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What I learned writing a lousy tech book

swizec
April 01, 2014
550

What I learned writing a lousy tech book

Last year I pounced on a chance to write a book about d3.js. Yes! My first book deal! This is going to be the greatest technical book the world has ever seen. It’s going to sell so many copies and I will be rich and famous and everyone is going to learn so very much!

But I soon found out that stuffing EVERYTHING into 120 pages is ... hard. Editors get in the way and publishers have deadlines and by the time the book came out I hated it. It’s too fast paced, people can’t learn from it, and all the examples I was so proud of are kind of lame.

Turns out there’s a reason why so many technical books are bad. In this talk I’m going to explain why I don’t like mine and how you can do better.

swizec

April 01, 2014
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Transcript

  1. W H AT I L E A R N E D W R I T I N G A
    L O U S Y T E C H B O O K
    S W I Z E C T E L L E R

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  2. L E G A L R E Q U I R E M E N T

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  3. A S T O RY I N T H R E E A C T S

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  4. A C T I
    S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 2

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  5. “ H I , W R I T E A B O O K M AY B E ? ”
    O C T O B E R 2 0 1 2

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  6. W H O , M E ?

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  7. * H A N D - WAV E A N O U T L I N E *

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  8. “ $ $ $ ? ”
    D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 2

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  9. A C T I I
    J A N U A RY 2 0 1 3

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  10. W R I T I N G A B O O K I S E A S Y

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  11. 1 . T H I N K I T

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  12. 2 . L E A R N I T

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  13. 3 . C O D E I T

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  14. 4 . W R I T E I T

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  15. E AT, S L E E P, W R I T E , R E P E AT

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  16. 1 7 9 PA G E S , 6 6 D AY S , 1 7 1 H O U R S
    M A R C H 2 0 1 3

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  17. A C T I I I
    A P R I L 2 0 1 3

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  18. “ W E L O V E I T ! ”

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  19. “ B U T N O T R E A L LY ”

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  20. * R E W R I T E E V E RY T H I N G *

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  21. T W I C E .
    J U N E 2 0 1 3

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  22. A C T I I I … A N D A H A L F
    S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3

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  23. “ L E T ’ S S TA R T T H E R E W R I T I N G ”

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  24. U W O T M 8 ?

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  25. T H I S I S N ’ T I N T R O D U C E D
    I D O N ’ T U N D E R S TA N D
    Y O U A R E N ’ T C L E A R
    E X A M P L E D O E S N ’ T F I T
    Y O U ’ R E J U S T W R O N G
    D O E S N ’ T F O L L O W S TA N D A R D S
    G R A M M E R !
    Y O U S O U N D R U S S I A N
    I C A N ’ T R E A D T H I S C O D E

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  26. * D O N O T R E W R I T E *

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  27. A C T I V
    O C T O B E R 2 0 1 3

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  28. 1 9 4 PA G E S , 1 2 M O N T H S , 3 3 3 H R S

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  29. $ $ $ ? … N O T M U C H
    M A R C H 2 0 1 4

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  30. T H E B E S T WAY T O L E A R N
    A S L O G
    N O T H A R D
    H U M B L I N G
    W R I T I N G A B O O K I S :

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  31. C H E E R S
    @ S W I Z E C

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