very easy test to determine if you have
what it takes to be a writer: Do you write? Blogs, journals,
diaries, articles, stories, whatever– a writer writes.

The next test is your self-motivation. Writing is a solitary
task and there is no one but you to keep you going. I love to
write. My writing is fueled by the things I do. I learn something
cool and want to pass on what I’ve learned. When someone asks me
“Where do you get your ideas?” I cringe a little because I’ve heard
it so many times. It makes me wonder what goes on inside their
heads– anything? My problem, like so many of my colleagues, is
having more ideas than I’ll ever be able to explore.

Deciding whether to write for a publisher or to self-publish is
the next big decision. Self-publishing is easier than ever, both
print and digital, and Linux has all the tools you need to write
and typeset. Working with a publisher means more bureaucracy, but a
good publisher helps you write a better book and relieves you of
the production and distribution hassles. Either way you’ll need to
do your own marketing. A publisher will do some, but likely not
enough.

Writing a book is many times more work than you ever think it
will be. No matter how many times you proofread, or have someone
else proofread, errors will creep in. Every time you re-visit it
you’ll see things that could be done better. It’s easy to drive
yourself crazy. On the other hand, the satisfaction of having
actually written a whole book, something you can hold in your
hands, is indescribable. Especially when you know you did a good
job. Maybe not perfect, it will never be perfect, but pretty darn
good is a nice feeling. A book is more than a pound or two of
paper, it is the most valuable thing on Earth: Knowledge and
experience in a compact, portable, durable form. It is the most
efficient, inexpensive medium for passing on knowledge. Digital
books can easily be converted to audio for people with vision and
reading impairments, and finally make inexpensive color publishing
possible.

A big issue to think about is editorial control and
independence. I have hopes that the ease of publishing and
distribution over the Internet is encouraging a whole new
generation of talent in all arenas, who can connect directly with
their audiences and cut out the middle-people. Which brings us to
the importance of a free, unfettered Internet, but we know that
already.

Resources

Interview with Amber Graner on Linux Pro Magazine:
The Audacity of Carla Schroder

Traditional publishing: Most publishers have detailed
information on topics they are interested in and how to pitch to
them.
Nostarch Press “Write for
us!”

Packt Publishing’s Author
Website

Writing for
O’Reilly

Self-publishing is more work. You retain complete control, and
might make more money.

POD for Profit: More on the NEW Business of Self Publishing


Self Publishing with Lightning Source PoD


Writers: Making a Living Off of Kindle?