Book updates, August 2011

I completed a first draft of the OpenSSH book last night around 10:30PM EDT. It’s out for tech edit now. At this point, I’m going systematically through the tech edits and making sure I’ve corrected the earlier chapters. After that, the manuscript goes to copyediting. Once copyedit is complete, I’ll release the ebook and start contracting out the POD version.

I normally write both nonfiction and fiction simultaneously. When I get frustrated with one project, I switch to the other. The context switch clears my brain. When I return to the vexing project, I can approach the problem fresh and work through it quickly.

I decided to do two nonfiction projects simultaneously this summer. In retrospect, this was a mistake. When I got frustrated with one project, I switched to the other… and found myself still frustrated. Perhaps I can do two nonfiction projects simultaneously, but OpenSSH and OpenBSD have a lot in common. One is just a subset of the other. My frustrations would probably be reduced if I knew what I was doing, but if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn’t write the book.

Lesson learned. If I want to write two nonfiction books simultaneously, they must be wildly diverse.

The OpenBSD book has therefore moved slowly. It’s further complicated by moving over the next couple weeks. I’ll be full-out cranking on the OpenBSD book this fall, however.

I predicted that the OpenSSH book would be 30,000 words. The first draft came in at 29,977 words. I am amazed; usually my books come in at 25-50% over the predicted word count. Perhaps I’m learning. But I’m probably just lucky.

4 Replies to “Book updates, August 2011”

  1. I’d consider myself as an advanced user of OpenSSH but am really looking forward to that one; your tech-books always surprised me with some titbit I didn’t know yet.

  2. Something various collegues and I are not sure on is if one can use GPG keys with SSH – or are the keys best kept in separate worlds ?

    (sorry to post here – but i wasnt sure where else to ask)


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