30 September 2019

4 September I had an appointment with Jérôme, to discuss the first finished chapter and the entire table of contents for the French version of my first book. He had a few suggestions for small modifications, but nothing huge. For example, it is better not to include an entire configuration file in the book, but only the most important parts, and then publish the entire file online. And it would look better if I would merge some of the smaller chapters, so that all chapters would be roughly the same size. A new appointment was made for a week later.

The new appointment was the 12th, and that was a short one: all lights green!

So, the 23rd I had another appointment with Julie, to dot the i's: the choice of the contract type (fixed price or royalties), the date the manuscript must be finished, and a list of things that are necessary to make up the contract (copy of my passport, proof that I pay taxes in France, et cetera).

And last Friday, just before I left to go home, I was finally given the contract!
Last weekend I read it well, and this morning I signed it and handed it in.

So, now it's real: I am an author!

At the latest 31 January 2020 I will hand in the finished manuscript, and it takes some time for composition, print, et cetera. So, next spring my book will be on sale.

All this only concerns the French version, by the way; I have no news about the Dutch and English versions yet.

Sample chapter and table of contents
31 July 2019

The last 2 weeks of June it was too warm to care much about my book, but in the first week of this month, I sent in my proposal for a book. Julie responded promptly to tell me that the editorial staff would meet the 12th of this month, and would then discuss my proposition. I cannot deny that I was a bit less calm than usual, in those week and a half.

But at the beginning of the afternoon of the 12th, the good news arrived: ENI is interested! Would I have time the 15th to come by to talk about how we proceed from here? Of course I would.

A small disappointment was that ENI only publishes in French; they just don't have the contacts to publish in other languages. I was hoping to be able to publish the book in English, Dutch and French at the same time, but that's not going to happen; not with ENI, anyway.
Since I will be writing the book largely in Dutch, before translating it to French, I'm going to want to find a Dutch publisher as well. The ENI contract fortunately allows this: ENI only buys the rights for the version that I supply (which will be the French version, in the case of ENI). And it might actually be agreeable to not have to translate the book to English at the same time; so I'll postpone that, until I near completion of the Dutch and French versions.

The contract won't be signed until I have sent in the definitive table of contents and a completed chapter.
For the payment, I can choose between a fixed sum at once, or a percentage of the revenue. If I've made the correct estimations and calculations (naturally I don't know the sales price for the book yet), I think that the fixed sum is more interesting if sales stay below 1,000 books, and a percentage is more attractive if sales go over 1,000 books. Since I'm full of confidence, and a bit of a gambler, obviously I will go for the percentage.

Another appointment was made for Wednesday the 17th, with Jérôme, who works as an author, teacher and manager for ENI. He is a bit more technically literate than Julie, and an author himself, so he was going to ask me some critical questions, and tell me more about the practical side of publishing a book with ENI.

In the end those questions were not very critical at all. The plan I had sent in was so clear and complete, and I talk about IT with such ease and confidence, that it quickly became clear to the both of us that the 1 or 2 questions he asked were more rhetorical than for clarification. So in the end it was really just an introductory interview. Which is also important.

He sent me the Word and LibreOffice templates I must use for my texts, and I received a list of do's & don'ts. And now the ball is back in my corner: I must finish 1 chapter entirely, and create the definitive table of contents. I send all that to Jérôme, who will judge them. And then he is going to help me mold that into something publishable (or tell me honestly if it's really unusable, but I don't expect that).

I have until 3 September, the day before our next appointment.

First step
17 June 2019

I finally set my first step towards the publication of a book.

I work on a temporary contract as a translator French → Dutch for Éditions ENI, a publisher of books and formations in the field of IT. And since I've been an IT freelance for almost 15 years, I thought 'Why not give it a shot…?'. So I sent a mail (I work here, but I had no idea who to contact) to be informed about the requirements. And I found that there are actually not that many requirements: if you have an idea for a book, you fill out the form they send you, and your idea will be assessed by the editorial staff. And if you don't have an idea yet, you send your CV, and they try to find an idea that goes with your CV.
I already have an idea, so I will be filling out the form in the next few days.