Comments on John Resig’s “Programming Book Profits” (and on Self-Publishing)

I also exchanged email with Gayle Laakmann McDowell, the author of Cracking the Code Interview. She’s written up a lot of what she learned about self-publishing here: Everything I Know About Self-Publishing. I highly recommend reading it if you are writing a technical book. I also previously wrote a blog post on this topic: Lessons Learned From Writing a Technical Book to Teach Programming.

One last note: 100% of my author royalties for Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python are donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Creative Commons, and the Tor Project. (I later learned that Beautiful Code by Andy Oram and Greg Wilson have all author royalties donated to Amnesty International.) I do this not just because these are organizations that deserve support, but because I’d like to set an example for others to follow. Writing programming books isn’t often a very profitable enterprise (I still have my day job). Rather than a source of income, I see these books as a way to help others educate themselves.

I end this post on programming book profits by saying that the “Thank You” emails I get from readers has been fare more enriching than any royalty check. I can only encourage others to put their talents to similar use.

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