2 new contracts!
31 December 2019

The contract with the dutch publisher has been signed! So I am now the author of two books. Well, actually one book in two languages, but since I write both languages myself, I'll call it a double authorship.
Many thanks to Brinkman Uitgeverij for the confidence.

And the other contract that was signed this month, is the contract for a job as a tutor.
When I was talking to the french publisher (my employer) in September, about the publication of my book, I was asked to send in my CV, because I might be useful for the school branch of the same group. With as a result that after the end of my contract as a translator on 31 December, I start as a Unix tutor on 2 January.
And not only do I think that I will really enjoy that work, I also think that those are very inspiring surroundings to finish the book I'm working on, and to start the other ICT books I am still planning.

Dutch publisher
30 November 2019

This month there has been abundant conversation with Brinkman Uitgeverij in Amsterdam about the publication of the dutch version of my book. Clearly there is a bit more delay in this conversation than in the conversation with the french publisher, because I work for the french publisher, far away from Amsterdam.

But this month I've been in contact with Dick, the owner, multiple times, and we agree about the details of the pubilcation. One of these days I will receive a final digital copy of the contract, and if there are no more spelling mistakes in my name and address, I will receive the paper version shortly.

It has begun
31 October 2019

Now that the contract has been signed, it has really begun. I've had a new appointment where Émilie, the editor in chief, explained all the stages we will be going through until the publication of my book:

  • Verification of the correct use of the specified text styles.
    This has been done by means of a test chapter.
  • Regular contact with Anne-Laure, the editorial assistant, about the progress of my writing.
    Anne-Laure contacts me every two weeks to enquire about my progress.
  • Write a presentation for the book.
    For the web shop and other announcements. Obviously, I will receive help for this.
  • Turn in manuscript.
    31 January.
  • Proofreading of the manuscript by ENI.
    In my case, this will be done in two stages: a first time to verify my French, and a second for the technical contents.
  • First run through DTP (desktop publishing).
    For verification.
  • Processing of corrections suggested by ENI.
    I may integrate the suggested corrections, or reject them, but not a single one may be left unanswered.
  • Supply of any downloads.
    At the same time as the processed corrections. In my case, this concerns example configurations and scripts.
  • Second run through DTP.
    Finalisation of the paper and digital books.
  • Consultations about the items to be put on the cover of the book.
  • Consultations with Katelle from the marketing department, about the promotion of the book.
  • Publication

So, I have busy times ahead.

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.