Can you believe it’s been almost four years since the publication of Pro SQL Server 2008 Failover Clustering (Apress; Print | Kindle | PDF) and six since Pro SQL Server 2005 High Availability (Apress; Print | Kindle | PDF)? I can’t. I want to thank everyone who has purchased it and contacted me (coming up to me at a conferecec, e-mailing, etc.) or written a positive review of them, especially the 2008 book. It’s very humbling as well as gratifying to know that all that time spent is worth it. Technical books are not vanity projects nor do you get rich – these are not New York Times bestsellers, which makes them hard propositions for publishers to begin with.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d write follow up. With all of the changes in SQL Server 2012, doing just a book based on FCIs wouldn’t do, so it would need to be bigger. If it was going to be bigger, I wanted to do it more like the 2005 book and tell the whole story but that would be even bigger than just covering features. I first visited possibly writing a book in 2011 when I took a stab at an outline and submitted it to Apress. We went through 6 revisions and at the end of the day, it was just not what they wanted (which was something smaller like my 2008 book). I didn’t want to compromise the vision and integrity of the book. Don’t send them hate mail; they are in the business of making money and my books as noted are not NYT bestsellers. Over time they sell well. It was then I started looking into self publishing. I also would love to be able to be agile and correct things (like some stuff I either dislike or now is wrong – like the DTC thing which I blog about here).
I have been on the fence but did utilmately commit to doing something. My inner writer couldn’t not (I know, double negative) do a book. But it would be a lot of work, especially on my own and with the scope I was looking at, a printed book was no guarantee mainly for cost and size reasons. Timing is everything, and with a topic like mission critical, you need lessons learned so having something out by RTM of SQL Server 2012 wasn’t necessary. The perfect time is usually 12 – 18 months after RTM (which is where we are now). Fast forward to fall. SQL Server 2012 SP1 is released and Windows Server 2012 RTMs, which means that I can write one book and cover everything including all supported OSes (and their variants like Server Core) as well as the patching story. RTM-based book wouldn’t have that. Because I was busy and on the road most of last fall, I shelved things for a bit.
Over the past few weeks I have finally felt inspired again to pick this project back up. I put together a revised outline. I had some people look it over and boy was I over ambitious. Apress was right in a way; that book would not only NOT be digestible, but it’d never get done. I want to tell the whole story, but I’m also not stupid. Here’s where I am:
- Based on the outline comments, I have enough content for three (or four) books. That is the approach I am going to take: split things up into chunks. Right now I’m only committing to the first book, which is the HA technologies and related topics (let’s call that Volume I). Volumes II and II may get written, but let me get through I first!
- Breaking this up allows more agility to get content out quicker and be more focused. As a reader, you will arguably be less overwhelmed, too!
- It will definitely be available as ePub and mobi (for Kindle).
- I may be able to offer a print version (even if on demand) if the size is manageable and cost isn’t bad. Or, if any tech book publishers are interested in picking the book up, contact me.
- I have no formal ETA on Volume I, II, or III. I would like to get Volume I out by TechEd in North America which is about 6 months from now, but no promises.
- I will not announce a release date or give anything like pre-order information until I am at a point where I know I can give a real date.
That is the update. It’s all good news. I hope you’re as excited as I am and the final product will live up to my previous efforts which have been well received.
I appreciate people who have e-mailed me that my 2008 book is out there on sites which shall not be named. Sigh. As you may guess, I do not get rich off of writing. If I calculated the time spent in getting it out the door, I’d lose money. You can’t keep people from doing what they do, but all I ask is that you should try to support authors by buying books. I know times are tough out there and whether it is $29.99 or $69.99, that can be a lot of money to some. That doesn’t make downloading it for free right. It just inhibits people like me from writing future books.