3

Recently I got a master's degree in Computer Science and now I'm writing my doctorate proposal. Meanwhile, I'm looking to colaborate on book writing within HPC, virtualization, cloud computing area.

I know most of books are written inside a common group... but, my question is: is there a place where you can seek for people to colaborate on a book writing with you? I mean, perhaps a group of person want to write about operating systems, but there is no people specialized on scheduler for instance... is there a "craig list" of this type of thing?

I dont know if I made myself clear.

  • What kind of books are we talking about: popular science, textbook (a.k.a. teaching material), monographs with original research content, ... ? The answer to your question depends on this. – DCTLib Nov 9 '16 at 13:18
  • 2
    I don't really understand the premise. Why would one consider writing a book about operating systems if one didn't have or know people with sufficient expertise to do that? Also, it seems very rare for people to think, "Oh, I'll go write a textbook from scratch." Almost all textbooks actually began life as a set of notes for a lecture course. – David Richerby Nov 9 '16 at 13:46
  • 4
    Normally, in my field at least, you already have some contacts with these people you want to include in the book writing project. It is more likely for one to collaborate with you if you know each other. – adipro Nov 9 '16 at 13:59
  • 5
    @StephanyDionysio Writing a proper textbook is an incredible amount of work and requires dedication from all of its authors. In order to spend so much time on such a task, you need to be convinced that the other authors will not drop the project mid-ways. This requires knowing each other quite well to work - hence a "meetup place for interested authors" would not be of much use. – DCTLib Nov 9 '16 at 14:29
  • 2
    Like @DCTLib already suggests: Don't do it, even if you find people. Writing books takes teamwork -- an incredible amount of team work. The one book I wrote, we spent a couple of hours discussing (or more) two to three times a week. You really want to know your co-authors well before you embark on anything like this. – Wolfgang Bangerth Nov 9 '16 at 22:20
2

To sum up the comments: There is no such thing.

I also think that there is some reason behind this. Writing a book is quite some work and in fact, it is quite some more work than writing lecture notes. I guess one can put it this way: If the manuscript is written (in form as it would be written as lecture notes), then at least 80% of the work is left. Things that are left to do include:

  • Check if the material is organized in the best possible order, given the possible readers and lecturers a path how to access the material but also to offer additional routes than just going through the book cover to cover.

  • Cross check all notation for consistency and clarity.

  • Build and, far more important, cross check the index.

  • Build, if necessary, a list of notation and/or a glossary.

  • Recheck your list of references for completeness, but also if it still is up to date. Many textbooks also have a "commented list of reference" to give hint for further reading.

  • Edit, edit, edit, and edit again.

Besides all this things: There are many different writing styles, for textbooks even more than for scientific papers. If you have a bunch of authors and you did not fully agree on the style (by agreement or by chance), you will probably end up either with a never ending editing going in different directions or with a books that changes the narrative style several times and hence, is not a smooth read.

On the other hand, I, personally, think, that it is a good idea to write a book in a small team of two or three people. However, you probably need some joint writing experience to make this a success.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.