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Author Guidelines for InfoQ Mini-books

InfoQ  mini-books are designed to be extremely concise, intending to serve technical architects looking to get a firm conceptual understanding of a new technology or technique in a quick yet in-depth fashion. You can think of these books as covering a topic 'strategically' or 'essentially'. After reading a mini-book the reader should have a sense of fundamental understanding of a technology, including when and where to apply it, how it relates to other technologies, and an overall feeling that they have assimilated the combined knowledge of other professionals who have already figured out what this technology is about. The readers will then be able to make intelligent decisions about the technology once their projects require it, and can delve into other sources of more detailed information (such as larger books, or tutorials), at that time.

Value to the writer

Mass exposure. The books will gain an order of magnitude more exposure via free online distribution. This will better spread the name and message of the writer internationally, and to far more people than would be possible via book-store or online subscription based services. We will promote the book via our channels:

  • The InfoQ main page www.infoq.com which has around 800,000 unique visitors per month
  • The InfoQ weekly newsletter which goes to over 200,000 subscribers
  • The InfoQ twitter account promotion

More profit / higher royalties. The book will be freely downloadable(.pdf, epub, mobi) but a professionally published on-demand print version will be available as well, with an extended reach including sales through Amazon. Strong sales of previous titles suggest that mass distribution of the PDF version means more people buy a print edition. C4media's business model is unique - we benefit by increased awareness of infoq.com as well as people registering to get the book. We are not organized to depend on book revenue like a traditional publisher. Thus, we can offer the writer 70% royalties instead of < 10% that typical publishers give, which comes down to about $5-$7 a book on a ~$20 mini-book - a lot more than the typical 8% royalty on a $40 bigger book.

No upfront costs for the author. While other publishers might charge the author to print their books (formatting and promotion costs), InfoQ offers this service free of charge to the book author. 

The possibility to publish updated versions of the book. As new information becomes available in the software development world, the authors might want to update their books to reflect the changes in this field. The online version update is done quickly and easily for the author.

Exposure and Profit increase with time. As the repository of mini-books grow and infoq.com traffic grows, more and more people will download and possibly buy the books as time passes. Even if a book should go out of date, since it is only around 60 pages, updating it is quick and easy and thus exposure and profit levels can be maintained.

Increase sales of other books or services. If you have already written a larger book on the same topic, the mini-book can refer to it for more information. Or, if you are delivering services related to the topic of the book, the mini-book can end off with a mention of your services to drive more business.

Proposals

Submitting a proposal is straightforward. If you have already written a book, simply submit the draft and we will evaluate it. If you have not already written your first draft, create a one-paragraph abstract describing your idea and include a brief outline that highlights the points you plan to cover. The outline and abstract need not be formal, but they should convey enough information that we can evaluate your idea. Please include a proposed title and the timeframe in which you plan to submit your completed draft. Also be sure to include complete contact information with your proposal.

Once we receive your proposal, we'll review it and provide feedback on its suitability for InfoQ's audience. Often we will make suggestions that will improve your proposal. Upon acceptance of your proposal, we will pair you with an editor and a technical reviewer who will perform a deeper review on the substance and provide you with iterative feedback to prepare it for publishing.

Document format

Whilst you can, of course, use any tool to author your book but we ask for the final manuscript to be submitted in Word (.doc or .docx format) to give us a common base for generating the PDF, mobile and print formats.

Community and Audience

InfoQ is a practitioner-driven community of team leads and architects, and articles are written by our peers. Our readers are senior technical influencers who are voracious learners, and they often influence innovation within their organizations. While software development may constitute a portion of their overall responsibilities, our readers often must wear multiple hats on their teams. Here are some of their primary day-to-day activities:

  • Managing a development team
  • Overseeing development testing/QA
  • Helping dev teams adopt TDD, BDD and good refactoring practices
  • Project management: Ensuring projects are delivered on time and within scope
  • Overseeing integration of cross-departmental and B2B systems
  • Overseeing operations and ensuring system up-time
  • Application design & architecture
  • Requirements management: Gathering customer requirements and translating these into technical specifications

InfoQ copyright statement

  • InfoQ respects the moral rights of any author, therefore the authors will retain the copyright for any content produced while InfoQ will retain the distribution rights.
  • In publishing a mini-book, the author grant InfoQ an exclusive right to publish the free online version of the book. Under these rights InfoQ shall be the sole free online source of the collective work, and all references to the work including blogs and social media should point to the landing pages on InfoQ.
  • InfoQ may also translate the works for publication on InfoQ China, InfoQ Brazil, InfoQ France and InfoQ Japan.
  • The author(s) are free to use excerpts from the book for any reason without permission so long as InfoQ remains the sole free source for the collective work. As a point of clarity, no copyrights are requested, merely the right to publish. Copyrights remain with the authors
  • InfoQ will remove any mini-book if the author requests that InfoQ do so.
  • InfoQ does not agree to any third party reposting in its entirety any work such as but not limited to article/interview/news/presentation/mini-book that appears on InfoQ. We permit the posting of a summary and then a link back to the InfoQ landing page.
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