Advice On How To Publish My Book

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Glenn Holland, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Glenn Holland

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 26, 2014
    I'm thinking about writing a technical book for publication (and for profit) and I'm looking for some advice on how to get it published. Interestingly, the book is about the design and operation of elevators.

    I used to work for an elevator contractor, and the field is a relatively esoteric technology with very few authorities on the subject. However, there are hardly any books on the subject either and I may be one of the few who are capable of compiling and writing such a book.

    Why write a book on elevators? Here are a few of many factoids about the field:
    • Elevator engineering is actually a branch of servo-controlled motion much like robotics except we're dealing with the fine control of heavy machinery and huge masses.
    • In some cases, the total moving mass of an elevator mechanical system consists of over 100,000 Lbs. which must be quickly, carefully, and safely positioned during each floor to floor run.
    • Elevators also employ power electronics for the cable propulsion which is provided by very large permanent magnet servo motors that are specially built for the purpose.
    Interestingly, the worlds tallest building was completed in Dubai only a few years ago, but there's hardly any technical information available about the elevators.

    I think I've found a need for some technical writing and I believe I'm the one who can fill it. So I'm wondering if someone might know the details of how to navigate the publishing industry.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  2. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    Ask J.K Rowling. She has already answered that in public, and it starts with, "Get a publisher".
    The process of publishing a book is as foreign to me, and probably you, as electronics is to an average author, or even a good author.
  3. Reloadron

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2015
    I would think first you write the book then find a publisher willing to publish the book. Yeah, get a publisher.

  4. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    Write the book. Sell it on Lulu.
  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    My suggestion for a technical book is to investigate and/or join the professional societies that support that discipline. Some of those groups will have their own and/or preferred publisher. If that is not the case, you will at least be able to find who has published materials in the discipline. You will need a proposal that will include a rough outline of the book and a summary of your qualifications to write it. Individual publishers may have additional requirements (e.g., a market analysis). If you are not established as a writer, having established co-authors or contributors might be an advantage.

    If a publisher shows interest, there will be a contract, but in my experience, there will be no up front money. You will likely get a royalty based on sales and a few free books for family and friends. There is a gotcha. The publisher may insist on a restrictive copyright. In other words, once you publish with it, regardless of what happens, you will be restricted from publishing the same or similar material (e.g., a second edition) with another publisher.

    This does not sound like something that would be a popular textbook. The profit from technical books is pretty slim unless it is a best seller. Be prepared for rejection.


  6. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    Don't wish to discourage you, but if "the field is a relatively esoteric technology" I wouldn't expect huge sales and much profit. That said, you would gain satisfaction from writing it and you could be philanthropic and publish it copyright-free on the web in the public interest.
  7. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
    Since the audience is limited and if you decide to self publish, i would highly recommend you find an editor.

    If you go the self publishing route, the are tons of references out there.
  8. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    You can self-publish eBooks on Amazon. Amazon is always looking for writers and they will accept almost anyone on any topic unless you are claiming to be a technical expert and obviously have no expertise. Otherwise, publish under fiction.

    A woman from my home-town is making a small fortune writing fiction and she has quite a following on Amazon. I have another friend who wrote about wind energy from the perspective of the coal power utility about 6 years ago. It didn't sell many copies but it got him a bigger job at a bigger utility.
    atferrari likes this.
  9. raumut

    New Member

    Jan 29, 2013
    perhaps search for some publishing possibilities in near universitities. there are often groups of students with projects like free publishing etc.
  10. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    Had I to publish something (no, I have not actually) I would use the Amazon option. But I do not know their actual requirements.

    Buena suerte.
  11. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    They basically let you publish anything you want and then they pull the eBook if there are complaints on technical merit. Initial publication is an online upload without any human interaction or qualification. Pretty much like the REPORT button on the bottom left of this post.
  12. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
    Amazon has a free e-book on how to publish on Amazon. First step, get an Amazon account. Second step, get an e-reader. Third step, get the book. Fourth step, read the book. Fifth step write and publish the book. Just don't use any copyrighted material for your cover.. (See the stories about "A Gronking to Remember" and it's being pulled from Amazon.)